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This graduate certificate is awarded through the graduate teacher education program as internal recognition for having obtained a specialized area of coursework in reading specialist in education. Practitioners may complete 24 semester hours of course work for the certificate only, or as part of their master's in education degree. Candidates who complete this graduate certificate are eligible to apply to add the Pennsylvania Department of Education Reading Specialist (PK-12) Certification to their current teaching license.*

Certificate Requirements

To qualify for the graduate certificate in reading specialist, candidates must complete twenty-four required semester hours (SH). 

Required (24 SH)


  • EDLA 501 Foundations of Literacy (3)
  • EDLA 521 Integrated Literacy Instruction (3)
  • EDLA 531 Literacy in Community and Family Arenas (3)
  • EDSL 581 Language and Culture (3)
  • EDLA 601 Multicultural Children’s Literature (3) OR EDLA 611 Adolescent/Young Adult Literature (3)
  • EDPC 602 Clinic I: Diagnosis of Reading & Writing Difficulties (3)
  • EDPC 603 Clinic II: Integrative Approach to Assessment & Instruction (3)
  • EDLA 651 Developing an Effective Reading Program (3)

*Note:  PDE also requires all instructional and educational specialist preparation programs to include the following by January 1, 2011: 1. At least 9 credits or 270 hours regarding accommodations and adaptations for students with disabilities in an inclusive setting (instruction in literacy skills development and cognitive skill development for students with disabilities must be included); and 2. At least 3 credits or 90 hours regarding the instructional needs of English language learners.  This requirement can be satisfied by coursework taken outside of the Certificate program, including prior coursework.  These course requirements are not listed in the Certificate program, but are listed as exit requirements for those wishing to pursue PDE Reading Specialist Certification.

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