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MA in Reading and Literacy – Early and Middle Childhood

Our students in the Reading and Literacy in Early and Middle Childhood (RLEMC) are professionals committed to improving children’s reading outcomes through use of high-quality, evidence-based practice. The Master of Arts program provides you with advanced coursework on current theory and research in the fields of reading and literacy. The degree can be completed in combination with or separate from a state of Ohio reading endorsement.


The RLEMC master’s program promotes knowledge that can directly inform reading practice and help teachers meet the challenges of providing high-quality, differentiated literacy instruction to meet the needs of all learners.  

An emphasis of the program – no one approach will work for all children – helps  you develop a repertoire of professional knowledge, assessments and instructional tools that can be purposefully applied to best meet the needs of your students. You will be prepared in this professional repertoire while also fostering critical and professional thinking.

The MA program is designed with the practicing professional in mind. Courses typically begin at or after 4:30 p.m. and options to complete the program on a full- or part-time basis.  

Core coursework includes attention to current trends and issues in teaching reading along with support for completing a capstone/exit examination.  In addition, faculty work closely with you to develop a program that matches your  individual issues of practice and areas of interest.  For example, programs may be tailored to include emphasis on children’s literature, emergent literacy, content area reading, dual-language learners, or add a state reading endorsement.  All coursework is based in contemporary theories of reading development and instruction and informed by cutting-edge research findings.  It’s also possible to get involved in research opportunities and a variety of exit examinations, including thesis and non-thesis options.

Notably, the RLEMC master’s program builds community among practitioners, students and scholars. Collaboration is key to finding solutions to common reading and literacy problems across districts and schools. To foster these relationships and collaboration, the program emphasizes onsite coursework to engage in peer-to-peer and student-to-faculty dialogue and discussion.  RLEMC faculty also are committed to building lasting partnerships with teachers in local classrooms and often engage in collaborative work with teachers, schools, parents, families, and communities to conduct research on how children learn to read and write and on how, together, we can address educational excellence as well as diversity and social justice in reading and literacy education. 

Program Facts

Deadline to apply: April 15
Program start: Autumn semester; however, entry is possible in spring or summer with faculty consultation
Program requirements: 3 department core courses (9 hours), 1 research-based course (3 hours), 2 RLEMC core courses (6 hours), specialization courses (9-12 hours), exit examination (3 hours)
Coursework: Current trends and issues in the field, capstone seminar, individually-tailored elective courses on reading development and instruction
Minimum semester hours to degree completion: 30 (thesis), 33 (non-thesis)
Other requirements: Exit examination/capstone project

Admission considerations: A number of factors are considered in admissions decisions.  These include: clear goals for MA completion, professional experiences working directly with children or within educational settings, and other qualifications.  RLEMC faculty also work to match students with faculty mentors who have aligned expertise and interests.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to review MA program and faculty information prior to applying; statements should demonstrate alignment between applicants’ goals and interests and what the program and its faculty offers.  

Financial support: Master’s students may be competitive for scholarships and should consult with Teaching and Learning Academic Services for further details.  

Sample Courses

EDUTL 7428Trends and Issues in Teaching Reading
EDUTL 6303Linguistic Diversity in Education
EDUTL 5470Assessment and Instruction for Struggling Readers
EDUTL 7344Bilingualism and Biliteracy
EDUTL 7101Drama, Literacy, and Learning
EDUTL 7361Literature in Early Childhood Education

MA Advising Sheet

Career Paths

Students who complete the RLEMC master’s program continue their professional careers in the classroom, take leadership positions such as reading or intervention specialists, and/or continue their educational journeys by entering EdS or PhD programs.  


RLEMC faculty are highly engaged in teaching, research, and service.  In addition to serving as mentors and course instructors, faculty are involved in various externally-funded research projects, the U.S.-Indonesia Teacher Education Consortium, Literacy Collaborative, Reading Recovery, Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, and local and state educational initiatives. 

Julia Hagge, PhD, Assistant Professor
Barbara Kiefer, PhD, Huck Professor
Kathryn Nelson, PhD, Assistant Professor
Linda Parsons, PhD, Associate Professor
Shayne Piasta, PhD, Associate Professor
Adrian Rodgers, PhD, Associate Professor
Emily Rodgers, PhD, Associate Professor
Patricia Scharer, PhD, Professor
Cris Warner, PhD, Associate Professor
Ian Wilkinson, PhD, Professor

Affiliated Faculty
Mollie Blackburn, PhD, Professor
David Bloome, PhD, Distinguished Professor
Caroline Clark, PhD, Professor
Brian Edmiston, PhD, Professor
Laurie Katz, PhD, Professor


Department of Teaching and Learning
333 Arps Hall
1945 N. High St.
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Shayne Piasta
Area of Study Convener/Professor

T&L Academic Services