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Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction––Reading Education

The Education Specialist degree is offered full-time in just 1 year in Charlottesville. The degree can also be pursued online as a part-time offering.  This post-graduate professional degree does not lead to Virginia's reading specialist endorsement.

The educational specialist degree program is designed to help educators who already hold a master’s degree to go further in the field of education. With a focus on analysis of current research and hands-on study through field experience, the program provides educators with the skills to develop curriculum, and assess, evaluate, and instruct students in literacy related to content areas.

Teachers today work in a variety of settings including K-12 schools, school divisions, adult education, commercial educational ventures, and community centers.  In all settings, professionals may be responsible for designing and integrating curricular programs that reflect research-based practices. The Education Specialist degree allows teachers with a masters degree to build their own expertise in curriculum design with a focus on literacy development.  In light of current government legislation, it is imperative for curriculum leaders to be in a strong position to facilitate students' literacy needs across the curriculum.

Following completion of the Ed.S program, candidates will have acquired the ability to:

  • Apply knowledge of refined research-based teaching strategies and skills to improve literacy instruction
  • Integrate the best practices of reading into the entire curriculum
  • Evaluate current practices in education and explore strategies to improve learning outcomes
  • Create positive social change by providing literacy leadership at the school, community and division levels
  • Explore real-world challenges in education and develop scholarly methods to create positive social change

The Curry School Ed.S. degree in reading is a 30 hour (27 hours of course work, 3 hours of thesis) post-masters graduate degree designed for the professional educator. Advisors meet with students to design a course of study that includes core and elective courses that complement professional goals.  The degree may be taken full or part time in Charlottesville, part-time only on-line.  A thesis is required for completion.

Program Life


The Curry librarians are available to assist you with your research needs. See the Curry Off-Grounds Library Guide for more information.

Prerequisites and Admission Requirements

Any student who wishes to apply for this degree must submit an online application, required test scores, at least two letters of recommendation, a complete transcript, and a current statement of professional goals (1-2 pages). It is possible to apply up to 6 graduate credits toward a certificate or degree. The student’s advisor must approve such credit. Coursework must be no older than 5 years at degree completion. All other University of Virginia course work must be earned after admission to the degree. Students are responsible for knowing the requirements for admission to, and completion of, the EdS degree.  It is the student's responsibility to contact his/her advisor for planning.

Applicants for the Ed.S. degree must hold an M.Ed degree in a relevant area.

GRE scores are expected to meet or exceed the Curry School's minimum standards listed below for the old vs. new GRE exam.  If scores do not meet criteria, we recommend you retake GREs before submitting your application. The admissions committee will use the highest scores when making admission decisions. 

EdS applicants—Verbal GRE: at or above 150; Quantitative GRE: 145; 4.0 (analytical writing).

Applicants may submit unofficial test scores and transcripts with their application. However, official test scores (taken within 5 years) and official transcripts showing degree conferral are required prior to matriculation.

Application Due Date

ALL application materials, including test scores, transcripts, and recommendations, must be received by the deadlines below in order for an application to be considered complete.

Students applying to study in Charlottesville:
-Fall entry: February 1 for the first review of applications. Applications will be accepted until June 1 on a space-available basis.
-Spring entry: October 15
-Summer entry: February 1

All other locations: 
-Fall entry: June 1
-Spring entry: October 15
-Summer entry: February 1

Applicants will be assigned an advisor when their application has been approved.

Degree Requirements

The Education Specialist degree is a 30-hours post-master’s degree.  The EdS in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Reading Education requires 27 hours of course work and 3 hours for thesis beginning fall 2015.  Advisors meet with students to design a course of study that includes reading and elective courses that complement professional goals.  The degree may be taken full or part time in Charlottesville.  A thesis is required for degree completion. Also beginning in fall 2015, the degree may be earned part-time online.

Completion of the degree is not connected to the K12 Reading Specialist endorsement in Virginia.



Funding Opportunities

Students may apply for federal financial aid, including work-study. Information about federal aid programs, including applying using the FAFSA, can be found through Student Financial Services. Additional financial aid information can be found on Curry's Financial Aid webpage.

Typical Length of Study

Three semesters full-time on-Grounds; part-time study usually takes 1-2 years.

Full or Part Time:

Full and part time enrollment are available in Charlottesville. Part time online will be available in Spring 2016.

Course Overview

The Education Specialist degree in reading is a planned 30-credit (minimum) terminal post-master’s degree in which candidates are expected to attain an understanding of major issues in reading education, definitive knowledge of the field of reading, and the ability to integrate and apply what they have learned in an educational context and demonstrate this knowledge in a thesis.

Reading Core Example Courses (18 hours)

To be determined with advisor

EDIS 7700 Foundations of Reading Instruction
EDIS 7710 Reading in the Content Areas
EDIS 7720 Word Study: Language Structures and Phonics
EDIS 5730 Reading Diagnosis and Remediation I (K-2)
EDIS 5740 Remedial Techniques and Remediation (grades 3 and above)
EDIS 7751 Literacy Leadership and Coaching  

Electives (9 hours)
To be determined with advisor.

Thesis Course (3 hours)

EDIS 8999 Masters Thesis

Sample Jobs After Graduation

Central office and leadership positions and and coaching positions; community college administration.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at

Contact Us

Mary Abouzeid
Statewide Coordinator
162 Ruffner Hall


Ottilie Austin
164 Ruffner Hall

Falls Church
Carrie Simkin

Newport News
Susan Thacker-Gwaltney

Julie Gray

We are always looking to improve our programs and welcome your feedback.

Locations Offered

  • Charlottesville
  • Distance and Distributed Learning
  • Falls Church
  • Hampton Roads
  • Richmond

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