MSED - Reading (non-certification track)

Reading - Master of Science in Education (Non-certification)

UW-La Crosse programs offering a licensure or certification in Wisconsin will need to be reviewed by the State Board of Education of any other state in which the student plans on teaching. The individual state education boards determine what courses transfer in to meet license or certification requirements for each state.

The MSED Reading program provides advanced preparation in reading and literacy through graduate coursework that leads to a thesis and Masters Degree. This non-certification program is a minimum of 30 credits, including 21 credits of core course work plus 6 electives in TESOL, and a comprehensive exam or a thesis capstone project.  While open to anyone, this track may be of particular interest to international students with interest in TESOL who are not seeking endorsement for a WI license.

The Fall for Education Conference is the first full weekend in November annually.  The conference is part of learning outcomes for each IPSE program including Educational Leadership, Director of Instruction, MSED Learning Communities, and Reading.  A Special Course Fee of $60.00 is incorporated into fall tuition for the conference to help compensate for meals and breaks. Attendance at the conference is a program requirement.


Program Admission Information

Applicants for admission to the graduate Reading Specialist (5017) Add-on Program must meet all the requirements established for general admission to graduate studies at UWL.  

  • In addition, applicants must have five semesters of full-time regular teaching experience and provide copies of teaching licenses or certificates. 

Proof of FoRT completion must be submitted at time of application. For those without FoRT completion, the FoRT must be completed by the end of their Reading program involvement to be eligible for a Reading Specialist (5017) certification.

After your UW System application has been submitted, you will be sent an email invitation to log into your Applicant Dashboard within 24-48 hours.  You will use the Applicant Dashboard to submit your teacher's license and proof of FoRT completion.

Criminal Background Check:

The WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires that candidates for admission to a teacher education, administration, or pupil services program successfully pass a criminal background check (CBC) as one criterion for admission. By applying for admission to one of these programs, candidates agree to provide the necessary personal information to UWL in order to initiate their CBC and to complete their portion of the process prior to the deadline specified in their admission letter. Teacher candidates are responsible for all costs associated with their criminal background check(s).



Program Curriculum

Term 1
RDG 601 Literacy and Language Development for Diverse Leaders 3 credits
RDG 702 Disciplinary Literacy 3 credits
Term 2
RDG 703 Literacy Assessment & Instruction 3 credits
RDG 715 Children's and Adolescent Literature 3 credits
Term 3

RDG 712

Critical Issues in Reading Difficulties (RDG 703 req.)

3 credits
RDG 714 Reading Teacher Practicum 3 credits
Term 4

RDG 600

Research Methods in Literacy

3 credits
RDG 799 Action Research in Literacy 3 credits
Term 5    
RDG 799 Action Research in Literacy 3 credits
XXX Elective Course (choose from course list below) 3 credits
Elective Courses    
RDG 695 Supervision in Reading 3 credits
RDG 711 Advanced Research Methods in Literacy 3 credits
RDG 716 Special Topics Seminar in Reading Education 1-3 credits 
TSL 500 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Policies and Program Models 4 credits 
TSL 550  TESOL National/International Internship Program 1-3 credits 
TSL 563  Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Methods 3 credits 
TOTAL   30 credits

Program Completion

Candidates must complete all UWL graduate degree requirements.

In addition, eligibility for Reading Teacher (1316) and Reading Specialist (5017) certifications are contingent upon:

  • Cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0
  • Satisfactory completion of MSED Reading Teacher/Reading Specialist program coursework, associated experiences, and artifacts
  • Passing score on the Foundations of Reading Test (FoRT; score of 240 or higher).
  • Successful completion of at least two years of teaching at the PK-12 level for Reading Teacher (1316) certification, and a total of six semesters of successful classroom experience in any grade for Reading Specialist (5017) certification.
  • Reading Specialist (5017) candidates must have earned a Master's degree with an emphasis in Reading.

SCHOLARSHIPS ~ take tuition down to only $396/credit

We are pleased to announce the offering scholarships.jpgof scholarships to our entering students for our programs. Scholarships will be available to students with an undergraduate grade point average (GPA)  minimum of 3.5.  Minimum GPA will change to 3.6 effective summer 2021 term. Scholarship will be in the amount of $54/credit. Since our existing tuition is $450/credit, the applied scholarship to qualified applicants will take this amount down to $396/credit. For new students, we will look at your entering undergraduate GPA at application and use that GPA for qualification standards. After initially qualifying for the scholarship at time of application, a 3.5 GPA must be maintained throughout the program to continue receiving the scholarship each term. Check out further scholarship opportunities here.  Scholarship program contingent upon funding.

Other Fees
A $56 application fee is charged at time of application. There will be a
 Fall for Education Conference special course fee of $60 in addition to your fall tuition. Each semester there is also a $25 registration charge and a $2 per credit fee for the learning management system, Canvas.  There is a $38 graduation fee charged your last semester to cover the cost of the diploma, cover and commencement ceremony. 

The WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires that candidates for admission to a teacher education, administration, or pupil services program successfully pass a criminal background check (CBC) as one criterion for admission. Minimum cost of the CBC is $35.This is not a requirement for any of the ME-PD programs that don't result in licensure.

If you have questions about fees, contact the Cashier's Office or the Office of Admissions.  The Board of Regents reserves the right to change tuition and fees without published notice.

In addition to tuition, book costs will average $100-200 per semester.  Your facilitators will communicate required book lists throughout the semesters. Also budget for school supplies (paper, pens, folders, etc.).

Financial Aid
Financial aid is available for the Director of Instruction program if completed in the term immediately following the completion of the MSED Educational Leadership emphasis program.

Graduate Admission Checklist

  • Maximum enrollment is limited to 24 degree seeking students per cohort, so apply now*!
  • Applicants must meet admission requirements.
  • Have a group of interested individuals in our program? We will bring a Learning Community to your location.

* We are excited to be revising the Reading programs to align with the new licensure laws in laws in WI.  We welcome applications to the Reading programs, and expect to be able to process applications and share admissions decisions by June 1, 2019, pending approval by DPI under the new law.

Step One: Application to Graduate School

Complete the Application for Graduate Admission form and remit a $56 nonrefundable* application fee online at:

*The $56 application fee will be refunded if the class session does not reach the minimum enrollment of 10 students for online or 18 students for blended and face-to-face sessions.

When completing the application, here are some helpful hints to use on certain pages of the application in order to apply for the correct program.

  • Post-Secondary: Choose Graduate Degree (Master, Doctoral, Specialist, Professional)
  • Reason for Applying: Choose Graduate Degree, Licensure or Certificate
  • Graduate Programs: Choose…..
    • Reading – Reading Specialist/Teacher Certification (Online) for the MSED - Reading Teacher (1316) & Reading Specialist (5017) certification program.
    • Reading – Reading Teacher Certification (Online) for the MSED - Reading Teacher (1316) certification program.
    • Reading Teacher Certificate for the Reading Teacher (1316) Certificate program.
    • Reading - Non-Certification Program (Online) for the MSED - Reading (non-certification) program.

Request all official undergraduate transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions attended and have them sent directly to UWL.  This includes transfer credits even if they appear on another school transcript.  If you attended UW-La Crosse, you do not need to request those transcripts.  Please contact each institution individually to request your academic records.  Most universities allow you to request transcripts online.

All official transcripts must be sent directly to:
Graduate Admissions Office
142 Cleary Center
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601

Or by email to:

Step Two: Financial Aid - IF APPLICABLE

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at  You will be asked to insert the Federal School Code for UW-La Crosse which is: 003919

Step Three:  Registering for 1st Semester Courses

Registration opens when admissions decisions are complete and the Learning Community (LC) is confirmed. Once the LC is confirmed, registration materials, book lists and other information will be emailed to you several weeks prior to the beginning of your first course.

Register for your first semester courses using our WINGS system at: