Literacy Education | Online

Program Type
Certificate of Advanced Study (Online)
Certificate of Advanced Study
Mode of Study

Tuition per credit hour

$460 for in-state and
$494 for out-of-state residents. See details and other costs

Credit hours

30 required credit hours. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Program duration

Finish in as few as 2 years. Explore program requirements


Apply for fall, spring, or summer term. View application process & deadlines

Program Highlights

  • Balance your schedule while earning your certificate: Our fully online program allows you to complete coursework from wherever you are.
  • Earn your Literacy Specialist license (092) from the state of Maine.
  • Study with full-time faculty with doctoral degrees in Literacy, Language, and Culture — and with part-time faculty who are experienced members of the professional education community.
  • Strengthen your research skills and positively impact your school system through a long-term applied research project of your choosing.
  • Practice and enhance your literacy instruction skills by working with K-8 students in an optional summer reading and writing practicum.
  • Save money with reduced e-tuition for out-of-state students.
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Program requirements

The Post-Master’s Certificate of Advanced Study in Literacy Education is designed to meet the needs of classroom teachers, administrators, and other educators who want to pursue advanced graduate study in literacy education and related areas.

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Dedicated faculty

Our faculty are actively involved with presenting work at national conferences, publishing their work in journals, serving as members of state education associations and committees, and engaging with the Southern Maine Writing Project.

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Literary education practicum

Work in person or remotely with K-8 students enrolled in a Summer Reading and Writing Workshop aimed at improving their literacy skills. While developing your instructional abilities, you’ll empower your students by listening to their concerns, understanding their needs, and illuminating the challenges they face.

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If you’d like to earn your literacy specialist license (092) through the State of Maine, we’ll work with you to tailor your courses to meet requirements.

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Career Opportunities

Strengthen your current role with deeper literacy knowledge and expertise; or prepare to serve as a Literacy Specialist, Literacy Teacher, Literacy Coach, or Curriculum Specialist.

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Frequently Asked Questions

In this program, you’ll be able to design your coursework and projects while working closely with a faculty advisor.

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Next steps

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

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Meet us

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Admission information: Certificate of Advanced Study in Literacy Education

Application deadlines & program start dates

Choose from 6 start dates. We accept applications on a rolling basis and review them continuously.

SessionApplication deadlineProgram start date
Fall term: Session 2October 4, 2023October 23, 2023
Spring term: Session 1December 27, 2023January 16, 2024
Spring term: Session 2February 28, 2024March 18, 2024
Summer term: Session 1April 24, 2024May 13, 2024
Summer term: Session 2June 12, 2024July 1, 2024
Fall term: Session 1August 15, 2024September 3, 2024
Fall term: Session 2October 9, 2024October 28, 2024

Criteria for admission include successful completion of a master’s degree, strong recommendations, documentation of excellent written communication skills, and clarity and strength of professional goals. The applicant must also have attained teacher certification. Applicants must hold a master’s degree from an accredited college or university. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are up to the discretion of the admitting program.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee:
    • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
    • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Personal statement: A brief essay (500-750 words) which includes the applicant’s reason(s) for pursuing advanced graduate study; the proposed focus of the applicant’s program, including specific courses if known; and an explanation of how the proposed program fits the applicant’s personal and professional goals.
  • Proof of teacher certification: See details below.

About proof of teacher certification

  • The evidence should be a copy of your teacher certification from the state in which you are certified. Teacher certification must be at the level of provisional or professional, and not at the level of conditional certification.
  • This program requires that students are certified teachers at the time of admission and for the duration of the program.
  • Students seeking an exemption to this requirement must write a request for a waiver that includes both an explanation and justification for the request.
  • Submit your proof of teacher certification or request for a waiver along with your application materials to

Transfer Policies

Previously completed graduate courses may be approved for transfer into a graduate program within the Literacy, Language, and Culture programs if credits for the courses were earned no more than five years prior to matriculation, with grades of B or better.

For previous work completed through the University of Maine System, up to twelve credits may be accepted if the courses meet the requirements above and are equivalent to core courses or elective courses in the relevant USM program of study. Up to six graduate credits completed at institutions outside of the University of Maine System may be accepted if the courses meet the requirements above and are equivalent to core courses or elective courses in the relevant USM program of study. A syllabus for each course submitted for transfer credit from outside the University of Maine System must be provided upon application.

Transfer of more than twelve University of Maine System credits or six non-University of Maine System credits may be approved by the department chair and faculty. These credits may include a certificate of graduate study program courses and professional development in-service graduate courses. Requests for the transfer of credits taken more than five years prior to matriculation may also be evaluated and approved by the department chair and faculty.

International student instructions

View additional application requirements

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address