Reading Specialist Certification

This certification, embedded in the M.Ed. in Reading/Language Arts degree, is designed for teacher practitioners who are interested in obtaining a Texas Reading Specialist Certification to strengthen their understanding of literacy for application in their classroom or other school settings. The Texas Reading Specialist Certification is designed for an applicant who desires to work as an all-level Reading Specialist in Texas. 

Candidates for the Texas Reading Specialist Certification must have a valid elementary or secondary Texas teaching certification, along with two years of successful teaching experience before taking the Reading Specialist exam (Two years can be concurrent with the program). One hundred and sixty hours of practicum/field experience with diverse learner populations are embedded in the program. Field experience hours must be completed at a Texas Education Agency (TEA) approved location. 

Students must successfully complete coursework in the M.Ed. in Reading/Language Arts program and 160 hours of documented field experience to be recommended to take the exam. Field hours are embedded in the M.Ed in Reading/Language Arts course work.

TEA requires a graduate degree in a literacy related field to be recommended for the Texas Reading Specialists certification; therefore, this certification is only offered in coordination with the M.Ed. in Reading/Language Arts.

Contact the program coordinator if the applicant already holds a graduate degree in a literacy related field. 

If an applicant lives out-of-state, teaches at a private school, or is not able to complete the field experience hours in a TEA location, the M.Ed. in Reading/Language Arts is nationally accredited by the International Literacy Association to develop all-level Reading Specialist dispositions. This route will strengthen their understanding of literacy for application in their classroom or other school settings. Such an applicant would seek the M.Ed. in Reading/Language Arts route only. 

Admission Deadlines

Fall start: July 15th application due date
Spring start: November 15th application due date

Admission Requirements

To be regularly admitted to the graduate school, applicants must submit the following:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Pay the $35 Texas Education Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs Fee (paid to the TEA as required by TAC 229.9.7) if seeking Texas Reading Specialist certification
  4. Official transcript from all colleges attended, both undergraduate and graduate, with a minimum of a 2.8 GPA reflected. If GPA is less the 2.8 overall or in the last 60 SCH, official GRE scores must be submitted. Minimum scores required are listed in the table below. 
  5. Two recommendations
  6. A copy of applicant’s teaching certificate
  7. A teacher service record with at least one year of successful teaching experience
  8. Acceptable Professional Goals writing sample. This writing sample should be two pages double-spaced, 12 pt font with proper essay format, and address the following questions:
    1. What have your experiences with reading/language arts been thus far which have led you to pursue a graduate degree?
    2.  What is your understanding of our Reading/Language Arts master's program?
    3.  Upon completion of the program, what are your goals for your earned Master of Education in Reading/Language Arts degree (If you are seeking Texas Reading Specialist Certification, include those goals as well.)
  9. Video Interview with program faculty

For information regarding the recommendations, interview, and writing sample, please contact the Academic Advisor for Graduate Programs at (936) 294-4757.

Applicants with completed files are reviewed for regular admission by graduate faculty in each program area and are selected by faculty based on information in the completed file.

GRE revised General Test Score Bands to be used for Admission to an Educator Preparation Program under the 10% Exception Rule in 19 TAC §227.10(a)(3)(D)

Self-reported Undergraduate GPA GRE Verbal Reasoning1 GRE Quantitative Reasoning1 GRE Analytical Writing2
B-(2.7 GPA) 143-157 140-155 3.0-4.5

Under these circumstances, the GRE may not be waived.

The Texas Reading Specialist Certification requires the completion of 36 credit hours and is designed for those holding a valid Elementary or Secondary teaching certificate. The candidate must have two years successful teaching experience and successfully complete a departmentally approved reading capstone project before taking the Reading Specialist Exam. Candidates must be enrolled in coursework during the semester they submit their reading capstone project. The certification program originates in the Graduate Reading program of the School of Teaching and Learning.

Reading Specialist Certification Requirements:

  1. 36 Semester Credit Hours
  2. 160 hours of field experience (embedded into the program) in a Texas Education Agency (TEA) approved location
  3. Valid Texas Teaching certificate and official educator service record (submitted with application)
  4. At least 2 years teaching experience at completion of program
  5. Reading Capstone Project
Reading Specialist Certification
Specified Courses
READ 5306Survey Of Reading3
READ 5307Prac-Lit Assmt/Instr Stratgy I ( with Elementary Populations 40 hours of field experience in a TEA school) 13
READ 5308Prac-Lit Assmt/Instr Strat II (with Secondary Populations 40 hours of field experience in a TEA school) 23
READ 5312Second Language Literacy (10 hours of field experience in a TEA school)3
READ 5315Language Arts: Theory & Instr3
READ 5317Politics of Literacy3
READ 5319Digital Literacies3
READ 5330Lit & Instr Mat In Rdg Progs3
READ 5335Cognition & Emergent Literacy3
READ 6088Special Topics in Reading (Multisensory Langauge Learning with 10 hours field experience)3
READ 6310Admin/Suprvsn Of Literacy Prog (10 hours of field experience in a TEA school) 33
READ 6320Research and Literacy Leadership (50 hours of field experience in a TEA school) 43
Total Hours36