Master of Education (MEd) in Literacy, Language, and Equity


About the program

The Master of Education (MEd) in Literacy, Language, and Equity is an 18 month (7 quarter) program designed for educators who would like to become reading specialists, literacy coaches, or better-equipped teachers of reading in K–12 classrooms. You may apply for and begin the program in any quarter.

The program is aligned with the endorsement competencies for Reading and English Language Learners in the state of Washington and will help prepare you for the NES Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction (104) exam and the WEST-E English Language Learners (051) exam. 

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.

Course descriptions

Course descriptions for 6000-level courses are found here in this catalog.

Course descriptions for 5000-level courses are found here. (PDF)

NES exam and WEST-E Exam

Qualifications for adding the Reading and English Language Learners endorsements include passing the NES Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction (104) exam, the WEST-E English Language Learners (051) exam, and a successful pedagogy assessment.

Due to the focus of the MEd in Literacy, Language, and Equity degree on the K–12 school system, it is preferred that you have completed an approved program for Washington state teacher certification prior to enrollment. Exceptions can be approved by the literacy program chair.

AMAT or MAT pathway option

Students who have previously completed the AMAT or MAT program at SPU, or who have completed a master's in teaching program at a regionally accredited institution in the state of Washington, may choose to seek the MEd in Literacy, Language, and Equity by completing 27-30 credits, depending on prior coursework. Students must have completed their prior program in the last six years in order to qualify.

Comprehensive exam

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

Admission requirements

Applicants must submit the following items to the Graduate Admissions:  

  • Online application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Copy of current Washington state teaching certificate, front and back (not required for Literacy + Certification applicants).
  • Official transcript(s) from each college and/or university attended.
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • Present a GPA of at least 3.0 (4.0 = A) in the last 45 quarter credits of coursework completed.*
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Moral and Character Fitness Policy form (found in the online application) for those seeking teaching certification.
  • Résumé.

*The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or MAT (Miller Analogies Test) will be required if GPA is less than 3.0. On the GRE, preferred minimum scores of Verbal: 148 and Quantitative: 147. On the MAT, preferred minimum scaled score of 400.

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: