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 Masters degree. Change their lives.

Cal State East Bay's Master of Science in Reading and Literacy 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

Schools are increasingly 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. 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 these challenges.

Empower students to face reading challenges with confidence.

Occupational Trends

11% Growth

Employment of instructional coordinators (an educational category that includes reading specialists) is expected to increase by 11% from 2016 to 2026.
— Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

$63,750 Salary

The median annual wage for instructional coordinators was $63,750 in 2017.
— Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

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, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to drive advancements in literacy education and improve learning environments for students in your school or 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 Instruction Graduate

Program Objectives

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

Serve as a leader by providing guidance in teaching, assessment, and remediation.

Foster reading and writing skills in students at various states of literacy.

Recognize and adapt to social, cultural, and linguistic factors that contribute to student development.

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 focus 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.* We offer Spring and Summer admissions.

*The program totals 30 units. One year completion is for students who transfer in nine eligible units from an accredited post-baccalaureate credential program. Students who are unable to transfer in units may be required to take an additional three courses, or more, if they do not have the required number of transfer 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 3

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 Reading and Literacy 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.

Dr. Denise Fleming

Professor & Program Coordinator

As the first person in my family to complete high school-let alone go to college-I know the power of literacy and how a single teacher can change the entire trajectory of a student's life.

Dr. Denise, as her students call her, brings more than 35 years of K-12 and university teaching experience to her work with graduate students. Her teaching and scholarship are grounded in social justice, diversity, and practical applications of theoretical and evidence-based knowledge.

Dr. Fleming completed her doctoral degree at UC Berkeley. Her accomplishments include serving President of the California Reading Association, Chair of the CSU system-wide Reading Task Force, Co-director of an $800,000 literacy-based school-university partnership grant, and three terms as Chair of the CSU system-wide standing committee on Academic Preparation and Education Programs (APEP).

Dr. Fleming holds several credentials, including Multiple Subject, two Single Subjects, a specialist credential in Reading and Language Arts, a supplemental authorization in Mathematics; and the Cross-cultural, Language and Academic Development (CLAD) Certificate). She is multilingual and has taught in bilingual and ESL settings.

Dr. Fleming's areas of scholarly interest include literacy across the life spectrum, teacher development in diverse settings, assessment, higher education governance, second language pedagogy, and technology applications in educational settings. Dr. Fleming is also an educational consultant in private practice.

Dr. Linda Smetana


As a Title I reading specialist, literacy leader and special educator for over 30 years, Dr. Linda Smetana brings a wealth of expertise to Cal State East Bay. She serves as a Professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Psychology and as the Coordinator for the Education Specialist Mild Moderate Disabilities Credential and Master’s Programs.

Throughout her career, Dr. Smetana has collaborated with parents, teachers, administrators and paraprofessionals to develop children’s language, literacy and social skills. Her current work incorporates targeted instruction to accelerate the learning of students who are not demonstrating academic progress.

Dr. Smetana began her career in education as an intern at the Harold Jones Child Study Center at UC Berkeley. She also served as the lead teacher in a demonstration early childhood preschool for young children with a variety of academic, language, social, and emotional needs. In this capacity, she developed a model program for young children and their families.

She has presented at national and international conferences and has published in several professional journals. She is active in professional organizations including the Council for Exceptional Children, National Association for the Education of Young Children, International Reading Association, Literacy Research Association, and the California Association of Professors of Special Education.

 Swipe left or right for the next/previous instructor
Dr. Denise Fleming

Dr. Denise FlemingProfessor & Program Coordinator

Dr. Linda Smetana

Dr. Linda SmetanaProfessor

Ready to Apply?

New students complete the University application at Cal State Apply and the Teacher Education Department Application.

Current Cal State East Bay credential students do not complete the University application. Instead, complete the Change of Graduate Objective Form and the Department Application.

Gather Your Documents*

  1. Statement of purpose.
  2. Three letters of recommendation.
  3. One set of all official transcripts from all schools attended.
  4. Two sets of official bachelor’s degree-bearing transcripts. One set will be sent to Graduate Admissions while the other will be retained in the department file.
  5. A copy of a valid Multiple Subject or Single Subject Credential.
  6. Official CBEST score report (you should also provide a copy of the report along with a self-addressed envelope if you would like your official scores returned to you).

* Some or all of these documents may not be required if you are a current or former Cal State East Bay Credential student.

You can find a detailed list of application documents, including the department application form, in the Graduate Reading Program Handbook.

Enrollment 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 Semester 2019 8/21/18 – 12/1/18 12/6/2018
Summer Session 2019 2/1/19 – 4/1/19 4/15/19

Common Questions

Who is eligible to apply for the program?
Credentialed teachers are eligible to apply.

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. Dr. Denise Fleming, 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 contact Dr. Denise Fleming, program coordinator, to make an appointment.

How much does the program cost?
The total estimated cost of the MS in Reading and Literacy program is $10,017; $477 per semester unit starting with Fall 2018. 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.

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 

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: $10,017; $477 per semester unit starting Fall 2018. (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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