Skip to content
students in class for their phd degree in literacy

Ph.D. in Literacy: Literacy Specialization

Request More Information

Deepen your understanding of literacy instruction.

Support literacy as the backbone of education from kindergarten through high school graduation with St. John’s University’s specialization in Literacy. Go beyond the online Ph.D. in Literacy program’s core courses and deepen your knowledge in teaching students of all ages to read.

Learn to use the latest in social and digital technology to support successful learning outcomes in language arts and writing instruction. Benefit from direct interactions with expert faculty who have served as classroom teachers, specialists, principals, consultants and more.

Establish yourself as an expert in literacy education and build a foundation for student success in our Literacy specialization.

Career Outlook: Empower Others

Make an impact as a literacy specialist in the classroom or in higher education settings where you can influence the entire field by teaching and empowering others.

In 2017, adult and secondary education literacy instructors earned a median annual salary of $52,100, with the top 10 percent making $87,160 per year.1 Salary potential can differ by industry, with information services leading in salary potential. Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all US occupations.2

Career Spotlight: K–12 Literacy Coach

As a K–12 literacy coach, you partner with teachers in your institution to improve their literacy instruction. You supervise their everyday work teaching students and provide on-the-job training, mentorship, and support. You also develop schoolwide literacy programs and partner with community organizations focused on literacy.

You see the direct benefits of your work as your students improve as readers and learners.

Potential career titles:

  • Professor of literacy
  • Literacy specialist
  • Literacy supervisor
  • School district literacy leader
  • Literacy consultant
Jobs and Income

Curriculum: Position Your Students for Success

Discover strategies to prepare learners of all ages for success with phonemic awareness, phonics, and word learning strategies, and understand the strategic foundation on which literacy development is built.

In addition to 18 credit hours of core literacy courses and 15 credit hours of research required for the Ph.D. in Literacy, the Literacy specialization includes the following two courses:

  • EDU 3220: Approaches, Materials, and Performance Evaluation, K–12
  • EDU 3270: Theories of and Strategies for Teaching Literacy in Content Areas

Plus, one of the following:

  • EDU 3215 Research & Practice of Teaching Writing in General Inclusion Education 5-12
  • EDU 3210: Research & Practice of Teaching Writing in General Inclusion Education B-6
  • EDU 3217: Research & Practice of Teaching Writing in General Inclusion Education B-12
Explore full curriculum

Specialization Outcomes

More Specialization Options

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.

Learn More

Apply to St. John’s University’s online Ph.D. in Literacy program and establish yourself as an expert in literacy education. Contact us at 844-393-1677 or request more information today!


  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017 May). Occupational Employment Statistics. Retrieved on February 14, 2019, from
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017 May). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved on February 14, 2019, from