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Masters in Literacy Education

What is a master of arts in education – literacy?

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglass, statesman, abolitionist, orator and former enslaved person

An M.A.Ed. in literacy is a master’s program for educators seeking to grow as literacy teachers and literacy leaders. A master’s in literacy is designed to teach current theory and trends in literacy research, as well as effective instructional practices to meet the needs of diverse learners.

Why pursue an M.A.Ed. in literacy at Furman?

Furman’s master’s in literacy prepares teachers to meet students across all grade levels and curricula at their current aptitude on order to foster growth and a love of reading and communication.

In in a dual-certification program, the M.A.Ed. in literacy opens doors to an array of careers in education. Upon completion of the program and passing the Praxis exam, graduates will become certified K-12 literacy teachers. Candidates with a cumulative five years’ teaching experience who complete the literacy M.A.Ed. program may also gain certification as a literacy coach.

Furman’s International Literacy Association-accredited master’s offers a curriculum that allows you to earn your M.A.Ed. without interrupting your current teaching role. Backed by more than 100 years of experience, Furman’s nationally recognized Department of Education started South Carolina’s first teacher residency program. Partner with some of the most respected and caring professors and practitioners in education. Learn more about graduate studies in education and how to apply.

How will you learn?

Master’s candidates at Furman learn about literacy development beginning with early childhood through adolescent-level learners as well as supporting adult-level learners. A rigorous curriculum, including instructional practices, assessment approaches and two practicum experiences, brings opportunities to apply knowledge and skills in classroom settings, exposing candidates to diverse learners across grade levels.

With a focus on sustainable, culturally relevant and responsive approaches to teaching and learning, Furman’s master’s in literacy program is committed to supporting candidates’ abilities to honor pedagogies that center individual students and underscore the value they bring to society. Take your first steps with a visit to Furman’s beautiful campus.

Careers for M.A.Ed. – literacy graduates

Graduates of the M.A.Ed. in Literacy program secure access to new professional vocations in a high-demand field across multiple grade levels. Graduates can also look forward to an increase in salary.

Some career possibilities include:

  • Elementary school reading teacher
  • Middle and high school reading teacher
  • Response to intervention (RTI) teacher or coach
  • Reading interventionist
  • Reading tutor
  • Literacy teacher
  • Literacy coach
  • Instructional coach
  • District-level curriculum coordinator

M.A.Ed. in literacy courses: What will you study?

Foundations and Current Trends in Literacy Research and Practice


Practicum in Literacy Coaching


Advanced Practicum in Literacy Coaching


Literacy Methods and Instructional Strategies


4th-graders who perform at or above proficient in reading according to the Nation’s Report Card
43 million
U.S. adults who cannot read, write or do basic math above a third-grade level
$3k - $3.5k
Typical pay increase for South Carolina teachers who hold a master’s degree and/or earn +30 credits
Years the Furman Department of Education has prepared teachers

What our students say

Campus beauty shot Johns Hall

“The M.A.Ed. in literacy program not only built my best practice toolbox but also deepened my passion for literacy and the role that literacy plays in making our world a better place. The literacy education faculty at Furman are second to none. Their commitment to their students, their own learning and the education system as a whole is both inspiring and impactful. I am a better teacher and person for having invested time in the literacy program.” – Alyssa Cameron ’14 M’16, 4th grade teacher, Roebuck Elementary School, Spartanburg District 6

Our faculty

Your academic advisor will help you explore your passions, define your interests and achieve your goals. You’ll tap into a widespread network of community and alumni mentors to help you on your individual educational path – and to the opportunities at the end of it. Pair theory with practice under the expert guidance of faculty who have worked in and led schools at all levels. Furman’s education faculty represent decades of study and real-world expertise. Learn more about graduate studies in education and how to apply.

  • Katie Kelly

    Associate Professor, Education; Coord., Literacy Education


    Katie Kelly

    Associate Professor, Education; Coord., Literacy Education

    Phone Number: 8642943345

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  • Bobbi Siefert

    Associate Professor, Education; Coord., TESOL Program; Literacy Education


    Bobbi Siefert

    Associate Professor, Education; Coord., TESOL Program; Literacy Education

    Phone Number: 8642943537

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  • Paul Thomas

    Professor, Education; English and Secondary Education

    Paul Thomas

    Paul Thomas

    Professor, Education; English and Secondary Education

    Phone Number: 8642943386

    View Profile

  • FAQ

    What can you do with an M.A.Ed. in literacy?

    Cast a wider vocational net and elevate your annual salary with a master’s in literacy. Some career options include elementary school reading teacher, middle and high school reading teacher, response to intervention (RTI) teacher or coach, reading interventionist, reading tutor, literacy teacher, literacy coach, instructional coach, or district-level curriculum coordinator, among others.

    What is the average salary for those who hold an M.A.Ed. in literacy?

    After finishing a master’s in literacy, graduates can pursue teaching and education careers with median salaries of $50,000 or more according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average base salary for those earning a master’s in education is $66,000, according to payscale.com.


    In Greenville County Schools, teachers with a master’s draw an annual salary of $46,851 to $76,964 or more, based on years of experience.

    How long does it take to earn an M.A.Ed. in literacy?

    The M.A.Ed. in literacy at Furman is a 36-credit program, which includes a mix of online, in-person and hybrid courses. The program is typically completed in two and a half years.

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