Online Master of Science

Reading and Literacy

Take your career and your students' learning to the next level with our cutting-edge program. Strengthen your teaching, assessment, and intervention skills and develop the confidence and expertise that will distinguish you as a literacy leader.


Earn your RLAA and Master's degree. Change their lives.

Cal State East Bay's Master of Science in Reading and Literacy and Reading and Literacy Added Authorization (RLAA) program is designed for the working professional seeking advanced training in literacy leadership and instruction. Courses are taught by expert faculty in an online format via Zoom technology.

Convenience & Access

Online format designed for working professionals

WASC Accredited

Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Faculty Excellence

Taught by expert scholar-practitioners in literacy education

Improve your teaching. Advance your career. Graduates of Cal State East Bay's Master of Science in Reading and Literacy are leaders in literacy instruction and leadership. In the classroom, they are stronger and more confident teachers that positively impact their students' lives. In the professional community, they are respected trainers, mentors, and colleagues.

Your Skills in Action

Participating in the MS in Reading and Literacy program will equip you with the knowledge and practical skills required to improve student reading achievement at all levels. You will gain expertise in a number of areas, including:

The ability to teach reading and related language arts in a variety of educational settings.

Leadership skills in managing and evaluating literacy programs.

In-depth knowledge for remediating all components of literacy programs.

Learn about the exciting opportunities available to you with an MS in Reading and Literacy »

Be the Change

Cal State East Bay’s Master of Science in Reading and Literacy (MSRL) and Reading and Literacy Added Authorization (RLAA) equip our graduates with leading edge knowledge and practical skills needed to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse student population. Schools are hiring teachers with advanced training in literacy to conduct assessment and interventions that will improve student learning. These specialists serve in other roles, too, as peer coaches, curriculum writers, and professional development presenters.

Empower students to face reading challenges with confidence.

Occupational Trends

11.7% Growth

Employment of instructional coordinators (an educational category that includes reading specialists) is expected to increase by 8.3 percent from 2022 to 2032.
Labor Market Analytics – Lightcast

$73,080 Salary

The median annual wage for instructional coordinators was $73,080 in 2022.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Positive Impact

Educators with advanced training in literacy positively impact their students, colleagues, and the profession.
—Children’s Literacy Initiative

Lead the Way in Literacy Education

With your MS in Reading and Literacy and CTC-issued Reading and Literacy Added Authorization (RLAA), you’ll have all the knowledge you need to drive advancements in reading and literacy learning in your classroom, school, district, and community. You’ll be able to apply what you learned immediately and determine what techniques work best in your environment. Through it all, you’ll be well-equipped to lead with skill and confidence.

Upon completion of the program, graduates have become exemplary reading teachers, reading specialists, reading coaches, and literacy leaders for their schools and districts. From student tutoring to literacy program administration to teacher support, you are sure to make an impact in students’ lives.

Completing this course helped me become a full time teacher after being part time for 3 years. I have learned how to better meet the needs of all readers and give students the help and support they need to excel.

Shannon McCarthy HellerMS in Reading and Literacy Graduate

Program Objectives

Completing Cal State East Bay’s MS in Reading and Literacy will provide you with knowledge and skills to:

Improve students’ literacy outcomes through evidence-based instruction, assessment, and intervention. 

Provide leadership in teaching, intervention, coaching, and curriculum development.

Effectively serve the diverse social, cultural, and linguistic needs of the student population.

One Year. Two Goals.

Cal State East Bay offers the combined Master of Science in Reading and Literacy (MSRL) and Reading and Literacy Added Authorization (RLAA). The combined MSRL and RLAA program focuses on literacy development; learning, teaching, and leadership; and building a culture of literacy in homes, schools, and the community.

The combined graduate program is designed for working professionals and can be completed in one year.* Those who wish to earn the RLAA without a master's degree may do so. We offer Spring and Summer admissions.

*One year completion is for students who transfer in nine eligible units from an accredited post-baccalaureate credential program. For these students, the total unit requirement is 22 units. Those students who are unable to transfer in units will be required to take up to nine additional units. The program totals 31 units. Upon admission, your advisor will review your transcript to make this determination and advise you accordingly.

Fully Online: A Community Experience Without the Commute

All classes are taught online synchronously using Zoom technology. Zoom allows you to attend and participate in class in real time. This means you can see your professor and classmates, talk and ask questions, and participate in group activities, all from your home or work computer.

Required Courses

Core Courses Required for both the RLAA and the MSRL (14 units)

Course Units
TED 660: Literacy Research and Methods 3
TED 661: Comprehension Research and Methods 2
TED 662: Culture of Literacy: Focus on Diversity 2
TED 663: Literacy Assessment 3
TED 664: Literacy Intervention 3
TED 695: Practicum 1

Courses Required to complete the MSRL for students transferring in 9 units

Course Units
TED 687: Reading Research & Evaluation 3
TED 688: Research in Education 1
TED 693: Project 4

Elective Courses to complete for students unable to transfer in 9 units*

Course Units
TED 670 The Science of Reading Foundations* 3
TED 671 Early Literacy Foundations* 3
TED 672 Secondary Literacy Foundations* 3

*These elective courses are not required for students who transfer in the required number of eligible units.

In addition to the above requirements, the University Writing Skills Requirement (required for "Classified Graduate" standing) must be met. Many incoming students have already met the requirement. See the testing website or your advisor for more details.

Featured Faculty

Graduate students in the MS in Reading and Literacy and Reading and Literacy Added Authorization (RLAA) Program at Cal State East Bay develop important professional relationships with our faculty. You can count on professors who are recognized experts in the field of literacy, have extensive experience teaching in diverse K-12 and university settings, and demonstrate a strong commitment to educational equity. All our faculty have successful records of teaching and advising graduate students.

Jennaca Cotton


Jennaca Cotton, EdD, has worked in education since 2010. Dr. Cotton taught first grade for many years before transitioning to a literacy specialist, first at the elementary school level and now in private practice. Dr. Cotton works with and mentors students at the graduate level, both pre-service teaching candidates and current educators who are looking to expand their professions as literacy specialists. Dr. Cotton has a BA and teaching credential from Pepperdine University, an MA and Reading Specialist credential from Loyola Marymount University, and an EdD from University of Southern California. Dr. Cotton's research interests and passions include working with neurodiverse students, especially those with dyslexia, as well as social and emotional learning and trauma-informed care practices.

Dr. Cinzia Forasiepi


Dr. Cinzia Forasiepi brings to the program more than 20 years of university teaching in both the United States and in Canada. She grew up in Italy where she pursued graduate studies in Political Science and Translation.

After moving to Canada, she worked as a translator for the Canadian government and the Italian Consulate, but she also taught Italian as a foreign language at the University of Victoria.

Dr. Forasiepi completed her EdD at the University of San Francisco. Stemming from her own experience as an immigrant and second language learner, her theoretical background includes first and second language acquisition and pedagogy, literacy pedagogy, multicultural education, social justice in education, and human rights education.

Dr. Forasiepi has taught at Sonoma State University for 16 years in the multiple subject program and MA Reading and TESOL programs. At the University of San Francisco and at Notre Dame De Namur University, she taught in their online TESOL MA programs. She enjoys planning for online teaching and loves connecting with her students using a variety of educational technology tools.

Shannon Heller


With a passion for education and a dedication to making a difference, Shannon Heller started her journey at Sonoma State University. For two impactful years with AmeriCorps, she worked with underserved students, specifically focusing on reading and literacy intervention in an elementary school where over eighty percent of families faced economic challenges. Today, she continues to inspire young minds, teaching high school students American Sign Language and AVID. As an adjunct professor, she guides current and future educators in the Teacher Education (TED) program. Heller thrives on helping students of all ages harness the power of writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading to enrich their educational journeys.

Heller holds a BA in Liberal Studies from Sonoma State University and an MS in Reading from Cal State East Bay.

Bernadette Pilar Zermeño


Dr. Bernadette Pilar Zermeño is an early childhood educator with over 20 years of demonstrated success creating, developing, and teaching transitional kindergarten programs. She is passionate about facilitating lifelong learners beginning at the earliest age as a multilingual educator, teaching in Pre-K to university levels. She is innovative in curriculum creation with expertise in training Pre-K, transitional and traditional kindergarten teachers, and TK/K teacher aides, teacher candidates focusing on biliteracy and language development. Dr. Zermeño builds open, trust-based relationships with students, caregivers, teammates, and community partners to support all learners, specially dedicated to helping newly arrived students and refugees with foundational social and emotional skills. She currently works within Oakland Unified as a multilingual specialist in the ELLMA and Early Childhood department while also supporting teacher candidates at Alder, Chabot, Merritt, and Las Positas College.

Dr. Zermeño holds a doctorate in educational leadership with emphasis in early childhood from Mills College, a master’s in education and bilingual credential from University of Berkeley, and a bachelor’s in psychology from University of Berkeley.

Andrea Steinfeld


Andrea Steinfeld, EdD, has been in public education since 1986. She has worked in high-poverty schools, supporting students to achieve literacy success. Currently, she is working as a reading specialist, teaching kindergarten through third-grade students how to read proficiently. She is also passionate about educating at the graduate level. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine University, and Cal State East Bay. Her research focus is engaging students who live in poverty and providing graduate students advanced training in literacy leadership and instruction. Dr. Steinfeld holds an EdD in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University, an MA in Child and Adolescent Literacy from Loyola Marymount University, and a BA from California State University, Northridge.

 Swipe left or right for the next/previous instructor
Jennaca Cotton

Jennaca CottonEdD

Dr. Cinzia Forasiepi

Dr. Cinzia ForasiepiEdD

Shannon Heller

Shannon HellerMS

Bernadette Pilar Zermeño

Bernadette Pilar ZermeñoEdD

Andrea Steinfeld

Andrea SteinfeldEdD

Admission Requirements

For admission into the MS in Reading and Literacy and Reading and Literacy Added Authorization (RLAA) program, you will need to:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited university
  • GPA of 3.0 in upper-division undergraduate courses and post-baccalaureate courses
  • Statement of Purpose (listed on the Department Application).
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • A valid Multiple Subject or Single Subject Teaching Credential
  • Basic Skills Requirement (i.e. CBEST or other option-Satisfactory completion of the Basic Skills Requirement (BSR); submit a copy of your score report. California law requires that all educators meet proficiency in the subjects of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Individuals may satisfy the basic skills requirement in one of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved methods listed in Basic Skills Requirement (CL-667) (BSR). This is the same document used to obtain your teaching credential or approved and signed BSR Evaluation Form
  • Demonstrated potential to become a leader in reading and language arts curriculum and instruction

How to Apply

For New Students:
New students need to submit a University Application through Cal State Apply and a Department Application to be considered for admission to the program.

  • University Application In Extended Profile: Set Degree Goal to Second Bachelor's Degree and Beyond (e.g. Teaching Credential) and Graduate (e.g. Master's, Doctoral). Select to add the Program listed under East Bay Extension-Reading and Literacy.
  • Department Application

For Current CSUEB Credential Students:
Current Cal State East Bay credential students do not need to complete the University application. Instead, complete the Change of Graduate Objective Form and the Department Application.

Admission Deadlines

In order to secure your spot in Cal State East Bay’s MS in Reading and Literacy program, you should apply as soon as possible to be considered for the next cohort start date. Plan to apply early as space is limited.

Term Application Filing Period Transcripts & Other Documents Due
Spring 2025 TBD TBD

For international students, please refer to our International Application and Documents Deadlines.

Common Questions

Who is eligible to apply for the program?

Credentialed teachers and others interested in improving their knowledge and skills related to literacy. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university is required in order to apply to the master’s degree program.

What courses will I need to take if I completed my credential more than four years ago?
Electives must be post-baccalaureate matriculated courses in education. District programs and professional development workshops are not acceptable unless they are courses taught by Cal State East Bay professors. The program coordinator will need to review and approve elective units. Waivers may be available for teachers who completed their credentials within the last six years.
Is individual advising available?
Yes. Please email to set up an appointment with an advisor.


How much does the program cost?
The total estimated cost of the MS in Reading and Literacy program is $11,550 for students who transfer in nine eligible units from an accredited post-baccalaureate credential program (22 units total) or $12,075 for students who are unable to transfer in units (31 units total). The cost per semester unit is $525. Please note that program tuition fees are subject to change at any time.
What are the financing options available to me?
Financial aid may be available for this program. Visit the Financial Aid Website for more information.
Is a Payment Plan available?
Yes. students are eligible for a payment plan option. For more information, visit Student Financial Services.

Accessibility Services

Does the university provide accessibility services?
Yes, our Accessibility Services department provides academic accommodations and support services to address the individual needs of students with differing abilities, permanent disabilities or temporary disabling conditions. For more information, including program details and contact information, visit

Drop and Withdrawal Policy

What is the Drop, Refund, and Withdrawal Policy?

You may drop courses online using MyCSUEB until the end of the University’s Drop Period. After the Drop Period ends, you must complete a Withdrawal Form with an authorized signature from the department responsible for the course(s) until the Withdrawal Deadline. Please refer to the University website for deadline information. Submit the completed form to

The date that the withdrawal request form is submitted to the University Records Office determines the amount of a refund. Please see the chart to determine the amount refunded.

Search Results

At Cal State East Bay, we pride ourselves on putting students first, from the moment you inquire until you graduate. We hope you've found answers to your questions in this support center, but if not, please get in touch.

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At a Glance

Area of study: Master of Science in Reading and Literacy and Reading and Literacy Added Authorization (RLAA)

Ideal for: Full-time teachers who want convenient and interactive access to an advanced degree program in literacy

Program format: Online

Program length: 1 year

Number of courses: 9 courses (with eligible transfer units)

Tuition cost: $11,550; $525 per semester unit. (Tuition fees are subject to change at any time.)


Please let us know if we can answer any questions about the Reading and Literacy program. Many answers can also be found in our online Support Center.

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