EdM in Developmental Studies—Literacy & Language Education

The master’s degree program is designed for professionals who wish to study the theoretical and research knowledge that informs policy, practice, and research in both school-based and community settings. The program of 36 credits comprises study of literacy and language acquisition and development, including the study of bilingual and second-language learning and at least one research course.

About the Literacy & Language Specialization

The Literacy & Language Education specialization is designed for graduate students interested in research and practice in literacy and language in public and non-public education settings. The course of study addresses research and theory that informs the acquisition, development, and use of language and literacy in home, school, and community settings. Upper-level undergraduate students may elect graduate-level courses with the approval of their advisor and Literacy & Language Education faculty.

Most of the students who enroll in the Literacy & Language Education specialization are interested in practice, research, or policy-making in public or private educational settings. Those who enter the program are diverse in background experience: some are licensed educators with experience in public school settings; others hold undergraduate or graduate degrees in fields other than education and have had experiences in various educational settings, including private or community education settings or organizations such as Peace Corps and Teach for America. Many are international students whose experiences are in public or private school settings in their own countries.

Students who choose the specialization in Literacy & Language Education are also diverse in their primary area of interest, and in addition to those whose interest is literacy, the population of students also includes those with interests in TESOL, Bilingual Education, and Deaf Studies.

Unlike the Reading Education Program, the Literacy & Language Education specialization does not offer students the opportunity to meet state licensure requirements as a Specialist Teacher of Reading. (Information about the Reading Education Program, which does lead to licensure as a Specialist Teacher of Reading, is available here.)

Therefore, although there is substantial overlap with the Reading Education Program in the course of study, students in Literacy & Language Education are not required to complete the field experiences required to meet licensure requirements. For those who do not intend to practice in settings that require licensure, this is an important difference in the course of study.

Program Requirements

Core Coursework (32 cr)

In consultation with their academic advisors, students design a program of 32 credits based on the following list of course offerings.


  • SED BI 535 Literacy Development for Bilingual Students: Instruction and Assessment (4 cr)
  • SED BI 621 Bilingualism and Biliteracy (4 cr)
  • SED BI 652 Reading and Writing in a Second Language: Development Assessment and Instruction (4 cr)
  • SED LS 627 Children’s and Young Adult Literature (4 cr)
  • SED LS 690 Contexts for Literacy: Oral and Written Discourse (4 cr)
  • SED LS 727 Topical Seminar in Literacy and Language (variable cr)
  • SED LS 737 Clinical Assessment of Reading and Writing (4 cr)
  • SED LS 725 Discourse, Narrative, and Literacy (4 cr)
  • SED LS 790 Seminar in Literacy Assessment: Research/Theory/Practice (4 cr)
  • SED LS 792 Teaching Adolescent Literacy (4 cr)
  • SED LS 902 Seminar in Early Literacy (4 cr)
  • SED LW 736 Teaching Writing in Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Schools (4 cr)


  • SED LS 565 Introduction to Language and Linguistics (4 cr)
  • SED LS 566 Language Acquisition (4 cr)
  • SED LS 595 Child Second Language Acquisition (4 cr)
  • SED LS 658 Second Language Acquisition (4 cr)
  • SED LS 725 Discourse, Narrative, and Literacy (4 cr)
  • SED LS 726 Discourse Analysis: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches (4 cr)
  • SED LS 750 Cognitive Development and Language (4 cr)

Additional Coursework (4 cr)

  • SED RS 600 Introduction to Research (4 cr)

Students who have completed this course or its equivalent will select another course in consultation with their academic advisor.