Children's Literature Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Person-in-ChargeElisa Shaw Hopkins
Program CodeCHDLIT
Campus(es)World Campus

The goal of the program is to provide students with an in-depth background in the theories and genres of literature for children and youth while also considering pedagogical (broadly construed) and cultural implications.

The program does not lead to any initial teacher certification, but may assist students with recertification. Students should check with their specific state departments of education for regulations regarding recertification. At least half of the course credits taken must be at the 500 or 800 level.

Effective Semester: Summer 2022
Expiration Semester: Summer 2027

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

Students are required to take LLED 502 as a foundation to the various orientations to the study of children's literature. Students may choose a minimum of four additional courses in areas such as picture books, nonfiction literature, fantasy literature, myth and folklore, cultural and social issues, writing for children, theories of childhood, and research approaches for a total of 15 credits. At least half of the credits taken must be at the 500 or 800 level.

Required Course
LLED 502Studies in Literature for Children3
Choose a minimum of 12 elective credits from the following:12
Theories of Childhood
The Art of the Picturebook
Nonfiction Literature for Children and Adolescents
Fantasy Literature for Children
Literature for Adolescents
Cultural Pluralism in Children's and Adolescent Literature
Myths and Folktales in Children's Literature
Writing for Children
Doing Research in Children's Literature
Total Credits15


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Theories and Genres: Develop and demonstrate an understanding of the theories and genres of literature for children and youths
  2. Childhood and Children’s Literature: Consider and discuss childhood as an idea and children's literature as a social project and cultural artifact
  3. Diversity and Social Justice: Develop and demonstrate an understanding of issues of race, class,gender, and disability in children's literature
  4. Children’s Literature in the Classroom and Beyond: Consider and discuss pedagogical and cultural implications


Campus World Campus
Graduate Program Head Elisa Hopkins
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Kimberly Anne Powell
Program Contact

270B Chambers Bldg.
Penn State University
University Park PA 16802

Program Website View