Which Language and Literacy Program is Right for Me?



Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

Nora Peterman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy/Urban Teacher Education
Language and Literacy Programs Coordinator
312 Education Bldg

Office Hours
Mon.-Fri. 8 am – 5 pm
309 Education Bldg

Prepare for a career as a reading or literacy specialist, or optimize your knowledge and skills to become a more effective classroom teacher and leader.

Master of Arts in Language and Literacy

Students in the MA degree program develop specialized knowledge, strategies, and skills that promote literacy development and academic achievement for all learners. This practitioner-focused program prepares students to interpret research on literacy instruction, assessment, and program development in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts. Students apply their knowledge in home, school, and community-based field experiences.  Program curriculum promotes collaborative inquiry and innovation, equity, and professional leadership and advocacy.

Student reading aloud to teacher

Flexible and Personalized Program Structure

  • Flexible program delivery meets the needs of busy teachers and professionals: All courses are available online, and no campus visits are required.
  • Program includes 30-36 credit hours, and includes an option to earn Missouri K-12 Special Reading Certification – without additional time or expense.
  • You can choose to take classes on a full or part time basis. Most students take two classes per semester and earn their degree in under two years.
  • Your advisor will work with you to design a program of study that meets your individual interests and professional goals.

Who benefits from this degree?

The MA in Language and Literacy primarily serves reading teachers and other educators who want to transition to a career as a reading or literacy specialist. It is also designed for classroom teachers, administrators, and education professionals who want to obtain specialized knowledge and advanced skills in reading, writing and literacy development. This includes:

  • Reading Specialists
  • Literacy coaches
  • Title I reading teachers
  • Reading/literacy lab teachers
  • English Language Arts teachers
  • Content area literacy experts
  • Response to Intervention (RTI) teachers
  • Reading clinicians and diagnosticians
  • Developmental reading and writing instructors
  • Early childhood educators
  • Adult and community educators

Emphasis Areas / Certification Options

MA program coursework satisfies the requirements for Missouri K-12 Special Reading Certification. Candidates must currently hold a valid Missouri professional teaching certificate in order to be eligible for this certification.

Application Deadline

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. You can begin the program in any semester.
  • Completed applications must be received at least 10 days prior to the start of classes for the following semester to ensure a timely admissions decision.

Admissions Requirements

  • Grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4-point scale.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Teaching certification OR Minimum of 1 year experience working in an educational setting.
  • Completed application, including transcripts, a one-page Statement of Purpose and two letters of recommendation.

Application Procedures

  • Complete the online UMKC Graduate Application.
  • Submit your official transcripts to the UMKC Admissions Office. Transcripts are considered official if received in a sealed envelope from the institution or sent electronically to the Admissions Office, either through transfer from your academic institution or through secured email (umkc-admtranscript@umkc.edu)
  • Submit your Statement of Purpose and two letters of recommendation directly to:

Division of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies
Connie Fischer
615 E. 52nd Street, room 310
Kansas City, MO 64110

Questions about the application process can be directed to the Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies Division Office: 816-235-2245, or education@umkc.edu