Literacy (MEd) With Certification

About the program

The Master of Education (MEd) in Literacy with P–12 Certification is designed for educators who would like to become reading specialists, literacy coaches, or better-equipped teachers of reading in P–12 classrooms.

The program is aligned with the endorsement competencies for reading/literacy in the state of Washington and will help prepare you for the NES Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction (104) exam. You may apply for, and begin, the program in any quarter.

Graduates of this program will have a foundation in the theoretical and empirical bases of effective literacy instruction, with an understanding of reading and writing development, the nature and causes of reading difficulties, and principles and strategies for effective teaching.

The program, plus teacher certification

The MEd in Literacy with P–12 Certification route combines the required coursework and internship experiences for a Washington state Residency Teaching Certificate with the MEd in Literacy degree. The certification component is designed to be completed on a part-time basis over a two-year period. Following certification, the MEd in Literacy can be completed in approximately one additional year.

This route is designed for those who seek a Washington state Teaching Certificate, including teachers from other states, those who wish to return to teaching and need a current certificate, and those who wish to become teachers and have a passion for literacy instruction. Completion of the program prepares you to add a reading endorsement to your teaching certificate.

NES exam

Qualifications for adding the reading endorsement include passing the NES Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction (104) exam and a successful pedagogy assessment.

Comprehensive exam

You will be required to pass a written comprehensive exam taken at the end of the program to receive the MEd in Literacy degree.

Admissions requirements

Admission requirements to the Literacy plus Certification program mirror the requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching program, and applicants will be considered a part of the MAT cohort for the first two years of their program, while earning certification.

Applicants must submit the following items to Graduate Admissions:

  • Online application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Official transcript(s) from each college or university attended.
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • Résumé.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam)  or  MAT (Miller Analogies Test) scores taken within five years of application.
    • On the former GRE exam, preferred minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 950.
    • On the revised GRE exam, preferred minimum scores of Verbal: 148 and Quantitative: 147.
    • On the MAT, preferred minimum scaled score of 400*.
  • Two to four letters of recommendation.
  • Passing WEST-B scores including 240 on each sub-test: reading, writing, and mathematics. You may use a combination of SAT, ACT, and WEST-B scores to meet the WEST-B requirement (reading writing, mathematics). Contact Graduate Admissions if you have questions.
    • Minimum SAT scores required: Math: 515, Reading: 500, Writing: 490.
    • Minimum ACT scores required: Math: 22, Reading: 22, Writing: 8.
  • Passing the State endorsement test.
    • WEST-E or NES must be passed January 1 of the first year of the program.
    • Several NES study guides are located on the main floor Reference section of the SPU Ames Library.
  • Verify endorsement readiness.
    • Endorsements are the content and grade levels a teacher is prepared to teach. The Professional Education Standards Board (PESB) provides a comprehensive list of all endorsements offered at SPU.
    • If your college major matches your intended endorsement, complete the Endorsement Verification form in the application.
    • If your major does not match your intended endorsement, please contact Kristi Kanehen, certification officer. Complete the Endorsement Verification form only after contacting Kristi Kanehen. On the form, indicate that you have been in contact with her and list your "Approved Plan of Study" if one has been developed.
  • Moral Character and Personal Fitness Policy form (found in the online application).
  • *The GRE or MAT will be waived for students who achieved at least (a) a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA or (b) a 3.0 in the last 45 quarter credits.

    Applicants with complete files submitted by the deadline are screened for interviews, held on the SPU campus in April. Invitations to interview are sent by email. Applicants are advised to add these email addresses as contacts to avoid inadvertent delivery of correspondence to spam or junk folders.

    Program prerequisites

    In order to be approved for full admission into the Literacy plus Certification program, applicants must pass all three sections (reading, writing, and mathematics) of the Washington Educator Skills Test – Basic (WEST-B), or equivalent using SAT and ACT scores as shown above. In addition, applicants must pass the Washington Educator Skills Test – Endorsements (WEST-E or NES) in their preferred endorsement area(s) according to the schedule shown above.

Enrollment policy

  • Students must be continuously enrolled in required SPU courses to earn this master’s degree, or until officially withdrawing from the program. Exceptions to continuous enrollment must be approved by the program director.
  • Students may be granted a leave of absence for up to four quarters by the program director. Once the leave of absence has expired, the student will either enroll in graduate coursework or be dropped from the program.
  • University academic policy requires continuous enrollment to remain admitted in a graduate program. After four quarters of non-enrollment, students will be placed in “inactive status” and will need to reapply for admission.
  • If a student decides to no longer pursue a master’s degree, the student may officially withdraw from the program and SPU by notifying the program director and the associate director of graduate programs.


Admissions materials should be directed to Graduate Admissions. If you have questions about graduate education or certification programs:


School of Education Graduate Programs