Literacy | Online

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

Tuition & fees

Costs include tuition & fees. See cost details

Credit hours

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

Program duration

Finish in as little as 1 year. 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.
  • Make progress toward a future degree: You can apply course credits from your certificate toward a USM master’s degree.
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to plan effective literacy instruction for your students.
  • 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.
  • Save money with reduced e-tuition for out-of-state students.
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Program requirements

This program is designed to accommodate classroom teachers and special education teachers, educational technicians, and other holders of baccalaureate degrees who do not want to complete all of the requirements for a master’s degree but who wish to obtain a strong foundation in literacy.

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Future degree planning

Interested in earning your Master of Science in Education in Literacy Education in the future? The credits you earn through this certificate program can be applied to our Literacy Education MSEd. Some restrictions may apply.

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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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Our curriculum is aligned with the International Literacy Association’s Professional Standards for Reading Professionals.

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Career opportunities

Students who complete this certificate will be able to plan effective literacy instruction and apply sound reading and writing strategies to enhance learning in the classroom.

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Frequently Asked Questions

In this program, you’ll examine current issues in the teaching of reading and writing, with an emphasis on applications for K-12, adult learners, English Language Learners, and special needs learners.

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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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Admission information: Certificate of Graduate Study in Literacy

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 bachelor’s degree and relevant professional experience. To earn a certificate, students must complete 75 percent of the required coursework at USM, and earn a grade of B (3.0) or better in each course.

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 discussing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address