Apr 21, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 
Graduate Catalog

Reading, Ph.D.

The Reading Education Program in the UALR College of Education and Health Professions offers the following programs and degrees to meet the needs of teachers progressing along their career pathway.

Training Programs Graduate Certificates Graduate Degrees
Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Literacy Intervention Specialist Graduate Certificate* Master of Education in Reading [M.Ed.]
Reading Recovery Teacher Literacy Coach Specialist Graduate Certificate Educational Specialist in Reading [Ph.D.]
  Dyslexia Graduate Certificate Doctor of Philosophy in Reading [Ph.D.]
  Literacy and Culture Graduate Certificate*  

*Program has been discontinued.

Out-of-State Reciprocity

Out-of-state candidates seeking certification from other states as reading specialists or related to dyslexia should consult with their respective State Education agencies about specific licensure standards and exam requirements. All candidates are strongly advised to consult closely with a graduate advisor for details regarding their program, concentration, and opportunities for certification and licensure.

The Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Reading degree is a program of study designed to prepare candidates with the knowledge and expertise to become teacher educators, scholars, and literacy researchers. The Ph.D. in Reading is a research-oriented program of study with rigorous course work in literacy education combined with cognitive apprenticeships in the field and opportunities to collaborate with faculty on scholarly work and research projects.

Ph.D. Admission Requirements

Candidates will submit a graduate application to the UALR Graduate School. Admission decisions will be made on a holistic basis to discern the candidate’s promise for doctoral study and to ascertain the match of the candidate’s educational goals with the resources and goals of the reading program.

  • Minimum grade point average of 3.3-3.5 on master’s degree or higher
  • GRE quantitative score with a minimum score of 141
  • GRE verbal score with a minimum score of 150
  • GRE analytical writing score with a minimum score of 4.5
  • Three professional letters of recommendation
  • Reading faculty interview, including professional goals statement, current curriculum vitae, and other requested evidences of the applicant’s promise for doctoral studies

Conditional Admission

If the standard for admission is not met, a conditionally admitted student may enroll in up to 12 semester hours. Upon completion of 12 semester hours in the program, the reading faculty will review the work completed to that point by the applicant as part of the overall admissions application to determine if the student will be granted regular admission to the program.

Admission to regular status will be contingent upon the student successfully completing 12 hours of the following coursework with a minimum 3.5 GPA.

Residence Requirements

Residence is defined as a full-time registration for a given semester on the UALR campus. The summer term is included in this period. Two consecutive semesters of residence are required with a minimum of six semester hours taken each semester.

Ph.D. Program Requirements

The Ph.D. in Reading requires a minimum of 108 hours (72 hours beyond the master’s degree) as determined by student and student’s coursework advisor. The program of study is organized under four curricular areas:

  1. Literacy Core;
  2. Research Core;
  3. Specialty Area; and
  4. Dissertation.

The literacy core includes 15 hours of course work that provides candidates with an integrated exploration of seminal theories, key research studies, and historical contributions in reading instruction. The research core includes 15 hours of course work that addresses current information about research design and methods for quantitative and qualitative studies, including statistics and data management.

The specialty area includes 24 hours of course work that provides candidates with a range of options for deepening their knowledge in concentrated areas. The dissertation courses include a minimum of 18 hours of course work that provides candidates with the knowledge and experiences for designing and conducting scholarly research in literacy education. Additional requirements include the successful completion of an electronic portfolio in Chalk and Wire, a passing score on a comprehensive written examination, and the successful defense of the dissertation research.

Prerequisite Requirements

Reading Prerequisites: If the candidate does not hold a reading license or a Master’s in reading, the candidate will be required to complete nine hours of foundational reading coursework, including Foundations of Teaching Reading, Reading Diagnosis (or equivalent courses), and three hours of Reading practicum prior to enrolling in any 8000-level reading coursework. These hours can be applied as electives in the degree plan.

Research Prerequisites: If the candidate did not complete a statistics or entry-level research class in the Master’s or Educational Specialist program, the candidate will be required to complete EDFN 7304 - Basic Statistics  and EDFN 7303 - Introduction to Educational Research  prior to enrolling in any 8000-level research or statistics courses (some courses may have other prerequisites, as well). If the candidate did not complete a qualitative research class in the Master’s or Educational Specialist program, the candidate will be required to complete EDFN 7373 - Qualitative Research Methods  prior to enrolling in EDFN 8383 - Advanced Qualitative Research Methods .

Dissertation (18 hours)

Following the completion of all course work, the candidate writes a dissertation proposal detailing the intended research and the rational behind it. The candidate must defend the proposal to the dissertation committee. After approval is granted, work on the dissertation can proceed. The dissertation represents the culmination of an original major research project completed by the student. The candidate may continue to enroll in dissertation beyond the fourth year but must have the dissertation completed prior to the ten-year limit.