MEd, Curriculum Studies

Typical Length 2 years

Delivery Online

Nationally Accredited


Add a Field

The MEd-CS Literacy Specialist is 30-credit online track and partnership between the Curriculum Studies and Special Education Departments that prepares literacy specialists to ensure all students achieve their maximum potentials as readers, writers, listeners, speakers, and practitioners of 21st Century literacies (e.g., digital, media, visual, critical) based on both International Literacy and Dyslexia Association Standards for Reading Professionals. The track may be used to add the field, Literacy Specialist, to a Hawai‘i Standard or Advanced Teaching License. Graduates may also receive a Literacy Leader Graduate Certificate, which appears on program completers’ transcripts. (The graduate certificate may also be taken separately.)

Who should consider this program

K-12 educators with at least 3 years of teaching experience who are interested in becoming leaders in Literacy curriculum and instruction in their classrooms, schools, and districts.

Common Careers

Graduates of this program are positioned to take up Literacy leadership positions in their school, district, state, and beyond. They are also prepared to conduct research on literacy in their schools and districts. Students are eligible to earn a Literacy Specialist add-a-field to existing Hawaii teaching licenses.

Admission Requirements

Must have graduated from an accredited, four-year institution of higher education recognized by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), prior to beginning the MEd, Curriculum Studies: Literacy Specialist program.

An Undergraduate Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

A transcript from each post-secondary institution attended.

A written statement of objectives as part of your application.

Your resumé or CV.

Three (3) letters of recommendation

Applicants who are not native English speakers may need to take the TOEFL or IELTS (Academic) tests. For more information view the Graduate Division website.

International students that have been admitted are required to submit a copy of their Identification documents (i.e. Passport or Identification Card)

International applicants need to show proof of sufficient funding to cover all educational and living expenses

How to Apply
Application Deadlines
Starting Semester General Admission International Students Admission
Summer N/A N/A
Fall March 1 *
Spring N/A N/A

We are currently not admitting international students residing outside of the US into our hybrid or online programs due to legal and tax implications. For more information, please contact Graduate Division at

How to Apply
Tuition & Funding

The MEd CS-Literacy Specialist is offered through Outreach College.  All participants (Hawaii resident, Non-resident, and International) in this program pay the Hawaii-resident per-credit course rate and fees.

For the most current information, always refer to the Graduate Division website, UHM regular Tuition & Fees or UHM Outreach College Tuition & Fees.

Financial assistance may be found at:


  • Department of Curriculum Studies Merit-based Giving Tree Scholarship (Notices come out in March)

College of Education

University of Hawaiʻi



Delivery & Format

The MEd-CS Literacy Specialist pathway is conducted totally online with some courses offered synchronously (where everyone is online at the same time), asynchronously (where work is done on your own time), or some combination of the two.  Candidates will also be invited to attend a face-to-face weekend orientation at UHM in April prior to beginning the program and a capstone orientation at the end of the first year of the program. Cohorts begin annually during Summer. Each cohort runs for two years and will span two summer terms and four academic semesters (i.e., Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring).


The MEd-CS Literacy Specialist track is a 30-credit graduate program consisting of the following:

  • 4 core courses (12-credits)
    • EDCS 622G: Curriculum Leadership (3)
    • EDCS 606: Introduction to Research  (3)
    • EDCS 632: Qualitative Research Methods (3) or approved alternative research methods course
    • EDCS 667G: Seminar in Curriculum Issues (3)
  • Minimum 6 specialization courses (18-credits) – required and/or recommended coursework and directed study in specialization track. Courses should be chosen in consultation with advisor.
  • Plan B Paper/Project

For a full listing of courses, see the MEd-CS Handbook: Literacy Specialist.

Advising & Faculty

Our faculty and staff will provide you with guidance and resources to support your success from beginning to end. You will receive a dedicated faculty advisor to partner with you on your journey. 

Program Coordinator
Photo of Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith

Associate Professor of Literacy Education