An educator in a classroom reading a book to a group of children sitting on the floor

Curriculum & Instruction - Reading Education: M.Ed. - Master of Education

Designed for reading practitioners to strengthen their knowledge, instructional skills and abilities for effective teaching of reading.

At a Glance

Program Results

M.Ed. - Master of Education

Curriculum & Instruction—Reading Education

Program Type

  • Full Time
  • Part Time


  • Online

Estimated Length

2-4 years

Application Deadline

Spring entry: December 1

Summer entry:

  • February 1 (priority deadline)
  • May 1 (final deadline)

Fall entry:

  • March 1 (priority deadline)
  • July 1 (final deadline)



About This Program

  • The program is designed to develop knowledge about science-based reading instruction and effective and efficient reading assessment and instruction at both the elementary and secondary levels.
  • The program also develops students as literacy leaders in their schools and districts and prepares individuals for literacy work in community colleges, industry, adult education programs, commercial education centers, and private practice.

In the reading education program students will:

  • Understand science-based reading instruction and the cognitive underpinnings of reading development
  • Learn how to implement evidence-based reading assessment and instruction
  • Understand the broad range of reading profiles for students in school settings and how to address heterogeneous learning needs
  • Understand how to use data to drive instructional decision making
  • Develop the ability to integrate reading research and theory into practice
  • Learn to lead a school site in the implementation of evidence-based core literacy instruction, as well as supplemental instruction for students who have difficulties learning how to read

Reading Specialist Endorsement

  • Though it is not a graduation requirement for the M.Ed. in Curriculum Instruction–Reading Education program, many students wish to add the Commonwealth of Virginia's K12 reading specialist endorsement to their existing teaching license. View process on Reading Specialist Endorsement, below.

Program Overview

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements that apply specifically to this program are listed below:

Along with their online application form, all applicants must submit the following as part of the online application: 

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, verifying proof of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution (or international equivalent).

  • A current resume or CV.

  • A short personal statement detailing the ways in which the applicant believes the program will help them meet their professional goals.

  • An academic writing sample (review the writing sample guidelines tab on this page).

  • Contact information for at least two people who can act as references for the applicant, including at least one direct supervisor.

Visit our Graduate Admission page for the full admission process.


Direct Admission for Current UVA Students
Current UVA students are eligible for the Direct Admission option if they have a minimum GPA of 3.3 and have completed one or more of the required courses. Review the Direct Admission page for more information.

Guaranteed Admission for UVA Undergraduate
For UVA B.S.Ed. graduates, the UVA School of Education and Human Development offers a guaranteed admission option for recent teacher education graduates who meet eligibility requirements. Review the Guaranteed Admission page for more information. This option also requires a simplified application.

Graduate Admission

Application for admission is made to the School of Education and Human Development Office of Admission & Enrollment. For more information about the graduate admission process, please visit our Graduate Admission page.


To learn more about specific courses taken as part of the completion of this degree, visit the Graduate Record website. These webpages represent the official repository for academic program requirements. A link to these publications can be found in the Curriculum Information section at the bottom of this page.

The M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Reading Education is a 30-hour degree. Teachers in Virginia who wish to add the Commonwealth of Virginia’s K12 reading specialist endorsement to their teaching license must take an additional three credit hours (3) in one of our summer reading clinics (degree + 3 hours). The degree plus 3 is a state-approved curriculum for preparing teachers for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s K12 reading specialist endorsement. 

M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction - Reading Education Courses

  • EDIS 7700 (3 units) Reading Foundations for Diverse Learners
  • EDIS 7720 (3 units) Understanding the Code: Phonics, Phonological Awareness, Orthography
  • EDIS 7710 (3 units) Reading and Writing Across the Content Areas
  • EDIS 5235 (1 unit) Evidence-Based Practice for Students with Dyslexia
  • EDIS 7730 (2 units) Reading Assessment and Data-Based Decision Making
  • EDIS 5730 (3 units) Diagnosis & Remediation I: Word-Based Assessment and Intervention
  • EDIS 5740 (3 units) Diagnosis & Remediation II: Meaning-Based Assessment and Intervention
  • EDIS 5425 (3 units) Teaching Writing
  • EDIS 7760 (3 units) Reading Development, Assessment, and Interventions with Special Populations
  • EDIS 7751 (3 units) Literacy Leadership and Coaching
  • Choose between EDIS 7310 Children’s Literature and EDIS 5410 Young Adult Literature (3 units)

Added Clinical Course for VA K12 Reading Specialist Endorsement

EDIS 7740 (3 units) Practicum in Reading Intervention

Note: If you are planning to add the VA K12 Reading Specialist Endorsement please see the Reading Specialist Endorsement tab for additional requirements.

Culminating Experience

M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Reading Education students need to pass a comprehensive examination in order to graduate. The comprehensive exam consists of a series of multiple-choice questions and case studies. Students will complete the exam during their last semester of coursework.

Reading Education Course Descriptions

Information on courses that are part of the M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction-Reading Education curriculum can be found on the UVA Graduate Record website.

Writing Sample Guidelines

The writing sample is designed for two purposes:

  1. To demonstrate your ability to work in an academic graduate program; and
  2. To help us get to know you better by learning about your background knowledge and interests within the field of reading education.

The piece of writing you submit must be your own original and independent work. You may adapt your sample from work that you have already written for another purpose.

If you have questions about the writing sample, please reach out to the contact listed further down on this page.

Compose an essay that explores your position on a current issue in the field of reading or writing education. You should choose a topic that is relevant to your work with students or teachers. You may choose a broad topic (e.g., the role of RTI/MTSS in preventing reading difficulties, the importance of explicit and systematic instruction) or you may choose to focus on a more specific issue (e.g., the role of comprehension strategies vs. background knowledge in comprehension instruction, benefits of using decodable texts in phonics instruction).

Your essay should briefly describe the issue and clearly espouse a point of view. You must support your viewpoint with appropriate vocabulary, details, and sources.


  1. Your essay should be a total of 3-4 pages long (not including reference list).
  2. Your essay should be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font.
  3. You should use a formal writing style, such as APA or MLA, to guide your headers and citations.
  4. You should cite a minimum of 4 sources within the body of the paper and as a reference list at the end. You should select quality resources that are credible and appropriate for your topic. You may choose to include one seminal resource that may be more dated, but otherwise your resources should be recent (generally from about the past 10 years or so).

Commonwealth of Virginia's K-12 Reading Specialist Endorsement Process

After completing the academic master’s degree (30 credits) and the clinical course (3 credits), three years of successful teaching during which time the teaching of reading was a major responsibility, and receiving a passing score on the Reading Specialist Praxis test (#5302), a graduate can apply for the commonwealth’s K12 reading specialist endorsement to be added to their teaching license. Please note that the M.Ed. in Reading Education program is NOT a route to obtaining an initial teaching license. 

Process for Adding the Endorsement:

  • If you are currently employed by a Virginia educational agency, please work directly with your HR department to submit the paperwork for adding an endorsement to your license after you have completed your degree. You will need two things from UVA to complete this paperwork: 1) an official transcript and 2) a College Verification Form (CVF). Please wait until your degree is conferred to request these items from UVA.
  • You can obtain an official transcript from the UVA Registrar. You may request a paper copy or electronic copy be sent to the VDOE.
  • To obtain the CVF, email [email protected] with your full name (as it appears on your license) and date of birth. Once the dean’s office has confirmed you have completed the necessary coursework, the CVF will be emailed back to you along with directions for what to send the VDOE.

Note: The Virginia K12 reading specialist endorsement requires applicants to take a Child Psychology or Human Growth and Development course. This psychology course is not required for the M.Ed. program but is required for a Commonwealth of Virginia teaching license and students who have already taken this course as a part of their initial licensure program do not need to take another one. Students who do not have the requisite psychology course on their undergraduate or graduate transcript will need to fulfill this requirement in order to add the endorsement.

Additional Program Details

In 2024, the UVA School of Education & Human Development is ranked #4 in curriculum and instruction for online graduate schools of education in the U.S. by the U.S. News and World Report.

The school also jumped up 18 spots to tie for second best online graduate education program in the country.

M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction-Reading Education News

Program Faculty

Ottilie Austin

Ottilie Austin

  • Associate Professor
Colby Hall

Colby Hall

  • Assistant Professor
Lauren Hauser

Lauren Hauser

  • Reading Education and Outreach Specialist
Tisha Hayes

Tisha Hayes

  • Professor of Education
  • Director, McGuffey Reading Services
Emma Pearson

Emma Pearson

  • Reading Outreach Program Manager

Emily Solari

  • Edmund H. Henderson Professor of Education
Susan Thacker-Gwaltney

Susan Thacker-Gwaltney

  • Assistant Professor

Contact Us


As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)). Although California does not participate in SARA, it allows students to enroll in out-of-state programs.

Upon completion of the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program at the UVA School of Education and Human Development, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state.

Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).