FAQs for Master's
 in Literacy Education

FAQs for Master's <br> in Literacy Education

MS in Literacy Education FAQ

Why choose Canisius' online master's degree in literacy?

  • With more than 75 years of experience in granting master's degrees in education, Canisius is one of the most well respected schools in the region.
  • Canisius' School of Education and Human Services is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
  • The Canisius Literacy program is recognized by the International Literacy Association.

When can I start the program?

You can start during any of our three terms: fall (late August), spring (mid-January) and summer (May/June). You select your start date when you submit your application. If you are unsure of your start date, select the earliest one that you are likely to attend. Should you be accepted and wish to change your start date to a later term, simply inform the Graduate Admissions Office of your new start date in writing and we will change your start date.

How long will the degree take?

This is a 33 credit (11 courses) graduate program leading to the award of a Master of Science Degree in Literacy Education. By taking 2 courses each semester and 3 over a summer, the program can be completed in two years, including a 2 week on-campus session for Practicum I and II in the online program. 

Do I need to currently be a certified teacher to apply for this program?


What is the minimum GPA required for acceptance into the program?

Most candidates have a minimum GPA of 3.0 from their undergraduate studies. GPA’s below 3.0 will be reviewed by admission staff and program faculty to determine status.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required?

For candidates who already possess an initial teaching certification and are pursuing entrance into a professional certification MS program, a standardized test score is required. Candidates can submit GRE, MAT, or ALST test scores to complete this requirement. Contact admissions staff with questions.  

For candidates pursuing entrance into an initial certification teaching program, a standardized test score is required.  Candidates can submit GRE, MAT, SAT, or ACT test scores to complete this requirement. Contact admissions staff with questions.

Will the entire program be taken online or will I need to come to Buffalo, NY?

The program course work can be completed online. The practicum experiences require 2 weeks on campus during the summer. The practicums will be completed in our Literacy Center during the last two weeks of July.  If you have a concern about the on campus practicum, contact us.  The  program has been approved by New York State and recognized by the International Literacy Association as described.

What is the cost of the program?

Please see our Tuition & Fee's page for information on the program cost.

Can I live on campus while completing the summer practicum? 


Will I learn as much in an online MSED program as in a regular program?

There has been much debate and investigation on this topic. Current opinions seem to support the conclusion that online learning can be just as effective as regular classroom instruction. Researchers point out that in classroom settings students are able to avoid participation and let others interact. In contrast, with online instruction there is nowhere to hide. The learning experience requires constant interaction between instructors and students and students and their peers. Online instruction is not for everyone but for the motivated learner who is comfortable with using technology, online instruction can be equal to or even more effective than traditional classroom teaching.

How will I take the online classes?

You will be able to take these classes using a home or school based computer that is linked to the web. A high speed connection is required for this interactive experience. Canisius College uses an instructional program called "Desire2Learn (D2L)" for its online courses. The D2L Learning System is widely used and has established itself as a user-friendly interface between faculty and students. Participants in the program will use D2L and email to complete course assignments and to communicate with classmates and faculty. To learn more about what it is like to take an online course, click here.

When registering for courses, which section of the course should I register (i.e., ONL vs. WEB)?

Online literacy students should register for courses in the program curriculum with the "ONL" section designation. 

Once registered for my courses, how do I get started?

You will use the Canisius Desire2Learn (D2L) Learning System to get instructions for each of your courses of study. Once registered, simply use your username and password to log in to the Desire2Learn site. Once logged in, you will see a listing of your registered courses. You can get course information, including textbooks needed for the course. You should also use your username/password to check your Canisius email account (Griffmail) for an email from your professor with course information, including the first assignment and textbook information. 

How do I purchase books for my courses?

Books may be purchased online from the Canisius Bookstore or your instructor may suggest where to order a text or other materials for the course.  When selecting textbooks from the bookstore, make sure to select "EDR" for the "Select Your Department" drop down box and "ONL" for the "Select Your Section" drop down box. 

What state tests do I need for NY State literacy certification?

NY State requires the Content Speciality Test for literacy certification. 

Will my home state (or country) accept/recognize NY State certification?

Contact your Education Department to ask this question.

How do I apply?

You can complete a graduate application for the School of Education and Human Services on line for free. We recommend that you submit all application materials at least 30 days before your desired start date.