Non-degree Graduate Certificate in Literacy Instruction

    Program Overview

    The 12-credit non-degree Graduate Certificate in Literacy Instruction program is designed to allow educators to develop expertise in the teaching of literacy and empower them to optimize literacy learning opportunities for students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. The program is available to students currently enrolled in master’s or doctoral programs at Rutgers University, as well as to all who already hold a bachelor’s degree. Graduate students from programs outside of the field of education are welcome and encouraged to apply, as they can expect to acquire knowledge about the processes of literacy development and current instructional methodologies.

    After completing all of the required courses in the program, students will receive a Graduate Certificate endorsed by the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. Students who complete the program and then apply and are accepted into the Reading Specialist Ed.M. Program or endorsement programs at the GSE within five years may apply the twelve credits taken in the certificate program to the Reading Specialist program requirements. 

    The non-degree graduate certificate program does not include coursework leading to a New Jersey school personnel license. 

    For more information about this program:

    Program Details

    Application Deadline

    Aug 15 / Dec 15 / May 15

    Entry Term(s)

    Fall / Spring / Summer

    Program Level


    Program Type






  • What You’ll Learn

    Students enrolled in the Literacy Instruction Graduate Certificate program at the GSE will explore literacy development in childhood and adolescence, including topics such as language and vocabulary development, word study, higher-order comprehension skills, writing, and emergent literacy strategies, amongst others. Depending on the courses chosen to meet the program requirements, they may also investigate relevant themes and topics in Literacy Instruction in finer detail. In Teacher Struggling Readers, for example, enrolled students will adopt a research-based, hands-on approach to studying what it means to teach struggling readers through in-depth clinical case studies in school, after-school, and or out-of-school classrooms. Other courses may prepare students with a comprehensive understanding of subjects including adolescent literature, children’s literature and early childhood and elementary school curriculum, and the theoretical foundations of literacy as they relate to research, policy, and practice. 

    For more information about the courses in this program, please visit the course catalog and online schedule of classes.

  • Program Requirements

    12 Graduate Course Credits

    • 6 or 9 Credits from the Following:
      • 3 Credits – Teaching Writing: Social and Cognitive Dimensions
      • 3 Credits – Literacy Development in the Early Years
      • 3 Credits – Literacy Development in Elementary and Middle School*
      • 3 Credits – Teaching Writing for Children and Adolescents*
      • 3 Credits – Teaching Struggling Readers
    • 3 or 6 Credits from the Following:
      • 3 Credits – Adolescent Literature for Secondary Students
      • 3 Credits – Children’s Literature in the Early Childhood and Elementary School Curriculum**
      • 3 Credits – Theoretical Foundations of Literacy — Research, Policy, and Practice

    *Currently offered in an online format

     **Currently offered as a one-week summer course

    With prior approval from the program coordinator, courses approved for the Reading Specialist Ed.M. may be substituted.

    Students are expected to maintain a “B” or better average as a non-degree student. Accepted students will have 5 years to complete the program. After completing all of the required courses in the program, students should contact the Office of Academic Services at the GSE. Students will receive official documentation of their completion, endorsed by the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education.

  • Careers and Outcomes

    Earning a graduate certificate at the GSE allows candidates to advance their understanding of, and gain practical skills pertaining to, literacy instruction and literacy education. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply, as earning a certificate can help students enter into a new specialization they’ve yet to explore, or advance or stay competitive in a space they already have knowledge in. The program offers a comprehensive look at the latest tools and research in the field and can lead to potential career benefits including advancement, role flexibility, or leadership responsibility. 

  • Admissions Requirements

    Official Undergraduate Transcripts

      • Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants are not usually admitted with a GPA of less than 2.75 in their most recent degree. 

    Applicants are responsible for reviewing and confirming that they meet all requirements before the application is submitted. Rutgers Graduate School of Education will not refund the application fee if an applicant is not accepted.

  • How to Apply

    Current Rutgers University Students:

    All applicants who are currently enrolled in a program at Rutgers University and wish to begin the certificate program while continuing their current program should contact the GSE Office of Student and Academic Services (OSAS) at

    Non-Rutgers University Students:

    1. Collect the materials required for admission
    2. Submit your application online at
    3. Submit supporting materials online
    4. Any supporting materials that cannot be submitted electronically should be mailed to Graduate Admissions’ New Brunswick office. Their mailing address can be found here:
  • Tuition


    Click here for the New Brunswick Graduate tuition rates.

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