General FAQs

Q: Do I need to hold a teaching certification to enter the program?  

A: You can be accepted provisionally without certification, but you will be unable to register for the capstone experience (LIT 690/693) until you have proof of certification. Be aware of the timeframe required to get your initial certification prior to submitting your application.  

Q: Can I pursue this master’s degree and earn only one certification in a shorter amount of time?  

A: Our program was redesigned in 2018 to provide two certifications (Literacy Specialist in Birth- Grade 6 and Grades 5-12) in an efficient and effective way, making our graduates even more marketable in the teaching profession. The program is no longer intended to be split into individual certifications. Additionally, there is also a new Literacy All Grades (Birth-12) certification in New York State, and the split-level certifications will eventually be phased out. Regardless of the NYS literacy certification you pursue, only one New York state test is required to earn certification.  

Q: How long will it take me to finish this program?  

A: It depends on your decision to study part-time or full-time. Studying part time is ideal for practicing teachers or anyone working a full-time job. This means taking one or two classes at a time until you finish during the summer semester. This can take between two and three years. All classes are offered online, so you can continue to work while completing the degree program.  

Studying full time, you can complete the entire program in one calendar year (e.g., fall, spring, summer). Please see the Sample Course Schedules page for more information. 

Q: When should I contact my advisor?  

A: Advisor information will be provided once you make your deposit acknowledgement with Graduate Admissions. Contact your advisor the moment you receive this information from Graduate Admissions. Not every course is available every semester, so we encourage registration as soon as possible. 

Q: Do I have to study full time?  

A: No. The program is designed to support both part-time and full-time students. We strongly encourage folks who are teaching or working another job full-time to attend the program part-time. 

Contact us

Dr. Gillian Mertens
Assistant Professor
Graduate Program Coordinator
Cornish Hall, Room 1321