Successful completion of this program, combined with one year of successful teaching experience that includes the teaching of reading as a significant part of the responsibility, qualifies students for licensure as a Reading Specialist K-12, Iowa Endorsement 176.  Students who have completed the program continue as classroom teachers but also assume positions as curriculum directors, instructional coaches, etc.

All coursework is offered online to be followed by a face-to-face intensive summer clinic experience supervised by course instructors with expertise in reading.  The non-thesis option requires 35 s.h. of courses plus successful completion of comprehensive examinations. The thesis option requires 33 s.h. of coursework and the successful completion of a thesis. 

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester—July 15 (April 15 for international students) 
  • Spring Semester—December 1 (October 1 for international students) 
  • Summer Session—April 15 (March 1 for international students) 

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions
  • Undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better on a four-point scale
  • NOTE: The GRE requirement has been suspended for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle only. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General test – verbal and quantitative
  • English Proficiency Requirements (international applicants)
  • Hold an early childhood, elementary, or secondary school teaching certificate
  • Evidence you have completed two years of successful teaching

Application Procedure

  1. Create an application account to begin the application process.
  2. Submit the online application to the Graduate College and pay the $60 application fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants).
  3. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password which you will use to access MyUI, our online service center for students and applicants.
  4. You will use your Admissions Profile on MyUI to upload required supplemental materials.

Required Supplemental Materials

  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • NOTE: The GRE requirement has been suspended for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle only. Official GRE scores from Educational Testing Service (the University’s institutional code is 6681)
  • Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
  • A personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation*

* You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.


Application questions can be directed to Sue Cline in the Office of Student Services, 319/335-5260,

We look forward to receiving your application!

Required Courses

All of these:

  • EDTL:4171 Literacy Learning and Teaching III (3 s.h.)
  • EDTL:4394 Methods: Secondary Reading (2-3 s.h.)
  • EDTL:6164 Early Literacy Development and Instruction (2-3 s.h.)
  • EDTL:6165 Reading and Writing Across Intermediate Grades (3 s.h.)
  • EDTL:6171 Advanced Reading Clinic Techniques (2-3 s.h.)
  • EDTL:6172 Advanced Reading Clinic Practicum (2-3 s.h.
  • EDTL:7008 Seminar: Research and Current Issues - Reading (3 s.h.)

One of these:

  • PSQF:5150 Introduction to Educational Measurement (3 s.h.)
  • EDTL:6238 Assessment of Learning Difficulties (3 s.h.)
  • EDTL:3938 Assessment of Learning Problems (3 s.h.)
  • An approved literacy assessment course (3 s.h.)

One of these:


  • PSQF:4106 Child Development (3 s.h.)
  • PSQF:4130 Early Adolescent Development (3 s.h.)
  • PSQF:5133 The Adolescent and Young Adult (3 s.h.)
  • PSQF:6200 Educational Psychology (3 s.h.)

Students who have completed educational psychology and/or human growth and development course work relating only to grades K-8 should choose PSQF:4130 Early Adolescent Development, PSQF:4133 The Adolescent and Young Adult, or PSQF:6200 Educational Psychology from the list above. Those who have completed work relating only to grades 5-12 should choose PSQF:4106 Child Development or PSQF:6200 Educational Psychology.

One of these:

  • EDTL:6167 Inquiry-Based Curriculum Development in Early Childhood and Elementary Classrooms (3 s.h.)
  • EDTL:7100 Design and Organization of Curriculum (3 s.h.)
  • EDTL:5086 Curriculum Foundations (2-3 s.h.)

One of these:

  • EPLS:6383 Supervision and Evaluation (3 s.h.)
  • EDTL:7165 Reading Clinic: Supervision (arr.)


A thesis is required for the thesis option.

  • EDTL:6393Master's Thesis (2 s.h.)


Students, in consultation with their advisors, may select the remaining required semester hours as electives from areas such as curriculum, supervision, language arts, testing and evaluation, linguistics, or speech pathology.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination consists of two three-hour exams. Each three-hour exam is based on an aspect of reading or literacy. With agreement of a student's advisor and committee, a comprehensive project may be substituted for the written examination in one or both areas.

Employment Opportunities
  • Classroom teacher
  • Curriculum director
  • Instructional coach


Application Questions
Application Deadline
  • Fall Semester—July 15
    (April 15 for international students) 
  • Spring Semester—December 1
    (October 1 for international students) 
  • Summer Session—April 15
    (March 1 for international students)