Change Lives through Literature

Combine your love of literature with your calling to teach. Become certified in Massachusetts to teach at the elementary school level. Begin introducing today's great works to tomorrow's great readers.

Study the art and illustration of a children's book, then share it with a child using the innovative “Whole Book Approach.” Examine the roots of fantasy for young readers to understand the appeal of Harry Potter. Consider touchstones of young adult realistic fiction to create your own original curriculum. Discover new nonfiction as you integrate common core standards into your own inventive teaching.

Whether in a public school classroom, an experimental charter school, or on a private school campus, your degree uniquely positions you to bring to together the child and the book in deeply engaging ways. Surround yourself with the extensive children's literature community at Simmons and in Boston. You already know the power of literature to change lives – use it well.

Program Requirements

Simmons's innovative dual-degree program prepares students for teaching licensure while simultaneously providing a concentration in a chosen area of liberal arts. This 60- to 64-credit program (depending on the length of student teaching) leads to a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), plus a Master of Arts (MA) in Children's Literature. Students work simultaneously toward both degrees and complete the program with initial teaching certification in elementary education (grades 1-6). Full-time students can complete the program in approximately two years. Part-time students must complete the program within six years of enrollment. MAT/Liberal Arts graduates are well positioned for leadership roles as department heads, lead teachers, or curriculum coordinators.

The following Children's Literature courses are mandatory:

  • CHL 401 Criticism of Literature for Children
  • CHL 403 The Picturebook
  • CHL 413 Contemporary Realistic Fiction for Young Adults
  • CHL 414 Fantasy and Science Fiction


History Electives (to total 4 credits)

  • CHL 411 Victorian Children's Literature
  • CHL 418 Australian Children's Literature
  • CHL 419 Canadian Children's Literature: Fantasy
  • CHL 424 Nonsense and Subversive Rhymes
  • CHL 427 Special Topics in Folk & Fairy Tales
  • CHL 428 The Graphic Novel and The Wizard of Oz

Children's Literature Electives (to total 8 credits)

  • CHL 404A Poetry for Young Readers
  • CHL 415 The Whole Book Approach
  • CHL 419B Humor
  • CHL 420 Thesis, supervised study
  • CHL 421 History of Children's Book Publishing
  • CHL 422 Editing the Children's Book Manuscript
  • CHL 429A Rereading Race in Classic Children's Literature
  • CHL 429B The Girl Reader, 1868-1908
  • CHL 429C Culture Matters in Children's Literature
  • CHL 430 Writing for Children I
  • CHL 434 The Child and the Book
  • CHL 436A Nonfiction-Narrative
  • CHL 436B Nonfiction-Expository
  • CHL 450 Independent study
  • CHL 451 The Reviewer
  • CHL 513 Survey of Children's and Young Adult Literature
  • Summer Symposium and Institute
Internships and Research

Our students take advantage of internships in Boston and beyond, building their skills and resumes and learning from mentors in their fields. Students have interned at publishing houses such as Delacorte, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Charlesbridge, Candlewick, Scholastic, Penguin, David Godine, and St. Martin's; at a variety of literary agenc​ies in Boston and New York; and at advocacy groups, such as Reach Out and Read and the Boston Book Festival. Some students also seek professional internships with local schools and libraries.

    Cathryn Mercier
    • Cathryn Mercier
    • Professor, Director of the Children’s Literature Program, Director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature
    • Phone: 617-521-2541
    • Office: C313
    Amy Pattee
    • Amy Pattee
    • Associate Professor
    • Phone: 617-521-2853
    • Office: P310B
    Megan Lambert
    • Megan Lambert
    • Senior Lecturer
    • Phone: 617-521-2576
    • Office: C310E
    Kelly Hager
    • Kelly Hager
    • Professor
    • Phone: 617-521-2173
    • Office: C310D
How to Apply
Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.

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