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Online Ph.D. in Literacy

Woman using tablet to earn her online phd in literacy degree

Devote yourself to advancing literacy education.

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100% online

2.5 years of courses + dissertation project to complete

2 specializations

61st Best Online Education Graduate Programs1

Literacy is the foundation of all learning. Prepare to help students from diverse backgrounds overcome barriers to reading proficiency and succeed throughout their entire educational career with the Ph.D. in Literacy program at St. John’s University—one of the nation’s only online doctorate programs in literacy.

Graduate in as little as three years ready to enhance learning across all subject areas in partnership with students, teachers, and administrators.

Plus, you can enter the field confident that your training meets or exceeds that of your peers. The School of Education at St. John’s University is a member of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, and University Council for Educational Administration.

“The information I am learning in the program is priceless. I truly appreciate the direction that is given by my professors. They are very helpful and knowledgeable. I believe this program will prepare me to advocate for both teachers and students in my field.”

– Annamaria Miller, ESL Teacher/Instructor

Customize Your Learning

Take your career in a new direction by focusing your education in one of two areas:

Ph.D. in Literacy: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Combine your passion for literacy with specialized skills teaching English to speakers of other languages. This curriculum meets the International TESOL Association’s highest standards.

Ph.D. in Literacy: Literacy

Support literacy as the backbone of education from kindergarten to high school graduation, gain first-hand experience with expert faculty, and build a foundation for student success.

Find Your Future in Literacy

Equip yourself with a repertoire of literacy strategies that enhance teaching in a variety of environments, from the classroom or special education department to learning resource rooms and ESL teams.

Depending on your specialization, prepare for job titles such as:

Job titleSalary
Elementary/secondary education leader$94,3902
Adult/secondary education literacy instructor$87,1603
Post-secondary education administrator$92,3604
Special education professional$96,1005
Learn more about your career outlook

Curriculum Focused on Reaching Diverse Learners

The entire 42-credit curriculum, through research, implementation, and instruction, is built around a holistic focus on helping students overcome the obstacles they face in literacy, no matter their background. You will:

  • 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.

The online Ph.D. in Literacy encourages proactive research to find solutions for literacy difficulties and advocates for equity and social justice. Through an independent research project, you address a critical area in literacy and harness what you learn to make an impact in this field.

Explore the curriculum

Work with Dedicated Faculty

Learn from faculty with decades of experience in literacy education and take advantage of a dedicated advisor who supports your success throughout the program. Annual reviews of your progress, and mentorship from the program coordinator, ensure you make the most of your time at St. John’s University.

Meet your faculty

Learn More

If you have any questions about St. John’s University’s online Ph.D. in Literacy, contact us at 844-393-1677 or request more information today!


  1. U.S. News & World Report, 2019
  2. O-Net Online. (2018) Education Administrators, Elementary & Secondary School. Retrieved on February 13, 2019, from
  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017 May) Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers and Instructors. Retrieved on February 13, 2019, from
  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017 May) Occupational Outlook Handbook: Post-Secondary Education Administrators. Retrieved on February 13, 2019, from
  5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017 May) Occupational Employment Statistics. Retrieved on February 13, 2019, from