2019-2020 Catalog

Publication date June 2019

Reading - Master of Science in Education - Reading Teacher Certification

This multifaceted, online Master of Science in Education in Reading Program is designed to meet the needs of educators who are interested in (a) ongoing professional development in reading education and (b) certification in the State of Wisconsin as a Reading Teacher (1316 license).


Applicants for admission to any of the graduate Reading Program tracks (including international students applying to the Master of Science without certification program) must meet all the requirements established for general admission to graduate studies at UWL.  

In addition, applicants to a Reading Program track that includes certification (Reading Teacher with Master of Science, Reading Teacher and Specialist with Master of Science, Reading Teacher Certificate) must provide copies of teaching licenses or certificates. Applicants to these programs who do not have a teaching license or certificate must show evidence of all of the following:

  • Completion of student teaching or equivalent in pre K-12 schools,
  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree
  • Eligibility to be certified or licensed as a pre K-12 teacher

Criminal background check

The WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires that candidates for admission to a teacher education, administration, or pupil services program successfully pass a criminal background check (CBC) as one criterion for admission. By applying for admission to one of these programs, candidates agree to provide the necessary personal information to UWL in order to initiate their CBC and to complete their portion of the process prior to the deadline specified in their admission letter. Teacher candidates are responsible for all costs associated with their criminal background check(s).

Program completion and eligibility for certification

Eligibility for Reading Teacher (1316) or Reading Specialist (5017) certification is contingent upon:

  • Cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0
  • Satisfactory completion of appropriate Reading Program coursework, associated experiences, and artifacts (thesis, portfolio, etc.).
  • Passing score on the Foundations of Reading Test (FoRT; score of 240 or higher),
  • Successful completion of at least two years of teaching at the PK-12 level for Reading Teacher (1316) or six semesters of successful classroom experience teaching in any grade for Reading Specialist (5017).
  • Reading Specialist (5017) candidates must have earned a master's degree with an emphasis in Reading.


(30 credits minimum)

RDG 600Research Methods in Literacy3
RDG 601Literacy and Language Development for Diverse Learners3
RDG 702Reading and Literacy in the Content Areas3
RDG 703Literacy Assessment and Instruction3
RDG 711Advanced Research Methods in Literacy3
RDG 712Critical Issues in Reading Difficulties3
RDG 714Literacy Practicum3
RDG 715Children's and Adolescent Literature3
Master's Thesis (six credits required)6
Master's Thesis
Total Credits30

Graduate degree requirements

After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment.
  3. Earn a minimum of 30 credits for a master's degree; 54 credits for a doctorate or post-master's degree. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (700, 800, 900, and non-slash 600 level courses).
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy dissertation, thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects and internships, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A dissertation or thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval at least two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the dissertation/thesis requiring approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. For further research/dissertation/thesis guidelines, see the Office of Graduate Studies.
  6. File a completed "Intent to Graduate" form online via the WINGS Student Center immediately following registration for the final semester or summer term in residence. December graduates and winter intersession should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See #5 above for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)
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