Master of Arts in Teaching

teacher working with students

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program is designed for aspiring K–12 teachers looking to gain the skills and knowledge needed to become great teachers and help all students succeed. This teacher preparation program also prepares candidates to be recommended for a teaching credential.

The online MAT program offers the same curriculum as our on-campus program. Students will complete coursework that blends theory with hands-on, field-based teaching experiences, allowing them to build positive classroom environments to meet the challenges of today's high-need schools. Students may enhance their degree with a Special Education Credential or a Gifted Education Certificate. Depending on their content area focus, students in our MAT program can choose from five concentrations.


MAT coursework is divided into four broad categories that provide students with theoretical foundations, teaching strategies and the practical experiences necessary to make a difference in schools across the United States and the world.

Category Purpose
Foundations Courses Provide in-depth knowledge in sociological and psychological theories and their application in the classroom. Foundations classes also introduce students to the latest strategies for infusing technology into instruction.
Teaching Methods Courses Lay the foundation for teaching linguistically and ethnically diverse students in urban and high-needs schools. Courses prepare students to understand and demonstrate their expertise in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, environment, advocacy, critical thinking and discourse, and reflection and inquiry.
Language and Literacy Courses Ground students in the theories of language and literacy for both primary and second language learners. Language and literacy issues are at the forefront of educational reform efforts nationally and globally.
Fieldwork and Capstone Students in the MAT program integrate fieldwork throughout their program. Students are placed in local classrooms in which they not only observe but also apply what they learn in the MAT program in real-life classroom settings.

Beginning teachers will demonstrate skills by completing Guided Practice, our version of student teaching, under the mentorship of a Guiding Teacher.

Experienced teachers will demonstrate their knowledge and skills developed throughout the program with the completion of a comprehensive Capstone project.

Integration of Common Core Standards

The Common Core State Standards provide educators with common, consistent and unified outcomes in order to tailor teaching methods to meet individual students goals of achieving success. Our Master of Arts in Teaching program prepares our students to promote the rigorous instruction included in the Common Core, Next Generation Science and individual state standards. Our graduates are able to engage K–12 students in critical thinking, interdisciplinary learning and problem solving as well as literacy across the curriculum.

Teaching Credential

Graduates of this program are eligible to be recommended for a California teaching credential. Students seeking to earn a credential or certification to teach in another state can work with our student services team, who will provide support and direction to identify the most direct and efficient path to local certification.

USC Rossier Credential Specialist Support

At the beginning of the program, each student receives a licensure guide specific to his or her state. The licensure guide details how to apply for a teaching credential after graduation.

Students also work with a USC Rossier Credential Specialist as they apply for their credential. USC Credential Specialists can answer students' questions and complete necessary paperwork that students must provide to the state. They also help students seeking a teaching credential outside of California explore their options. Options could include earning a California teaching credential, which then can be transferred to another state through interstate reciprocity, or applying directly for the local state's credential.

For a complete list of state-by-state testing requirements, visit our Certification Map. This site offers a simple way to determine the requirements needed to become a teacher in each state.

Teachers Test Prep

In an effort to help students succeed on credentialing exams, we have partnered with Teachers Test Prep to offer free test preparation services to our students. Teachers Test Prep services include study guides and practice tests to help you study for your credentialing exams, including the CSET and CBEST.

Program Requirements

Master of Arts in Teaching with Teaching Credential requires a minimum of 32 units.

Master of Arts in Teaching requires a minimum of 30 units.

Both program tracks offer full-time and part-time options, and the program can be completed in one to three years.

MAT students participate in weekly, live online classes and complete coursework on their own time. Learn more about the online learning experience.

In addition to classes and coursework, students complete field experience requirements, which include Guided Practice or a Capstone. Learn more about field experience.

Learn More

1 Percent of reportable graduates who are employed full-time or part-time within nine months of their degree conferral date.

Overview | Concentrations | Field Experience | Admissions | Tuition & Financial Aid