Program of Study

The 33-semester hour program is comprised of 27 hours in the specialization and 6 hours of electives. Based on the view of the professional as a decision-maker, the program addresses the needs for conceptual and procedural bases for decision making, specific practices, and structured reflection.

The program may be completed in two years, following the course sequence noted below.

Fall 1

EDN 541 - Role of Literature in Learning and the Curriculum

EDN 584 - Reading and Teaching Reading

Spring 1

EDN 568 - 21st Century Literacies

EDN 558 - Language, Literacy, and Culture


EDN 538 - Teaching Writing from a Writer’s Perspective


Fall 2

EDN 566 - Research in Literacy Education

EDN 536 - Disciplinary Literacies

Spring 2

EDN 589 - Tutoring and Coaching for Literacy Development

EDN 586 - Leadership in Literacy Education


Electives may be taken any semester. Please see your advisor to discuss possibilities.

Remember: International Study is an option for elective credits.

Exit Requirements

The culminating project for the program is an oral presentation and discussion, which synthesizes students’ learning during the program. When students satisfactorily complete the course work and project they will be qualified to earn the degree and “M” level license in North Carolina. Students who complete the program also qualify for a K-12 Reading Specialist license in NC.

Professional Development and Licensure Opportunities

K-12 Reading Specialist Licensure

Individuals who are seeking a Master’s degree in a related field or hold a Master's degree in Education may take 18 hours of course work, approved by the Language and Literacy faculty, to be eligible to pursue the K-12 Reading Specialist license. The individual must complete a minimum of twelve hours of work at UNCW. 

Professional Development

Teachers who seek to deepen their understanding of literacy teaching and learning and/or wish to pursue licensure renewal may register for graduate courses through procedures established by the Graduate School. To do this, apply to the Graduate School to be admitted as a non-degree student.