Professional Studies in Education

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Reading - Master of Science in Education - Reading Teacher & Reading Specialist Certifications

The MSED in Reading 5017  (Reading Specialist) is 40 credits including course work thesis and a 1 credit administrative portfolio. The Reading Specialist licensure is required for someone who directs reading programs or works with reading teachers, classroom teachers, administrators, and others as a resource teacher in reading. 

Reading Programs begin exclusively in the fall term with application deadline of August 1st. 

Graduate degree requirements

After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment.
  3. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (non-slash courses).
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval at least two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the thesis requiring approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. For further research/thesis guidelines, see the Office of Graduate Studies.
  6. File a completed "Intent to Graduate" form online via the WINGS Student Center immediately following registration for the final semester or summer term in residence. December graduates and winter intersession should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See #5 above for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)


Applicants for admission to any of the graduate Reading Program tracks (including international students applying to the Master of Science without certification program) must meet all the requirements established for general admission to graduate studies at UWL.  

In addition, applicants to one of the Reading Program tracks with certification (Reading Teacher with Master of Science, Reading Teacher and Specialist with Master of Science, Reading Teacher Add-On Certification) must also submit copies of teaching licenses or certificates. Applicants to these programs who do not have a teaching license or certificate must show proof of:

  • Completion of student teaching or equivalent in pre K-12 schools,
  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree
  • Eligibility to be certified or licensed as a pre K-12 teacher

Reading Teacher (1316) or Reading Specialist (5017) certification is contingent upon:

  • Satisfactory completion of appropriate Reading Program coursework, associated experiences, and artifacts (thesis, portfolio, etc.)
  • 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 pre K-12 level.
Term 1
RDG 601 Literacy and Language Development for Diverse Learners  3 credits
RDG 703 Literacy Assessment and Instruction  3 credits
Term 2
RDG 600 Research Methods in Literacy  3 credits
RDG 712 Critical Issues in Reading Difficulties (RDG 601 req.)  3 credits
RDG 714 Literacy Practicum  1 credit
Term 3
RDG 702 Reading and Literacy in the Content Area  3 credits
RDG 715 Children's and Adolescent Literature 3 credits
Term 4
 RDG 711  Research Methods in Reading (EDS 600 req.)  3 credits
 RDG 714  Literacy Practicum  2 credits
 RDG 799  Master's Thesis  3 credits
Term 5
 RDG TBD  Emergent Literacy  3 credits
 RDG 718  Guiding & Directing a School-Wide  Reading/Literacy Program  3 credits
 CI 695  Supervision of Student Teachers  3 credits
Term 6
 RDG 799  Master's Thesis  3-6 credits
 RDG 719  Administrative Portfolio for Reading Specialist Licensure  1 credit
TOTAL   40 credits

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees vary among UW System campuses, and sometimes among programs within a campus.  For the ME-PD Learning Community program, tuition fees are the same for both in state and out of state residents.  Tuition and fees are determined late summer immediately preceding each academic year.  

Credit Tuition
Single Credit $450.00
8 Credit Semester $3,600.00
7 Credit Semester $3,150.00
6 Credit Semester $2,700.00

There will be a Fall for Education Conference special course fee of $50 in addition to your Fall tuition. Application fee is $56.  Each semester there is also a $25 registration charge and a $2 per credit fee for D2L services.  There is a $38 graduation fee charged your last semester to cover the cost of the diploma, cover and commencement ceremony. 

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 - 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


  • Maximum enrollment is limited to 24 degree seeking students, so apply now!
  • Your completed Application for Graduate Admission secures a seat in the program.
  • Have a group of interested individuals in our program? We will bring a Learning Community to your location.

Step One: Application to Graduate School

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

Reading - Reading Specialist/Teacher Certification (Online) *Degree Option [SED]

  • For Online Reading Learning Community, choose Reading - Reading Specialist/Teacher Certification (Online) *Degree Option [SED] when completing the Graduate Admission form.

For Face-to Face or Blended Learning Communities, the Graduate Admission form does not allow you to note your Learning Community site.  Once you have submitted your application, the ME-PD program will contact you via e-mail within 10 days to confirm your site request and content specific area.

Request ALL OFFICIAL UNDERGRADUATE transcripts from ALL previous post-secondary     institutions attended.  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 the Learning Community (LC) is confirmed. Once the LC is confirmed, registration materials, book lists and other information will be emailed to you a couple weeks prior to the beginning of your first weekend.
Register for your first semester courses using our WINGS system at: