Admission Requirements: Master of Education in Literacy and Second Language Studies

August 08, 2022
August 22, 2022
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stack of documents icon Admission Requirements


Admission into the University of Cincinnati’s Master of Education Literacy and Second Language Studies, online program is selective and based on meeting the requirements outlined below.

Admission Requirements 

The applicant must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 at the undergraduate level.  GRE scores are optional for admission to the Master’s degree program, but are highly recommended to strengthen applications that may be weak in other areas.  It is highly recommended that students applying to the PreK-16 Literacy Learning and Instruction have at least 2 years of teaching experience.

Transfer credit policy

Master’s Degree and Graduate Certificates:

Courses taken prior to admission into the program may be eligible for transfer into the program, if taken within 5 years prior to admission and if approved by the program faculty.

Official paperwork is required and the appropriate forms may be obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies.

To maintain active status in the program, students must register for at least one credit every academic year. Degree requirements must be completed within 5 years of date of admission.

Practicum coursework cannot be transferred into the program.

Up to (9) semester credit hours can be transferred into the program upon approval of the department.


Prospective students will complete the on-line application for their requested program by the posted application deadline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials and support documents are successfully submitted. Incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed.  All application materials must be submitted by the deadline corresponding with the semester you wish to begin.


Letters of Recommendation

Two to three letters of recommendation from people familiar with the applicant’s academic and professional abilities.  If possible, at least one letter should be from a faculty member in higher education. Those writing letters should explain who they are, their relationship to the applicant, and what they know of the applicant’s academic and professional abilities. The applicant should be prepared to provide the recommenders e-mail addresses in the electronic application. Since recommenders are not prompted to submit their letters until the electronic application has been submitted, and application fee paid, it is wise to encourage recommenders to prepare their letters in advance so that they can upload them immediately upon receipt of the prompt.

Goal Statement

A goal statement/cover letter should include the following:

A clear statement as to which degree and program strand (PreK-16 Literacy, K-12 TESOL) the application is being made.
A statement of the applicant’s academic and professional goals (approximately two pages long). This writing sample will be used as one of the criteria for evaluating the application. The applicant should explain specifically what areas she/he would like to study so that an appropriate advisor may be assigned to the applicant if admitted into the program.


A resume relevant to academic and professional data. It should include the applicant’s name; address; phone; email; colleges attended with degrees, dates conferred, and grade point average; employment history; professional experience; present employer; and names of references.


Official transcripts showing all undergraduate and graduate course work completed, including degrees granted and dates of degrees. Applicants whose previous degrees were earned at the University of Cincinnati may substitute “on-campus” transcripts.

Student will upload unofficial transcripts (from all college or universities attended) during the application process.

Official transcripts are not required until student has accepted an offer of admission from the university.

Learn more about the transcript submission policy.

Optional Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores

You have the option to provide an original copy of scores taken within five years of the date of application. GRE scores are optional for admission to the Master’s degree program, but are highly recommended to strengthen applications that may be weak in other areas. For example, applicants with less than a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 should include GRE scores with their application.

To ensure we receive the scores, both the university and the program to which scores are sent should be indicated on the order form. The code for University of Cincinnati is 1833. You will then be prompted to select the program to which your scores are to be sent. Information on the procedures for taking the Graduate Record Examination can be obtained from

The Graduate Record Examination is offered regularly on the University of Cincinnati’s campus:

100 University Pavilion, 2618 McMicken Circle
Cincinnati, OH 45221

International Students

International student applicants are required to provide specific information about their transcripts or degree programs to facilitate the applicant review process, including transcript translation and evaluation by a recognized translation/evaluation agency. For a list of translation/evaluation agencies accepted by the University of Cincinnati, please contact the International Students Services office: 513-556-4278.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. The following minimum scores must be obtained:

Internet-Based Test (iBT): 79-80  OR
Paper-Based Test (PBT):  550 AND a minimum score on the Test of Written English (TWE) of 5 AND a minimum score of 50 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE)

The TOEFL must have been taken within the two-year period preceding admission.  The University of Cincinnati maintains an International Student Services Office (ISSO), which serves international students attending the University. For questions regarding international student information, contact the International Student Services Office at (513) 556-4278.

Applicants who fall into one or more of the following categories are exempt from the TOEFL requirement:

  • Non-native English speakers who hold degrees or diplomas from postsecondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g., the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand).
  • Non-native English speakers who earned at least a 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam or at least a B on the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) exam; and
    non-native English speakers who earned at least 62-63 on PTE.

The University of Cincinnati also accepts documentation of successful, recent completion of ELS Level 112 as evidence of English language proficiency. Such evidence may be submitted in lieu of TOEFL scores.


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The University of Cincinnati is one of the first institutions to offer online courses. Innovation in education is at the forefront of what we do. We have expanded the convenience and quality of our online learning to online degree programs. Today, we offer nearly 100 degrees from undergraduate to doctoral programs.

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