Master of Education (MEd) in Literacy


About the program

The Master of Education (MEd) in Literacy is designed for educators who would like to become reading specialists, literacy coaches, or better-equipped teachers of reading in K–12 classrooms.

The program is aligned with the endorsement competencies for reading/literacy in the state of Washington and will help prepare you for the NES Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction (104) exam. You may apply for, and begin, the program in any quarter.

Graduates of this program will have a foundation in the theoretical and empirical bases of effective literacy instruction, with an understanding of reading and writing development, the nature and causes of reading difficulties, and principles and strategies for effective teaching.

NES exam

Qualifications for adding the reading endorsement include passing the NES Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction (104) exam and a successful pedagogy assessment.

Due to the focus of the MEd in Literacy degree on the K–12 school system, it is preferred that you have completed an approved program for Washington state teacher certification prior to enrollment. Exceptions can be approved by the literacy program chair.

Comprehensive exam

You will be required to pass a written comprehensive exam taken at the end of the program to receive your MEd in Literacy degree.

Admission requirements

Applicants must submit the following items to the Graduate Admissions:  

  • Online application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Copy of current Washington state teaching certificate, front and back (not required for Literacy + Certification applicants).
  • Official transcript(s) from each college and/or university attended.
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or MAT (Miller Analogies Test) scores taken within five years of application.
    • On the former GRE exam, preferred minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 950.
    • On the revised GRE exam, preferred minimum scores of Verbal: 148 and Quantitative: 147.
    • On the MAT, preferred minimum scaled score of 400*.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Moral and Character Fitness Policy form (found in the online application) for those seeking teaching certification.
  • Résumé.

*The GRE or MAT will be waived for students who achieved at least a 3.4 cumulative undergraduate GPA, or a 3.4 GPA in the last 45 quarter credits.

Enrollment policy

  • Students must be continuously enrolled in required SPU courses to earn this master’s degree, or until officially withdrawing from the program. Exceptions to continuous enrollment must be approved by the program director.
  • Students may be granted a leave of absence for up to four quarters by the program director. Once the leave of absence has expired, the student will either enroll in graduate coursework or be dropped from the program.
  • SPU’s Student Academic Services requires continuous enrollment to remain admitted in a graduate program. After four quarters of non-enrollment, students will be placed in “inactive status” and will need to reapply for admission.
  • If a student decides to no longer pursue a master’s degree, the student may officially withdraw from the program and SPU by notifying the program director and the graduate programs manager.


Admissions materials should be directed to Graduate Admissions. If you have questions about graduate education or certification programs: