Master of Science in Education – Reading

(Note: The School of Education is not currently accepting applications or admitting new students into this program.)

Literacy is more than a checkmark on a list of learning outcomes. It’s a cornerstone of community health and individual empowerment. If you’re eager to make your impact felt, join leaders in the literacy instruction field with the Johns Hopkins School of Education’s Master of Science (MS) in Reading program, and bring new approaches to the communities and individuals you serve.

Synthesize evidence-based instructional approaches and perspectives. Learn the practical aspects of creating effective learning environments, programs and strategies that promote literacy. Help young children, adolescents and adults with diverse backgrounds and needs. Grow your career in literacy-based learning, research or policy-making in environments such as P-12 classrooms, adult literacy programs, and school districts. The 39-credit MS in Reading program is designed for working professionals, with most courses scheduled in late afternoon or evening hours at Columbia Center.The program includes clinical practicum experiences and the development of a digital portfolio, and is nationally recognized by the International Literacy Association and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Graduates with initial teacher certification and three years of successful teaching experience will fulfill the requirements for certification as a reading specialist in the state of Maryland.   All students must provide evidence of a satisfactory federal and state criminal background check at the beginning of the program, and before each course involving direct contact with children and adolescents.

Master of Science in Education – Reading

Contact Us

Faculty Contact
Mary Ellen Lewis

Academic Coordinator
Kyuanna Napper


884.604 Emergent Literacy: Research into Practice

This course addresses in-depth instructional issues involving emergent literacy processes. Topics include the application of current literacy theory to alphabetics, word identification, and word study strategies for classroom instruction; designing and providing authentic early literacy experiences and literacy-rich environments; and strategies and methods for storytelling and in developing contextual oral reading fluency. (3 credits)

884.615 Cross-Cultural Studies in Literacy

Students in this class investigate how culture, language, school and out-of-school literacy experiences, and education policy influence student attitudes, learning, and content area knowledge. Participants evaluate multicultural literacy research, curriculum, literature, and new literacies, and how social and cultural factors contribute to daily classroom literacy instruction and everyday life. The course emphasizes creating democratic and culturally sensitive learning environments.

884.617 Children and Adolescent Literature

This course examines in-depth instructional issues involving multiple genres of children and adolescent literature. Topics include the examination of text structures in informational, expository, and narrative materials; effective identification and selection of instructional and independent level texts for student reading; developing awareness of literature about, and resources related to, culturally diverse groups in the United States; understanding the self as a reader and to use that understanding to inform teaching practices, engagement and motivational issues related to text instruction and selection; and how digital literature can be used in classroom instruction. (3 credits)

884.610 Advanced Diagnosis for Reading Instruction

This course advances and refines the knowledge of students about advanced diagnostic processes in determining reading difficulties and designing appropriate and related interventions. Case studies and small group collaboration are used to develop a student’s ability to integrate data from multiple sources, generate diagnostic profiles, and make instructional recommendations. Students learn to administer standardized and criterion-referenced assessments, and about the principles, philosophies, and strategies of effective remedial approaches. (3 credits)

881.611 Action Research for School Improvement

Students explore the role of the educator as researcher, with special emphasis on formulating and refining research questions, as well as on selecting appropriate methodologies for classroom or school-based research. Students review research as a tool for assessing and improving teaching and learning environments.

884.642 Linguistics for Teachers

This course acquaints teachers and other reading professionals with aspects of linguistic theory that apply in elementary and secondary classrooms. Emphasis is on a thorough, research-based understanding of phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics. Students learn ways to use the information to strengthen existing reading and language arts instruction. Issues of cultural diversity, second language learning, and developmental issues of language are covered in this interactive format.

884.811 Supervised Clinical Practicum I for Masters in Reading Candidates

This first practicum is a midpoint program experience of Reading Specialist candidates. Candidates demonstrate the ability to translate literacy education research into practice. The overarching intent of Practicum I is to develop literacy education leaders while refining candidates’ knowledge and applications of research. Coursework centers on actual work with children and allows School of Education candidates to provide evidence of their mastery of reading education skills and strategies.

881.622 Advanced Instructional Strategies

Students review recent research on effective instruction and explore advanced classroom strategies and techniques designed to enhance their effectiveness in meeting the needs of diverse populations of learners. Examples include direct instruction, cooperative learning, dimensions of learning, creative problem solving, and applications of technology to thinking and learning. Students develop expert teaching skills and learn to diagnose and deliver instructional strategies that are most appropriate in specific circumstances.

884.701 Reading Comprehension and Critical Literacy

Building on the instructional strategies and skills of earlier coursework, this advanced graduate course examines classic and contemporary research and theory in reading comprehension and critical literacy, and how these dimensions and processes are applied to literacy education. During the course, students learn to explore and appreciate the diversity of literacy research perspectives, and to learn to think and write critically and analytically about research, literacy education policy, and practices that influence and are used in classroom education. These topics are overlapped by advanced instructional methods and strategies for teaching students reading comprehension and critical literacy skills and dispositions. (3 credits)

884.850 Clinical Practicum in Writing and Other Media

Reading and writing printed texts have been, by tradition, interconnected processes. In the Digital Age, other media, such as still and moving images and audio texts, increasingly coexist alongside printed texts. During this practicum experience, candidates examine current issues involving the communication shifts that are influencing literacy instruction.. Using digital literacies, writing, and object-centered multimedia ideas and instructional approaches, candidates work with teachers and students in designing, producing, and using new and traditional literacies to best prepare themselves and others for advancing technologies and practices that are changing the ways that people communicate and network.

884.620 Seminar in Reading: Roles of the Reading Specialist

Students in the final year present and evaluate their projects and plans for addressing the needs of students at all levels of reading ability in their classrooms, schools, and school districts. In addition, participants examine selected topics and issues in reading instruction.

884.820 Supervised Clinical Practicum in Reading II

This second practicum is a capstone course that builds on all previous program coursework and especially the prerequisite course “Seminar in Reading: Roles of the Reading Specialist.” Work concentrates on developing effective reading specialist and literacy coaching qualities and skills, facilitating change in school communities, and fostering teacher growth and student achievement. A strong emphasis of the course is on job-embedded professional development. Candidates deliver demonstration lessons and lesson planning assistance to teachers and conduct professional development workshops in school settings. The practicum allows candidates to provide evidence of their mastery of particular leadership/reading specialist standards of the International Literacy Association.


884.612 Teaching Reading and Writing in the Content Areas to ESL Students

The reading process for speakers of other languages is examined so that participants are able to provide a variety of instructional, cognitive, motivational, and study strategies.. Technology instruction is addressed for teaching ESL students Internet skills, as well as other computer applications to enhance reading and writing skills. Participants become familiar with the English Language Arts Content Standards and the Core Learning Goals, and their relationship to the ESL Content Standards.

884.703 Seminar in Adolescent Literacy Education

The Seminar in Adolescent Literacy Education provides opportunities for students to explore the latest research, theory, and literacy education practices for adolescents in a seminar format. Topics include novel and useful technologies, motivating reluctant readers, and cultural and linguistic diversity in adolescent literacy education.

882.511 Human Growth and Development: A Lifespan Perspective

Students consider an overview of the physical, social, and emotional aspects of human development throughout a person’s lifespan. The course considers developmental theory and reviews current areas of research.


  • Completion of online application
  • Submission of application fee
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (Cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or better)
  • Essay
  • A current resume or CV
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Selected applicants who meet the entrance requirements may be invited to interview

For more information on the application process, please view the SOE Admissions page.