Reading takes time, and reading with understanding takes effort. According to the most-recent National Assessment of Educational Progress report, only 72% of high school graduates in the United States have the basic literacy skills necessary to be successful. Be part of the movement to increase literacy rates among high school graduates by earning your master’s degree in reading. Our 36-credit hour master’s program prepares you for a career in various educational settings and further graduate coursework and research. Gain greater knowledge of curriculums, instruction and literacy dynamics facing students in a dynamic global arena by earning your master’s degree in reading from A&M-Commerce.

Where It Is Offered Mesquite, Online
Duration 1.5 to 2 years
Foreign Language Yes for MA
Delivery Fully Online
Total Credit Hours 36 hours
Thesis Requirements Thesis is optional for MA
People talking at a classroom table.


Focus Your Passion

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers four tracks for a master’s degree in reading. Discover which reading program works best for you and your career goals.

Master of Arts (MA) in Reading: Thesis Track

Is there a specific topic that you would like to investigate while producing a publication-quality paper? Then, our master of arts thesis track is your answer. During our 36-credit hour program, you'll use the knowledge you gain to develop research skills and explore your chosen topic in Language Arts. This track prepares Texas certified teachers, and out-of-state certified teachers to explore literacy development and instruction more deeply. At the completion of this program, you will have written a thesis on a literacy topic of your choice. This track is often preferred by those in the humanities field. It has a twelve-hour language requirement.

Master of Arts (MA) in Reading: Non-thesis Track

Are you interested in helping students improve their literacy skills? Our master of arts non-thesis track allows you to develop your expertise in literacy development and instruction. Our 36-credit hour program gives you the flexibility to investigate an interesting trend in the field of literacy while deepening your understanding of its importance and of current effective pedagogy. This track prepares Texas certified teachers or out-of-state certified teachers to enhance their understanding of literacy development and instruction. This program is preferred by students in the humanities field who may not wish to write a thesis at the completion of their program, but who would still like to become more skilled literacy instructors. This track has a twelve-hour language requirement. Additionally, successful completion of a comprehensive exam is required of all students within this program.

Master of Science (MS) in Reading: Non-thesis Track

If you are without a Texas teaching certification, you'll find this track to be a perfect entry point into the world of literacy development and instruction. This 36-credit hour program allows out-of-state certified teachers and non-certified teachers who have an interest in working with and for students to increase their understanding of literacy development and instruction. This track is often preferred by those who have out-of-state teaching certifications and are also seeking Texas Teaching Licensing Reciprocity in order to continue their teaching careers in Texas schools. Additionally, this track is for teachers from other states who would like to continue their teaching careers in their own state, while expanding their understanding of literacy issues, literacy development, and effective literacy instructional strategies designed to accelerate student learning. Finally, this track is also preferred by those who do not wish to seek a teaching certification but would like to expand their own understanding of literacy instruction and learning. Successful completion of a comprehensive exam is required of all students within this track. No foreign language coursework is required for this non-thesis track.

Master of Education (MEd) in Reading: Non-thesis Track

Are you a current Texas certified educator? Enhance your literacy knowledge and teaching skills with our 36-credit hour Master of Education track. Increase your knowledge of how to serve striving students and diverse learners in the areas of reading and writing. This program will allow you to increase your literacy expertise so that you may provide responsive, strategic, and engaging literacy experiences for students in the following areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Additionally, you will experience authentic writing practices and learn to replicate those practices in your classroom. Successful completion of a comprehensive exam is required of all students within this program. Completing the requirements of this track prepares you to become a Certified Reading Specialist in the State of Texas.


Many children struggle with reading at or above grade level and often need differentiated individualized and small group instruction within their classrooms. You can gain the skills and knowledge to help improve their literacy abilities within our Reading Specialist Certification Program. As a Reading Specialist, you will assess, diagnose, and instruct striving and diverse learners, in the areas of reading and writing. Reading Specialists work alongside Pre-K-12 classroom teachers, and other school specialists to select and create appropriate literacy resources in order to promote literacy development. They often partner with other educators on their campus to provide targeted literacy instruction. Finally, they may model effective literacy practices for teachers, collaborating with them to ensure that students have developmentally appropriate, engaging, and effective literacy learning experiences.

Available as part of the MED in Reading only. Not available with MS or MA in Reading or other masters programs.

Supplemental Certifications

Learn about specialized topics from our experienced faculty! Available courses include those that can help prepare you for supplemental certification exams. Once you hold a Texas Teaching Certificate, you may then take additional tests to add any of these supplements to your certificate.

  • Bilingual Education – Spanish
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Gifted and Talented
  • Special Education

Note: These supplemental certificates are optional.

What you will learn

A master’s degree in reading offers the opportunity to:

  • Understand interrelated components of reading across all developmental stages
  • Gain expertise in reading instruction at all grade levels
  • Assess writing based on the needs and abilities of the class and individual
  • Research classroom strategies for student comprehension, development and expression
  • Learn to assess students for reading problems and enhance classroom instruction
Woman standing in classroom with a laptop.


Gain the recognition you deserve by earning your master's degree in reading. Many ISDs reward educators who pursue higher learning with salary increases and job openings. Our graduate program also opens opportunities to make a difference at the administrative level.

Career Possibilities and Current Median Salaries

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher
Elementary, Middle and High School Principal
Instructional Coordinator
Middle School Teacher
Postsecondary Teacher

US DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018

Potential Employers

Local ISDs often seek after our graduates. Job placement and satisfaction is ranked highly in our education program. These are just a few examples of districts where our students found employment. Now's your chance to discover where you belong.

Woman standing in a classroom holding books.


Our flexible program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals. We offer our degrees fully online or face to face at our Mesquite Metroplex Center.

Featured Courses

Graduate Program Cost


Tuition and fees for graduate students taking nine credit hours are $3,669 for Texas residents and $7,341 for non-residents.

Back to menu

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS International/Domestic Tabs


Back to menu

Reading :: Domestic Student Requirements


Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Application Requirements

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Reading Reading Specialist Certification can be pursued through this degree option, but is not automatic or required.

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Possess a 2.75 GPA (overall or on the last 60 hrs).
  • Possess a valid Texas Teacher Certification (in any field).
  • Submit all teaching service records (must show documentation of two years of teaching in Texas by the completion of the M.Ed. program for Reading Specialist Certification).
  • No GRE Requirement
  • Completed Graduate School Application and Texas Certification documents
  • See step 2 below for Reading Specialist Certification program requirements beyond those of the Graduate School.

Master of Arts (MA) in ReadingThesis and Non-Thesis Track

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Possess a 2.75 GPA (overall or on the last 60 hrs).
  • Possess a valid Teacher Certification (in any field or state).
  • No GRE Requirement
  • Completed Graduate School Application

Master of Science (MS) in ReadingNon-Thesis*

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Possess a 2.75 GPA (overall or on the last 60 hrs).
  • Completed Graduate School Application
  • You do not need to submit test scores if you have a valid teaching certificate. Email a copy of your valid teaching certificate to [email protected]
    • If you do not have a teaching certificate, you may submit your scores for one of the following tests:
      • PPR, ExCet or TExES
      • MS and MA applicants can submit PACT or PRAXIS scores in place of GRE scores.
    • Submit official General Test GRE scores
      • Request that your GRE®scores be sent to Texas A&M University-Commerce (6188) when you register for the test. If you have already taken the GRE®, you can order additional score reports.

If you are seeking an M.S. in Reading, you may switch to an M.Ed. in Reading once you have earned a valid Texas Teaching Certification. The certification must be earned before you apply to the practicum course, completed during the final semester in the program.

Your Path to Becoming a Lion

Step 1: Submit Graduate School Application and Documents

Submit Application

Submit Application

  • Select “Create a new graduate school admissions application.”
  • Select “Texas A&M University-Commerce (Commerce)” as your “Target University.”

  • Select one of the following as your “Major”
    • Reading, MED for certified teachers
    • Reading, MS seeking initial teacher certification as part of the master’s degree
    • Reading, MA seeking initial teacher certification as part of the master’s degree
  • Pay the $50 application fee.

*Applicants for the MS/MA in Reading must also apply for the Post Baccalaureate Teacher/Alternative Certification program.

Wait to receive an application confirmation email before proceeding to the next step.

  • After you submit your application, the Graduate School will send a confirmation email within two business days to the personal email account you used for ApplyTexas.

Provisional Status

After you submit your application, you may be granted provisional status, which means you can enroll in one semester of courses. You will not be eligible for financial aid until you submit all of your documents and are accepted into the program.

Submit Documents

Submit the following documents after you receive an application confirmation email.

Official Transcripts

Contact your previous institution(s) and request that they send your official transcripts to [email protected].

  • We recommend that you request transcripts for all of your academic work.

All international transcripts must be evaluated and the evaluation submitted to the Graduate School.

We accepts evaluations sent directly from the following Agencies.

  • If a normal evaluation is submitted, official original transcripts with all marksheets will still need to be submitted.
  • If a WES ICAP or equivalent is submitted, we will not need the official transcripts to be submitted separately.

Postal Alternative

If your institution is unable to submit a digital copy, hard copies may be mailed to:

Texas A&M University-Commerce
Attn: Graduate School
PO Box 3011
Commerce, Texas 75429-3011

Statement of Goals

Describe your preparation for graduate work and your academic interests and goals in no more than 500 words.

Resume or CV

Submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) which includes your academic and professional history and achievements.

Test Scores or Teaching Certificate

You do not need to submit test scores if you have a valid teaching certificate. Email a copy of your valid teaching certificate to [email protected]

If you do not have a teaching certificate, you may submit your scores for one of the following tests:

  • PPR, ExCet or TExES
  • MS and MA applicants can submit PACT or PRAXIS scores in place of GRE scores.

Submit official General Test GRE scores

  • Request that your GRE®scores be sent to Texas A&M University-Commerce (6188) when you register for the test. If you have already taken the GRE®, you can order additional score reports.

Look for application updates in myLeo > Apps > Check Application Status

  • Once an admission decision has been made, you will receive an email to your student email account at myLeo > Apps > Leomail.

Step 2. Apply to the Certification OfficeOnly M.Ed. applicants may apply to the Certification Office to have the Reading Specialist Certification included in their program of study

Once your application to the Graduate School is complete, you can submit your Reading Specialist Certification Program Application right away using TK20. If you have any questions, you can email [email protected].

Pay the certification and assessment fees

Gather Required Documents

You will need to have the following documents ready for upload in order to submit the application:

  • Certification fee receipt
  • TEA Assessment fee receipt
  • Resume
  • Teaching service record
    • A minimum of one year of experience is required. The application will not submit if this required attachment is missing.
  • Standard Texas Teaching Certificate
    • Note: Candidates on emergency permits, intern or probationary certificates will not be admitted.
  • Official transcripts from the Graduate Office will be reviewed by the certification office.
    • Applicants must meet one of the following GPA requirements for certification admission:
      • Minimum 2.75 overall GPA; or
      • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a conferred master’s degree; or
      • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 hours
    • Please note that certification admission requirements may differ from those of the Graduate School and are separate requirements.
If applicable:
  • TEA Transfers
    • If you have previously been admitted to another educator preparation program for reading specialist certification.
    • Request that a completed TEA transfer form be sent from your previous program to [email protected].
  • Transcripts from outside the United States
    • Contact [email protected] for any questions about TEA requirements for transcripts from outside the United States.
    • If your official transcripts are from institutions outside the United States and the country of origin is not exempt by TEA, send the following documentation to [email protected]:
      • A course-by-course evaluation from a TEA-approved Foreign Credential Evaluation Service
      • Minimum scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT). Please note that TOEFL scores are only valid for a period of two years. Required minimum scores are 24 for Speaking, 22 for Listening, 22 for Reading and 21 for Writing.
        • As of 3/4/2022, a valid standard Texas educator certificate will be accepted in lieu of TOEFL iBT scores.

Create a TK20 Account

  • Go to
  • Scroll down and click “Admissions”
  • Select “Click here to create your account.”
  • Complete the “Create Applicant Account” form.
  • Note: You will be creating a password for this account.
  • Store the password you create in a secure location so you can refer to it later.
  • After completing the “Create Applicant Account” form, TK20 will provide your username.
  • Store your TK20 username and password in a secure location so you can refer to them later.
    • You will use the username to log in to review your admission application once submitted.

Fill out the Reading Specialist Admission Application

  • Log into your TK20 account
    • Click on the “back to login” link.
    • Enter your username and password.
    • Click the green “Log Into Your Account” button.
  • Click on the “Create New Application” button.
  • Select “Reading Specialist” application
  • Click the “Next” button.
  • Complete the application.

Upload Documents

  • Upload documents by clicking on the “+ Select File(s)” button for the item you are uploading.
  • Once you have completed all fields in the application, click the “Submit” button.
  • Look for an email from TK20 confirming your submission.

Check Your Application Status

To check your application status:

  1. Log in to your TK20 Student Admissions account
  2. On the “Home” tab, locate your application under “Recent Messages”
  3. Click on the application.
  4. If you are admitted, the message will indicate your application was “Admitted”
  5. If you lack admission requirements, the message will indicate “Denied.”
    • Click on “Review Document” to view your deficiencies and reason(s) for denial.

Sign the Letter of Invitation

Once accepted, please sign and return the “letter of invitation.”

Center for Educator Certification and Academic Services
Texas A&M University-Commerce
P.O. Box 3011
Commerce, TX 75429-3011

Step 3. Departmental Review

  • Submit departmental interview questions responses for review

Step 4. Apply for Financial Assistance

  • Apply for scholarships and graduate assistantships once you are admitted.
  • Apply for financial aid by submitting a FAFSA and sending it to school code 003565.
  • Contact your financial aid advisor with any questions.

Step 5. Register for Classes

Once registration opens and you are eligible to enroll, your graduate enrollment specialist is here to help you complete registration.

Contact your graduate enrollment specialist if you have any questions regarding your degree plan and registration.

Back to menu

Reading :: International Student Admission Requirements

If you are an H1B or H4 applicant, please contact the Graduate School for details at [email protected].

Note: This program is not available to international students.

Back to menu

we are here to help!

Faculty speaking with students while holding a whiteboard with the word swarm

Course Delivery and Resources

Receive your master’s degree in reading online. Our flexible programs are designed to meet the needs of working professionals and current educators. Study at your own convenience, wherever that may be!

Masters Reading Program Faculty

Contact Us



Back to menu

Related Degree Programs

Navigate This Page