Reading Education

Boston University’s graduate program in Reading Education prepares teachers, specialists, clinicians, and consultants in the areas of reading and writing assessment and instruction. Students who complete the master’s degree in reading education will gain a deep and thorough understanding of research and theory that is fundamental to sound and successful teaching, and they will work with university faculty who are, themselves, currently engaged in research and teaching in area schools. As such, degree recipients leave the program with broad and comprehensive academic knowledge and important practical insights about what works in diverse school settings.

Although individual circumstances vary, students seeking licensure enter the program with a license, typically in elementary or secondary English, and at least one year of experience in elementary or secondary education. Additionally, most students are interested in school- or classroom-based practice and research in public settings.

The Reading Education program coursework includes the study of current research and practice in reading and writing assessment and instruction, and analysis of commonly used assessments and instructional materials. Although you will learn about assessment and instruction for students at all levels of the achievement continuum, particular attention is paid to instructional practices that accelerate learning for struggling readers and writers. In addition to coursework, you will participate in a pre-practicum and a practicum experience.  During a pre-practicum, you will work with a school-based literacy specialist to learn about the roles and responsibilities of the reading professional in a typical school setting. During a practicum, you will work under the supervision of a university faculty member to put into practice your understandings of research-based assessment and instruction as you teach an individual child as well as children in a small-group context in ways that will accelerate reading and writing growth.

The Boston University Donald D. Durrell Reading and Writing Clinic (RWC) serves as the site for the practicum experience and also as a resource for you throughout the course of study. During three terms (fall, spring, summer), the RWC provides diagnostic assessment and instructional services for elementary, middle, or secondary students who are experiencing difficulty in learning to read and write. Clinicians are in-service teachers or graduate students who work under the close supervision of Boston University faculty and school-based reading supervisors. In addition, the clinic serves as a model classroom where those studying to become reading teachers can observe exemplary instruction in action.

Numerous career opportunities await degree recipients upon graduation. Many graduates seek positions as general education classroom teachers, where their expertise in reading and writing assessment and instruction enables them to provide exemplary instruction to students of all performance levels. Others wish to use their newly-acquired depth of knowledge to specialize in literacy assessment and instruction. In this case, degree recipients meet requirements for positions as reading and literacy teachers, specialists, and coaches.

The master’s degree program is very flexible. Because many of our students are in-service teachers, we strive to accommodate everyone by offering late afternoon and evening classes during the academic year and clinic experiences during the summer months. View a Reading Education Program Sample Schedule.

Program Fast Facts

  • Program Requirements: To view a listing of program requirements and coursework information, please visit the Boston University Bulletin for the EdM in Reading Education.
  • Program Duration: 12 months for full-time students. Program duration varies for part-time students.
  • Start Term: Full-time students must begin the program during the fall semester. Part-time students may begin the program during fall, spring, or summer semester.
  • Licensure: Upon completion of the program and Massachusetts testing requirements, students who have completed at least one year of classroom teaching experience may be licensed at the initial level as a Specialist Teacher of Reading.
  • Faculty Contact Information: Jeanne R. Paratore, 617-353-3285,
  • Graduate Admissions Contact Information: 617-353-4237,

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students at the School of Education benefit from the community feel of a small school along with the resources of a large university. Our students are in the field in both urban and suburban schools as early as their first year at SED.

Graduate Students

Talented graduate students from around the world prepare to become teachers, counselors, administrators, and more in as little as one year at the School of Education. Our students engage in diverse aspects of education both in the classroom and the field.