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Master of Arts Teaching (MAT) Degree Program Overview

Majors Overview July 25, 2015

This article talks about Master of Arts Teaching (M.A.T.) degree programs and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Arts Teaching (M.A.T.) Programs

Students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-education field who seek initial teaching licensure would benefit from enrolling in a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program. Didactic courses and hands-on student teaching experiences are combined to impart students with skills in individualized learning, teaching and learning strategies, and teaching in diverse classrooms.

Students can choose specializations in subjects such as history, science, or math; specialization by grade level is also allowed. Students take 2-3 years to complete the MAT program, and schools may offer it in partially online and on-campus formats.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. Students must show prior academic coursework in their area of interest, in addition to completing prerequisite coursework, and in some schools submission of a personal statement of purpose or personal essays.


Coursework incorporates individual subjects such as history and math, in order to teach technology, methodology, professionalism and research. An internship is also in the program, which allows the student to gain experience teaching in a real classroom setting. Before they graduate from a MAT program, teacher certification exams and state requirements must be completed. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Student assessment procedures
•Educational Evaluation
•Child development
•Classroom diversity

Career Choices

Program graduates gain the practical classroom experience and instructional knowledge necessary for pursuing careers in private and public schools. They may seek secondary school teaching careers in areas such as:


Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a slower-than-average growth rate of six percent has been predicted for high school teachers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Teachers of specific subjects, including math and science, are expected to see better growth. In May 2012, secondary school teachers without a specialization in career/technical education or special education brought in an average annual wage of $55,050.

Continuing Education Choices

Continuing education is often a requirement for educators, including teachers, who want to maintain licensure or certification. Continuing education may be expected of teachers hired by some employers to ensure that the teachers stay updated on topic areas within technological advances and the education field. Students seeking leadership and administration positions within public schools may opt for enrollment into master’s or doctoral degree programs in educational leadership.

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