Online and Distance Degrees > Degree Programs > MA in Secondary Education (Reading Specialist)

Master of Arts (MA) in
Secondary Education (Reading Specialist P-12 Certification)


Program Overview

The University of Alabama offers a master’s in Secondary Education (Reading Specialist P-12 Certification) in a 100% online format for your convenience. This program will prepare you to work with a range of reading abilities and needs, including multisensory approaches to instruction and assessment tools to effectively monitor student performance.

  • Program Format

  • Credit Hours

  • Tuition Per Hour


Help Students Excel at Reading

The Reading Specialist curriculum offers guidance in theory, application, assessment and implementation of research-based instruction. Students gain knowledge through a supervised practicum experience in language and curriculum development, language arts, reading assessment and more. This hands-on program will teach you to develop the instructional strategies necessary to be an effective P-12 reading specialist.

The 100% online format is designed for full-time professionals, so you can pursue your master’s while working. The degree can lead to careers including reading teacher, private tutor, standardized test developer, P-12 education consultant and more.

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  • Application DeadlineApplications accepted year round
  • Fees$10 College of Education graduate fee (per credit hour)
  • AccreditationNational Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Required For EntranceBachelor's-level teaching certificate and two years of teaching experience
  • PracticumYes


The MA in Secondary Education (Reading Specialist Certification) consists of 30 to 33 credit hours. Please note that courses are subject to change.

  • CIE 577 Second Language Acquisition
  • CRD 510 Expanding Reading
  • CRD 511 Beginning Reading in Pre-K and Primary Grades
  • CRD 590 Seminar in Literacy Coaching
  • CRD 593 Practicum in Literacy Coaching – covers students in a variety of grade levels
  • CRD 595 Practicum in Reading – covering pre-K through second grade
  • CRD 654 Re-Envisioning Reading Assessment and Instruction
  • CRD 695 Advanced Practicum in Reading Education – covering third through sixth grade
  • CRD 696 Advanced Reading Specialist Practicum – covering middle and high school students
  • BER 500 Introduction to Educational Research or BER 550 Evaluation of Classroom Learning (only for those who have not taken an evaluation of classroom learning course)
  • Special education survey course (if not previously completed)

All courses are offered online.

In order to receive master’s level Reading Specialist P-12 certification, individuals must hold bachelor’s level certification and complete the course requirements, including 300 clock-hours of supervised practicum. Additionally, students must pass a comprehensive exam and the Praxis for Reading Specialist.


Admission to the MA program requires the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or a 3.0 average for the last 60 hours in a degree program
  • A valid bachelor’s level professional educator certificate in a teaching field
  • Two full years of K-12 classroom teaching experience
  • If the professional educator certificate is in a field other than early childhood, elementary or special education (Collaborative K-6 certification), the appropriate Praxis for Teaching Reading is also required

A completed application package includes unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended, three letters of recommendation (describing teaching ability and potential for leadership in literacy instruction), a statement of purpose, and a Graduate School application.

Experience must be verified on the notarized Supplement EXP form. Section III and V should be completed by your current and/or previous school system(s) (usually the HR department); Section IV is not required. Questions related to acceptable experience or certification should be directed to Dawn Bryant, Coordinator of Graduate Admissions and Certification, at The original form should be mailed to:

The University of Alabama College of Education
ATTN: Dawn Bryant
Box 870231
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0231

If you reside or intend to seek professional licensure outside of the state of Alabama, please review the requirements for that state prior to applying to this program.

Does this program require teacher certification in order to apply?

Yes, you must have a valid teacher certification in order to apply for the program.

If I have a degree and want to become teacher certified, can I apply for the program?

No, this degree does not lead you to become teacher certified if they have a degree in an area other than education.

Do I need to have teaching experience before applying?

Yes, you must have two years of prior teaching experience.


Find more information and learn about restrictions related to this degree program that may exist regarding licensure in the state in which you reside.


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