Master of Arts in Language and Literacy

Students develop specialized knowledge, strategies, and skills that promote literacy development for all learners. 

This practitioner-focused program prepares students to interpret research on literacy instruction, assessment, and program development in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts. Students apply their knowledge in home, school, and community-based field experiences.  Program curriculum promotes collaborative inquiry and innovation, equity, and professional leadership and advocacy.

The program primarily serves reading teachers and other educators who want to transition to a career as a reading or literacy specialist. It is also designed for classroom teachers, administrators, and education professionals who want to obtain specialized knowledge and advanced skills in reading, writing and literacy development. This includes:

  • Reading Specialists
  • Literacy coaches
  • Title I reading teachers
  • Reading/literacy lab teachers
  • English Language Arts teachers
  • Content area literacy experts
  • Response to Intervention (RTI) teachers
  • Reading clinicians and diagnosticians
  • Developmental reading and writing instructors
  • Early childhood educators
  • Adult and community educators 

Program features

  • All courses available online
  • Includes total of 30-36 credit hours with option to earn Missouri K-12 Special Reading Certificate (Candidates must currently hold a valid Missouri professional teaching certificate to be eligible for certification)
  • Available full- or part-time with most students choosing to take two classes per semester and completing the degree in under two years
  • Applications accepted year-round with availability to begin the program in any semester (applications must be received at least 10 days prior to the start of classes for the following semester to ensure a timely admissions decision)  

Program Admissions

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. You can begin the program in any semester. Completed applications must be received at least 10 days prior to the start of classes for the following semester to ensure a timely admissions decision.

Admissions Requirements

  • Grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4-point scale
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Teaching certification OR Minimum of 1 year experience working in an educational setting
  • Completed application, including transcripts, a one-page Statement of Purpose and two letters of recommendation

Admissions requirements are available in the UMKC Catalog. The online graduate application and the official transcripts will need to be sent directly to the UMKC Admissions Office. All other supplemental application materials should be sent to: 

Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies 
Connie Fischer 
615 E. 52nd Street, Room 310 
Kansas City, MO 64110