Program goal

The Master of Education in Reading program is designed to provide experienced teachers who are prospective reading specialists with a program of sequential and integrated experiences in areas of the reading curriculum ranging from preschool to adult levels. Students will gain an understanding of the developmental and diagnostic processes involved in teaching reading and the language arts and will become familiar with the resource and supervisory functions that are part of the specialist role. Prior to graduation, students must complete a reading portfolio documenting their work in the program and related work experiences, and they must pass the Reading for Virginia Educators Assessment. The M.Ed. in Reading is an approved program (K-12) for students who meet Virginia State Department of Education requirements. The reading specialist endorsement also requires completion of three years of teaching in a reading-related field.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate content knowledge in reading education: Candidates demonstrate content knowledge in reading education as evidenced by the Reading for Virginia Educators/Virginia Reading Assessment scores and philosophy of reading paper.
  2. Effectively plan instruction: Candidates demonstrate that they can effectively plan reading and literacy instruction or fulfill other professional responsibilities in reading education as evidenced by the organizing and implementing reading programs assessment.
  3. Effectively apply knowledge, skills and dispositions: Candidates demonstrate knowledge, skills and dispositions are applied effectively in practice as evidenced by the internship evaluation.
  4. Demonstrate effect on student learning: Candidates demonstrate effects on student learning and provision of supportive learning environments for student learning as evidenced by the internship progress report.
  5. Demonstrate IRA standards proficiency: Candidates further demonstrate proficiency on IRA competencies as evidenced by the portfolio assessment and the externship action research report and presentation assessment.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online at

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.Ed. Fall Mar 15 GRE or MAT
Spring Nov 1
Summer Mar 15

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants for the certificate program must hold a master’s degree in any specialty area related to education.

A cooperative agreement has been established with Virginia State University to permit selected, qualified students to complete the M.Ed. in Reading program. Up to 12 credit hours from an approved list may be transferred from the cooperating institution. Interested students should contact the Department of Teaching and Learning.

Degree requirements

Students must meet all general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements.

Curriculum requirements

Course Title Hours
EDUS 660Research Methods in Education3
Human development and learning
Select one of the following:3
Adolescent Growth and Development
Seminar in Child Growth and Development
Adult Development
Advanced Educational Psychology for Elementary Teachers
Learning and Motivation in Education
Cultural, historical and philosophical
Select one of the following:3
Philosophy of Education
Social Foundations of Education
Education and the World's Future
Contemporary Educational Thought
Seminar on Educational Issues, Ethics and Policy
Core courses
READ 600Analysis and Correction of Reading Problems3
READ 605Organizing and Implementing Reading Programs3
READ 672Internship3
READ 700Externship3
TEDU 561Reading Foundations: Sociological/Psychological Perspectives3
TEDU 562Reading Instruction in the Content Areas3
Restricted electives
Select two of the following: 16
Psycholinguistics and Language Arts Curriculum
Literacy for Adults
Teaching Language Arts
Word Study
Children's Literature II
Diagnostic Reading in the Secondary School
Teaching English as a Second Language
Total Hours33

Students’ advisers may designate an alternate three-credit hour course elective as a substitute for one of the restricted electives.

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 33

Other curricular options

Endorsement in teaching English as a second language

Students who want to pursue an endorsement in teaching English as a second language may do so in conjunction with the M.Ed. in Reading. The endorsement requires 24 credit hours of study, none of which may be part of the master’s degree if TEDU 552 is selected as the restricted elective. Nine additional hours of ESL course work and six hours of a modern foreign language are also required. For additional information, see the school’s Added or add-on endorsements page in this bulletin or contact Valerie Robnolt, Ph.D. at

Graduate program director
Valerie J. Robnolt, Ph.D.
Associate professor, Department of Teaching and Learning
Phone: (804) 828-1305

Additional contact
Julie Gorlewski, Ph.D.
Associate professor and chair, Department of Teaching and Learning
Phone: (804) 828-1305

Program website: