Course Requirements​

Social and Cultural Studies Courses: 12 quarter hours required, grade of C or better required

Reading Specialist Core Courses: 28 quarter hours required, grade of C or better required

Practicum Courses: 12 quarter hours required, grade of C or better

Clinical Experience:​​

The program requires a minimum of 150 hours of clinical working with students with reading and learning disabilities. These hours are earned in the on-campus Family Lab in conjunction with LSI 542, LSI 543, and LSI 544. The Family Lab provides diagnostic and remedial services for children and adolescents with reading disabilities.  Graduate students who are enrolled in advanced courses provide diagnostic and remedial services to children and adolescents in the Chicago area.

Reading Specialist plus LBS1 option

Students admitted to the Reading Specialist program may elect to pursue the LBS1 endorsement.  Students must complete four courses plus the LBS1 content area test (#155) in addition to the Reading Specialist program.  These courses are:

Students may take these courses concurrently with or at the end of the Reading Specialist program.  Students must consult their Faculty Advisor if they elect to pursue the LBS1 option.

Licensure Tests

All individuals licensed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) are required to complete licensure tests specific to their teaching license.  

Reading Specialist students must complete the following tests:

  • Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) (test #400) - assesses knowledge of reading comprehension, language arts, writing, and math.  ​*Check with your advisor about qualifying for a waiver with acceptable ACT or SAT test scores.​
  • Reading Specialist Content Area Test (test #176) – assesses knowledge of language, reading, and literacy.
  • Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) – assesses knowledge of teaching planning, delivery, assessment, professionalism, and technology.  Test is required to be licensed, recommended to be taken before Student Teaching.
  • EdTPA - assessment conducted during the student teaching experience including video clips of instruction, lesson plans, student work samples, analysis of student learning and reflective commentaries. Students will submit an electronic portfolio to an outside agency for independent evaluation and a fee will be imposed by that agency as part of the assessment.

LSI 549


A Master of Arts candidate conducts original research, writes a thesis, and presents an oral defense before a committee of faculty members. PREREQUISTE(S): SCG 410 and approved thesis proposal.