Reading Specialization

Reading Specialization (M.S.)

  • Online
  • Master's

About this Program

With the heavy focus on reading achievement at the federal, state and local levels, highly trained reading specialists and literacy coaches are in demand in the K-12 educational environment. The reading specialization master's program provides the foundation in principles, practices and leadership teachers must acquire to meet that demand.

Program Overview

Tuition & Fees 
Funding Opportunities
Download Reading Specialization Brochure

Breadth, depth

Open to certified teachers who will have taught for three or more years by the time the degree is conferred, the program deepens understanding and broadens competencies in the field. Many classes are taught by highly qualified reading specialists, affording candidates the advantage of hands-on literacy experience at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Applied, rigorous

Unlike most other master’s programs in reading specialization, Hood provides supervised practicum opportunities in both elementary and secondary reading clinics. Master’s degree candidates work with small, diverse groups of students in both clinics, during which time they are observed and coached in assessment, diagnosis and prescription. This advanced degree program satisfies International Reading Association standards for the preparation of reading specialists. It also fulfills the Maryland State Department of Education’s requirements for licensure as a reading specialist.


Courses in the 36-credit program are offered in the evenings and during the summer, allowing students to continue to work full-time.

Student & Alumni Testimonials

"I chose Hood College because the feedback I received from my many colleagues who had gone through different programs at Hood for their graduate programs was nothing but positive!" - Sarah Bailey, Reading Specialization M.S. '19

*Please note the Reading Specialization master's program is not open to F1 students.

NC Sara
Hood College participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Degrees Offered

  • MS

For students applying to the reading specialization program, please submit the following to the Graduate School:

  • One copy of official transcripts from the institution where the highest degree was conferred.
  • A copy of the Maryland Educator's Certificate issued by the Maryland State Department of Education.
  • Interview with program director.
  • Writing sample to be completed during the interview.

An applicant to the graduate program in reading specialization must already hold teacher certification to apply. This program does not issue teacher certification.

Transfer credit policy for admitted students

Students may transfer a maximum of 6 graduate credits from an external, accredited institution, or another Hood graduate program prior to the first semester of study in the current program. Please review the full graduate transfer credit policy in the College catalog.

Phase I: Advancement to Full Candidacy

Candidates enrolled in the M.S. in reading specialization program will be advanced to full candidacy based on the successful completion of the following:

1. Maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the following three required courses and one additional reading course.

Acceptable SPA (Specialized Professional Association) performance activities will be submitted in these three classes.

EDUC 502Technology for Literacy, Leadership & Learning


EDUC 577Introduction to Educational Research


EDUC 582Educational Philosophy in a Diverse Society


2. Show evidence of taking a Processes and Acquisition of Reading course as an undergraduate or through an in-service course:

Based on the successful completion of the above requirements, candidates in the M.S. in reading specialization program are advanced to full candidacy and may continue to Phase II after receiving one of the following decisions: advance to candidacy; advance to candidacy on a conditional basis pending alert forms review and an overall review by the reading specialization advisory council. Denial of advancement to candidacy is based on review by the reading specialization advisory council.

Phase II: Midpoint Transition

Candidates enrolled in the M.S. in reading specialization program will be advanced to Phase III (Intensive Collaborative Practice) based on the successful completion of the following Phase II requirements:

1. Maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the following courses (one was taken in Phase I)

Acceptable SPA performance activities will be required in these courses.

EDUC 517Materials for Teaching Reading: Instruction & Methods


EDUC 518Reading Instruction: Elementary


EDUC 519Reading Instruction: Secondary


EDUC 520Reading Diagnosis


EDUC 529Literacy Leadership


2. Pass comprehensive examination

EDUC 523Reading Diagnosis & Prescription: Clinical


Members of the reading specialization advisory council will review the above requirements in Phase II and any alert forms and advance the candidate to Phase III with one of the following decisions: advancement to Phase III, conditional advancement to Phase III or denial of advancement to Phase III.

Phase III: Intensive Collaborative Practice

Candidates must successfully meet the following requirements:

1. Maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the practicum courses.

Acceptable SPA performance activities will be required in these courses.

EDUC 521Contemporary Issues in the Teaching of Reading


EDUC 524Advanced Clinical Reading Experiences: Elementary


EDUC 525Advanced Clinical Reading Experiences: Secondary



2. Successful evaluation from the lead teachers and director of the practicum courses.

3. An exit folio is required.

Program Completion

  1. Receive a distinguished or proficient rating on the exit folio.

  2. Program survey one year after program completion.

The FCPS | MCPS Cohort Program provides a comprehensive foundation for the principles and practices necessary for future reading specialists, literacy coaches, or for teachers seeking additional professional development. Completion of the LETRS program through FCPS or MCPS satisfies the first 12 credits of the program! Program advantages include:

  • Students begin and end the program as a learning community
  • Courses are taught by current and former FCPS and MCPS reading and literacy specialists
  • Completion of the LETRS program through FCPS or MCPS satisfies 12 of 36 program credits
  • Accelerated course format allows students to finish the master’s degree program in 3 years
  • Degree recipients have the competencies necessary to be a reading specialist or literacy coach
  • Program delivered 100% online and fulfills ILA and MDSE licensure standards

Email to learn more!

Program Contact

Program Director

Nick Masucci

Assistant Director of Graduate Admission

Office: 301-696-3601 Cell/WhatsApp: 240-651-4015

Our faculty...

are active in national professional organizations and in local schools as supervisors of teacher candidates.

All Faculty

Ellen G. Koitz

  • Associate Professor of Education
  • Program Director, Master's in Reading Specialization