Graduate Certificate in Literacy Education

Build a foundation for your students' futures.

Strengthen the foundation for your career.

Are you passionate about fostering a love for reading, writing, and other forms of communication, such as image making, for the next generation? Do you believe in the transformative impact of literacy on a student's academic and personal development? Are you ready to enhance your resume and take the next step in your career? Our Graduate Certificate in Literacy Education provides students the opportunity to learn about cutting edge curriculum and instructional design principles of interdisciplinary reading, writing, and viewing texts, in and out of schools, in places such as museums and national parks.





Convenient Schedule
Courses are scheduled in evenings to accommodate working professionals.


Multimodal Curriculum
Explore a multimodal curriculum that embraces a variety of teaching approaches, ensuring you are prepared to engage with diverse learners and teaching scenarios.





The GW Advantage

At GW, we capitalize on our unique location in the heart of our nation's capital. Our classroom extends into the city, incorporating the resources just steps from campus, allowing you to immerse yourself in a vibrant educational hub. Benefit from our access to leading national archives and libraries, and major science, arts, humanities, and performance centers.

We take learning beyond traditional settings as we design literacy activities in informal settings that students choose. Classes have met at the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Museums, the MLK Memorial Library, the Botanical Garden, and more. Students have harnessed these extraordinary resources to design curriculum and pedagogy, creating a truly distinctive "Only at GW" experience.




 Program at a Glance

Degree Awarded:

Graduate Certificate in Literacy Education


Curriculum & Pedagogy

Course Delivery:

Main Campus

Program Entry:

Spring, Summer, Fall

Our Mission

The mission of our literacy education certificate program is to empower individuals through comprehensive literacy education, broadly defined to include multimodal communication modes, such as visual and printed texts. We are dedicated to fostering skills that can be applied in both formal and informal settings, such as museums, parks, summer programs and through private tutoring. Our commitment is rooted in the belief that literacy is the cornerstone of personal growth, joy, social inclusion, and academic success.


The following requirements must be fulfilled: 12 credits in required courses and completion of a portfolio to be evaluated during the final semester of study.

Required: Courses must be taken in the order shown.
CPED 6691 Interdisciplinary Adolescent Literacies
CPED 6624 Foundations and Research of Literacy and Reading Education
CPED 6223 Interdisciplinary Elementary School Literacies
CPED 6628 Literacies in Informal Learning Environments
Program Outcomes
  • Graduates will understand the theoretical and evidence-based foundations of interdisciplinary literacy.
  • Graduates who are licensed teachers will take what they learn from the certificate program to extend and enhance their work in schools.
  • The certificate also prepares its graduates to work in out-of-school settings, such as tutoring clinics and after school and summer programs.

 Apply Now

GSEHD’s Office of Admissions invites you to apply for a spot in our program. Please review the following admission and financial information.

Ready to take the next step in your career? Review our step-by-step guide to applying to GSEHD >

To learn more about the program, admission process, and upcoming events, please connect with the GSEHD Admissions Team at or 202-994-9283.

Apply Now    Schedule Consultation with Admissions Coach   

To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the online application form as well as the following required supporting documents. There is no application fee.

  • Prerequisite: Bachelor's Degree

  • Resume

  • Transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities

  • Statement of Purpose

  • 2 Letters of Recommendation

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants.

The deadline for Fall 2024 has passed, but applications may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. We encourage you to apply as early as possible. We encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Application Timeline Fall
Priority Deadline Nov 1
Round 1 Deadline Dec 15
Round 2 Deadline Jan 16
Round 3 Deadline March 1
Round 4 Deadline May 1
Round 5 Deadline June 15


For more information or to inquire about the next admissions cycle, contact the GSEHD Admissions Team at or 202-994-9283.



 Tuition & Financial Aid


We know embarking upon graduate school is a big decision - due in part to the costs of attending. At GW, we understand the time and thought behind making graduate school work for you. Please take a moment to learn more about the options and opportunities available to help fund your graduate education.

Learn more about scholarships, grants & financial aid    

Graduate tuition is charged per credit hour, unless otherwise noted. Rates vary by program and location.

The tuition rate* for the Graduate Certificate in Literacy Education program is $1,905 per credit hour.

This program requires 12 credits.

Please note: Additional fees may apply for international students, late fees, etc. Current tuition rates may be updated during the year.

*Summer 2024, Fall 2024 and Spring 2025

View the current fee chart     




Maeve Chen headshot
quotation mark

GSEHD’s Curriculum and Instruction programs have a unique concoction of interdisciplinary pedagogy, reading, and literacy, all of which prepare teachers to work with diverse programs and cultures. GW has a strong connection with prestigious schools in the DMV area, which provides greater opportunities to network and complete practicums. I believe this program will help me achieve my goals, particularly through the guidance and expertise of the faculty and the hands-on experience I've received.

MAEVE CHEN (Current Student)



 Career Outlook

Prepare for a wide range of career opportunities in literacy education, from working with young learners in K-12 schools to empowering adults in community programs. This specialized credential equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to work with students and promote literacy development. From a conventional perspective, there are great opportunities for promoting literacy and reading education in school settings. In addition, our program is framed with 21st Century ideas that define literacy broadly, which incorporates settings such as museums and other informal learning environments.

Career Opportunities
teacher watches as an elementary student writes on the white board
  • Literacy Specialist: Literacy specialists work in K-12 schools to support students who are struggling with reading and writing. They provide targeted interventions, assess students' literacy skills, and collaborate with teachers to improve literacy outcomes.
  • Reading Coach: Reading coaches work with teachers and school staff to improve literacy instruction. They provide professional development, model effective teaching strategies, and help educators implement evidence-based literacy practices.
  • Adult Literacy Instructor: Adult literacy instructors work with adult learners to improve their reading and writing skills. They may work in adult education programs, community colleges, or adult literacy organizations.
  • Education Consultant: As an education consultant with expertise in literacy, you can provide guidance to schools and districts on how to improve their literacy programs, develop assessments, and implement effective literacy strategies.
  • Private Tutor: With a graduate certificate in literacy education, you can offer private tutoring services to students of all ages who need help with reading and writing.
  • Instructional Designer: In this role, you can design instructional materials, including online courses, for educational institutions or organizations with a focus on literacy instruction.
Potential Employment Settings
large t-rex fossil display in museum
  • K-12 Schools/School Districts
  • Adult Education Programs
  • Libraries
  • State Departments of Education
  • Non-Profit Educational Organizations
  • Informal Learning Environments, including Museums



Literacy Education Faculty

Dr. Jonathan Eakle

Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy

(202) 994-6821



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