Literacy Education

Frequently Asked Questions

The Literacy Education program at the University of Southern Maine (USM) offers an online Master’s of Education (MSEd), Certificates of Graduate Study in Literacy Education and Literacy Coaching, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Literacy Education. We also welcome educators who are seeking to enroll in individual courses to gain CEUs or to advance their skill sets in literacy education.

If you don’t see an answer to your question below, please contact us.

Can I take courses before applying to, and/or before being admitted to, the certificate or master’s degree programs?

  • As a non-matriculated student, you can complete up to two courses before submitting your application, and an additional two courses after submitting your application. We recommend that you speak with program faculty before registering for courses. Contact Us.

Is the GRE required for admission to the master’s degree program?

Can I apply credits earned in the Certificate of Graduate Study to the master’s degree program?

Where can I find application requirements and deadlines?

Do the programs lead to licensure as a Literary Specialist?

  • The MSEd in Literacy Education leads to Maine’s literacy specialist license (092)
    • This program is designed for certified educators.
  • The Certificate of Advanced Studies in Literacy Education can lead to Maine’s Literacy Specialist license (092) through appropriate selection of courses.
    • This self-designed program is ideal for classroom teachers, administrators, and other educators. 

Do the programs lead to teacher certification?

  • Our Literacy Education degree and certificate programs are advanced programs and do not lead to initial teacher certification. The programs are primarily intended for classroom teachers, literacy teachers, and other experienced educators interested in the field of literacy.  

Is the program state-approved?

  • Our MSEd in Literacy Education is approved by the Maine State Board of Education and the Maine Department of Education, recognizing that we strive for continuous improvement and utilize the outcomes of new knowledge, practices, and technologies.

Are there any online courses?

  • Our Masters in Literacy Education program, Certificate of Graduate Study, and Certificate of Advanced Study are offered in an online format. Some courses are offered online live, which may include one or two synchronous (Zoom) meetings. Most of the courses are asynchronous (no synchronous meetings via Zoom).  

How long does it take to complete the program?

  • The master’s degree and each certificate can be completed in as little as two years.
  • With six sessions per year, we allow teachers to begin their program at the most convenient time for them.
  • Upon acceptance into the program, students have 5 years to complete all requirements. Students are also required to maintain continuous enrollment upon acceptance in the program. Therefore, a student must take at least six credit hours per academic year to remain on active status.

I’d like to enroll in just one course to obtain CEUs. Where can I access future course schedules?

  • You can view course offerings for the upcoming semester through our course search tool.
  • Courses planned for future semesters are available on our Course Plan.

I’d like to plan out my schedule in advance. Where can I access course offerings for future semesters?

  • Courses planned for future semesters are available on our Course Plan.

Where can I learn more about the practicum?

Are there scholarships and financial aid available?

  • Yes. The University offers a number of graduate student scholarships in addition to financial aid packages. Learn more about scholarships and financial aid.

Are there graduate assistantship positions available?

  • Yes. Our Office of Graduate Studies coordinates more than 100 graduate assistantships each year. Learn more about graduate assistantships.