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

Secondary Education (Reading Specialist P-12 Certification)


Program Overview

Reading specialists devote their time to reading instruction while engaging in activities to promote literacy among students, parents, other educators and the community alike. This is especially important to improving the overall reading performance of students in addition to enhancing their future educational opportunities and outcomes.

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Educators in this program will participate in curriculum consisting of theory, application, assessment, and implementation of research-based instruction through a supervised practicum experience. The practicum experience, composed of hands-on fieldwork, is designed to develop the skills necessary to teach students as well as to train other teachers in the area of literacy.

The online format provides educators with an opportunity to pursue a new career path within education while continuing to work as a classroom teacher. Students who complete the program receive a master’s degree in secondary curriculum, teaching, and learning. The degree is available to both elementary and secondary school teachers. P-12 reading specialist certification is recommended with successful completion of this program.

  • 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
  • Other Program Specifics*Test scores are waived through Fall 2022 semester applications


The MA in Secondary Education for 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
  • Minimum score of 300 on the GRE or 50th percentile on the MAT*
  • If the professional educator certificate is in a field other than Early Childhood, Elementary, or Special Education (Collaborative K-6), the appropriate Praxis for Teaching Reading is also required

*Test scores are waived through Fall 2022 semester applications.

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, official test scores*, 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), and 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, one 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 one to become teacher certified if they have a degree in an area other than education.

Do I need to have teaching experience before applying?

No, you can apply for this program without having prior teaching experience.

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Kathryn Morrow
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(800) 467-0227

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(800) 467-0227