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

Program overview

Become a reading specialist or literacy coach and impact learners of all ages

If you believe literacy skills are essential and literacy is the foundation of learning, this rigorous research-based program is for you. Impact learners of all ages, develop their writing, listening, and speaking skills, and become a reading specialist or literacy coach, or a better-prepared teacher of reading and writing in P–12 classrooms. This program includes Reading and ELL endorsements. It’s also excellent preparation for a doctoral degree in literacy.

Develop your understanding of the processes of reading and writing needed for student success.

Program Overview

The School of Education Difference

Seattle Pacific was founded more than 125 years ago, and the University has been preparing some of the most sought-after educators in the region for more than 90 years. Today, entrance to School of Education graduate programs is highly competitive. Faculty members — each teaching his or her own courses and each holding a doctorate — have worked to develop rigorous programs of quality.

The School of Education at Seattle Pacific University offers more than a dozen graduate programs. You can choose from three doctoral programs, seven master’s degree programs, and five certification programs, all of which focus on developing competence, character, leadership, and service in educators. While many students train to become teachers, others prepare for roles as school counselors, principals, superintendents, district office personnel, or professors in higher education. SPU's reputation in P–12 education in Washington and across the country is strong, and students who complete our graduate degree and certificate programs enjoy a higher rate of employment than the state's average.

Why Seattle Pacific for your Master of Education in Literacy, Language, and Equity?

The Master of Education (MEd) degree in Literacy, Language, and Equity is designed to equip effective teachers of literacy to meet the needs of a wide range of learners. Students in the program expand and deepen their understanding of the processes of reading and writing and will acquire a comprehensive picture of what is required for students to become successful readers and writers. Learn from premier faculty in the field of literacy, including an internationally recognized expert in vocabulary learning and instruction and 2009 Reading Hall of Fame inductee.

  1. Accomplished Faculty

    Expert, caring faculty have a desire to help students succeed. Faculty are known for mentoring their students during and following their educational programs. These professors model lifelong learning through scholarly activities of their own, publishing frequently, and presenting at professional conferences.

  2. AACU Membership

    Seattle Pacific is a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. SPU certification programs are approved by the Washington state Professional Educator Standards Board. The School of Education is also a member of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education, and has a chapter, Sigma Phi Upsilon, of Chi Sigma Iota, an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling.

  3. Deep Character Emphasis

    Built on an character education foundation, the graduate programs at SPU offer first-class education through the lens of Christian faith and values. Students take ethics courses, and character issues are integrated throughout the curriculum.

  4. Flexible Format

    Designed for working teachers, courses are offered at work-friendly times, including late afternoons and evenings. Although the program is not online-only, many courses can be taken online during the regular academic year and during Summer Session.   

  5. Connected Alumni

    School of Education graduates move on to purposeful careers in schools and district-level leadership around the country. When you obtain a graduate degree from SPU’s School of Education, you join a community of alumni who stay connected.

Related Master’s Programs

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In the MEd in Literacy, Language, and Equity program, students may start any quarter and are not required to take specific classes each quarter.


Foundations and Research Core

  • EDU 6085 Moral Issues in Education (3)
  • EDU 6600 Communication and Collaboration (3)
  • EDU 6975 Interpreting and Applying Educational Research I (3)
    or EDU 6980 Applying Research in School Settings (3)

Reading and Language Arts Core

  • EDRD 6506 Literacy Assessment and Standards (3)
  • EDRD 6507 Language Development Diversity and Literacy (3)
  • EDRD 6508 Vocabulary Development (3)
  • EDRD 6509 Linguistics for Educators (3)
  • EDRD 6529 Teaching Reading: Strategies of Instruction (3)
  • EDRD 6531 Childrens and Young Adult Literature (3)
  • EDRD 6533 Writing: Process to Product (3)
  • EDRD 6600 Literacy Coaching in the STEM Disciplines (2)
  • EDRD 6641 Foundations of Reading Instruction (3)
  • EDSE 5653 Teaching Reading to Exceptional Students (3)

Practicum experience

The 1- to 3-credit practicum experience, EDRD 6980, is designed to give you an opportunity to apply the knowledge that you have gained in a classroom setting. It also meets several of the state competencies for the English Language Learners and  Reading endorsements.

Within this course, you will:

  • complete an independent field experience in literacy instruction, develop and teach a unit plan, and be formally observed by your course instructor as you teach a minimum of two lessons from that unit;
  • submit a portfolio that documents your ability to have a positive impact on student learning, as well as your knowledge and teaching skills in the ELL and Reading endorsement areas.

Some students may choose to complete the Reading and ELL endorsements following completion of the MEd in Literacy, Language, and Equity. Students will complete a supervised field experience in the endorsements they are seeking. If students already hold these endorsements, they can replace the practicum with an elective.

Comprehensive examination

The comprehensive examination is a tool to help synthesize and apply the information you have gained throughout the course of study. Most students take the exam during the last quarter of coursework or the quarter following. In order to take the comprehensive examination, you must have completed all of the required courses in the program.

Program schedule

This program is designed to be completed within two years, including Summer Sessions. You must complete all requirements for the degree within six years.

Program requirements

The MEd in Literacy, Language, and Equity is a rigorous 27 to 39-credit program. To complete the program, you will be required to:

  • hold a current teaching certificate;
  • complete coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher;
  • complete all literacy coursework prior to beginning a practicum experience for the reading and English Language Learners endorsements;
  • pass a comprehensive examination during the last quarter of coursework or the quarter following.

Suggested course sequence

Your Eight-Quarter Plan may be customized to meet your needs.

Adding Reading and ELL Endorsements

AMAT or MAT to MEd in Literacy, Language, and Equity

This option provides graduates who have earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree to obtain a second master's degree in MEd in Literacy, Language, and Equity for an additional 27-30 credits, depending on prior coursework.


Foundations Core

  • EDU 6085 Moral Issues in Education (3)

Reading and Language Arts Core

  • EDRD 6506 Literacy Assessment and Standards (3)
  • EDRD 6507 Language Development Diversity and Literacy (3)
  • EDRD 6508 Vocabulary Development (3)
  • EDRD 6509 Linguistics for Educators (3)
  • EDRD 6531 Childrens and Young Adult Literature (3)
  • EDRD 6533 Writing: Process to Product (3)
  • EDRD 6641 Foundations of Reading Instruction (3)
  • EDSE 5653 Teaching Reading to Exceptional Students (3)


  • EDRD 6980 Field Experience (3)
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Kristine Gritter

Professor, Curriculum and Instruction; Chair, MEd Literacy, Language, and Equity
PhD, Michigan State University

Phone: 206-281-2323
Office: Peterson Hall 309

William Nagy

Emeritus Faculty; Scholar in Residence
PhD, UC San Diego

Jorge Preciado

Professor of Education; Chair of Special Education
PhD, University of Oregon

Phone: 206-281-2794
Office: Peterson Hall 406

Scott Beers

Assistant Dean, Graduate Programs
PhD, University of Washington

Phone: 206-281-2707
Office: Peterson Hall 409

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Continuing Education

To meet the changing needs of adult learners, Seattle Pacific University offers a wide range of programs and courses to meet the needs of today's professionals. With competitive credit and program rates, these personal and professional development opportunities make lifelong learning very affordable. As the largest provider of continuing education credits for teachers in Washington state, SPU's Center for Professional Education is focused on the current needs of K–12 educators.

Courses taken for credit and numbered at the 5000 level are graduate-level courses and are designed primarily with the needs of teachers and other professionals in mind for the purpose of meeting certification, endorsement, district pay-lane requirements, and other professional needs. These graduate-level courses may be considered to meet elective requirements in some cases.

Still have questions? Review FAQs

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Tuition and fees for 2023–24

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per credit

*$735 per credit for 39 credits (or 21 credits) of 6000-level coursework, plus $2,050 for 6 credits of CPE coursework.

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application fee

See additional fee details.
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27 or 45

credits to complete

Financial Aid

Before applying for aid, you must first be admitted to a graduate program. Make sure you:

  • Enroll in at least 3 credits (or half-time) toward a degree or eligible certificate each quarter.
  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

You may take advantage of scholarships and loans. SPU does not have a deadline for graduate financial aid, though earlier is always better than later! 

Learn more about the FAFSA and applying for financial help.

Learn more about scholarships, assistantships, and loans available to graduate students.


Find out more about administrative and other School of Education program fees.

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Admission requirements

A limited number of students are admitted to SPU’s MEd in Literacy, Language, and Equity degree program each year. Applicants will have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a teaching certificate. 

Application requirements

Applicants must submit the following items:

  • Application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Copy of current Washington state teaching certificate (not required for Literacy + Certification applicants).
  • Official transcript documenting bachelor's degree (including official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended).
    • Note: To be considered official, transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope from the college or university. Transcripts may be delivered to Graduate Admissions as long as they remain in their original, unopened university envelope. Electronic transcripts received via eSCRIP-SAFE or Parchment Exchange are also acceptable.
  • A personal statement. Applicants are to submit a one- to two-page Word document (or PDF) that includes a statement of personal academic and professional goals.
  • 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.

Application deadlines

Autumn Quarter: August 15
Winter Quarter: November 15
Spring Quarter: February 15
Summer Session: May 15

Application and admissions questions?

Contact Graduate Admissions at 800-601-0603 or

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Frequently asked questions

How selective is admission to the SPU School of Education graduate degree programs?

This varies by program. Admission to some programs, such as the Accelerated Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science (AMTMS), Accerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT), and MEd in School Counseling, is very competitive. Admission to each of SPU's graduate programs in education is standards-based, and all applicants must meet all standards for admission.

Can I continue to work while enrolled in a graduate degree program in the SPU School of Education?

Yes, in most cases. Most of the graduate degree programs offered by the School of Education are part-time programs, with classes offered in a variety of worker-friendly venues. Education graduate courses are scheduled at SPU or off campus, in the evenings, occasionally on Saturdays, and during the summer.

The Acclerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT) and Accelerated Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science (AMTMS) programs are exceptions. They are one-year full-time programs due to their full-time internships.

Is it possible to complete a graduate degree from SPU's School of Education online?

The School of Education offers several fully online programs, including the AMAT-OnlineAMTMS-OnlineDigital Education Leadership, and Teacher Leadership programs. Please review the program pages for eligibility requirements.

Is a graduate program at SPU more expensive than comparable education programs at other universities?

SPU's graduate tuition rates are competitive with other accredited universities in Washington.

How does a graduate degree or graduate certificate from SPU compare with a similar degree or certificate from other universities?

SPU's School of Education has been offering a wide range of fully accredited master's and doctoral degrees in addition to graduate certificates for more than 20 years. SPU's reputation in P–12 education in Washington and around the country is strong, and students who complete our graduate degree and certificate programs enjoy a higher rate of employment than the state's average.

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Why SPU?

Anjean Vanden Bosch | Seattle Public Schools English Teacher

Anjean Vanden Bosch

SPU's Literacy, Language, and Equity program has been fantastic for me as a secondary educator. The professors I've had inspired me to use a more diverse and rich array of texts in the classroom, given me tools to enhance my language instruction, and challenged my notions of high-quality and meaningful assessments.

Anabel Hovig | Edmonds School District Teacher

Anabel Hovig

The LLE graduate program left me feeling empowered as a literacy broker. This program is on the cutting edge of an important shift in reading instruction. As more and more attention turns toward the science of reading, teacher training in this area is more critical than ever. I highly recommend this program to all teachers.

Nicole Rule | Seattle Public Schools

Nicole Rule

Seattle Pacific's LLE program was perfect for me. Classes are small, with plenty of time for discussion, and amazing professors who care deeply about the subject and their students. Some classes focus on the "squishier" aspects of literacy and language like motivation and ways to find amazing authors for different grade levels, while others dive deeply into the nuts and bolts of language acquisition and useful scaffolding techniques. My journey led me to a position as an art teacher at a dual-language immersion program. I find the lessons learned in my classes at SPU are applicable and relevant.

Elizabeth Woods | Seattle Public School District Teacher

Nicole Rule

The Literacy, Language, and Equity MEd program at Seattle Pacific University is a gift for anyone in education. I am so thankful for the time I spent learning from and with the professors and my cohort. From the meaningful debate about literacy and language, to the exploration of equity in works of the past and present, I am a better educator because of this experience. I am teaching my students how to read with strategies based on engagement and motivation I hadn't considered before. Our vocabulary studies, word work, and investigation into multicultural literature provide authentic joy and constant discovery. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to expand their understanding of the English language, interested in diving deep into meaningful literacy instruction, and ready to discover and invest in multicultural literature.

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