Online Ph.D. in Literacy

The online Ph.D. Literacy program is currently at capacity for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. We are not enrolling new students until further notice.

If you have questions or concerns and would like to speak with the program director, you can reach Evan Ortlieb at

Advance the Practice of Literacy Education

Program time to completion:

2.5 Years*
*includes summer study

Literacy is the foundational skill on which all learning is based. The Ph.D. in Literacy from St. John’s University—one of the nation’s only online doctorate in Literacy programs provides you with the expertise to find solutions to academic difficulties that may hinder reading proficiency. You will graduate with the knowledge and skills to assist students, teachers, and administrators to enhance learning across all subject areas. Position yourself to advance the practice of literacy education—and to make a difference.

Why St. John’s Ph.D. in Literacy?

  • A holistic focus on at-risk learners. This program considers challenges related to at-risk learning throughout the entire curriculum.
  • Specialization opportunities. You can customize your learning to your interests and career goals by choosing a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Educational Leadership or Special Education. You may also choose the Literacy cognate option if you lack a background in literacy or prefer a more generalized specialization option.
  • Research focus. The program encourages proactive research to find solutions to literacy difficulties and advocates for equity and social justice.
  • Time to completion. Earn your degree online in as little as two and a half to three and a half years, far faster than many other programs that can take as much as six years.
  • Faculty support. You will have a dedicated advisor every semester and mentorship access to the program coordinator. Annual reviews of your student progress will provide you additional support and resources for success.
  • Dissertation project. You will conduct an independent research project that addresses a critical area in literacy that has a theoretical underpinning, practical value, and aims to add value to the field of literacy.

Program Outcomes

This 42-credit program equips you with the tools to address literacy difficulties through research, implementation, and instruction. Consider these benefits to the online Ph.D. in Literacy program:

  • Broaden and increase your depth of knowledge on literacy for all learners, including diverse and at-risk populations.
  • Develop your abilities as a literacy educator who sees diversity as an advantage.
  • Gain forward-thinking perspectives on literacy research, theory, practice and evaluation.
  • Expand your capacity to conduct advanced research and inquiry.

Highly Ranked and Recognized

  • U.S. News & World Report (2018) ranks The School of Education at St. John’s #31 in the nation for Online Graduate Programs.
  • The School of Education is a member of the:
    •    American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE)
    •    University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA)
    •    Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)

Advance Your Future in Literacy

Your Ph.D. in Literacy equips you with a repertoire of literacy strategies that enhance teaching and learning in general education, special education, resource rooms, and English-language learning environments. The degree prepares you for representative job titles that include:

Job TitleMedian Salary*
Administrative position in education foundation$85,000
Private practice multisensory instructor$80,000
University or college professor with Ph.D.$72,470
Literacy coach or supervisor$67,404
Reading interventionist$67,000

*Salary information accessed at, and

Advance your literacy career with an online Ph.D. from St. John’s University. Contact us at 844-393-1677 or Request More Information today!