The Master of Arts in Teaching online (MAT online) program is designed for aspiring teachers eager to bring educational equity to K–12 classrooms in their communities.

Start Dates

The MAT online program offers three start dates throughout the year: Spring (January), Summer (June) and Fall (August).




Application Deadlines

All application items must be completed before the Final Application Deadline. Learn more about admission requirements.

1 Please note that if you have attended any institution outside of the US, it is strongly recommended that you submit all materials by the Priority Deadline. 

Why Apply Early?

Applying before the final deadline gives you an earlier admission decision and the benefit of more time to prepare for your future, including identifying financial aid resources, scholarships and student loans.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but we encourage you to apply early. If you apply by the Early Action Deadline, you will be eligible to receive an application fee waiver. If you apply by the Priority Submit Deadline, your application fee will be reduced from $90 to $50.

Admission Requirements

The USC Rossier School of Education seeks aspiring K–12 teachers whose academic backgrounds, professional goals, personal commitments and communication skills meet the demands of a rigorous graduate program and a career in education.

We maintain the same high admission criteria for our online programs as for our on-campus programs, including:

  • bachelor’s degree or its recognized equivalent from a regionally accredited institution
  • Required coursework in the subject areas you plan on teaching (though no prior coursework in education is required)
  • The ability to communicate effectively (both written and verbal) as demonstrated by academic performance and/or professional experience
  • There is no minimum GPA required to apply to USC Rossier programs, but competitive applicants typically have a GPA of 3.0 or above. GPA is one of many elements evaluated in the admission committee’s comprehensive evaluation of candidates. We use a holistic review process whereby academic preparation, professional work experience, personal achievement and commitment to the USC Rossier mission are each considered. No single attribute or characteristic guarantees admission to USC Rossier.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

USC Rossier welcomes international applicants. If your prior study was completed outside of the United States, you must have earned the equivalent of a United States bachelor’s degree to be eligible for admission. View the international application requirements based on your country of study

International students whose native language is not English and who have completed their undergraduate work outside of the United States are required to demonstrate proficiency in English as part of the application process. USC does not waive the English proficiency requirement for graduate degree(s) earned in the United States or other qualifying countries; requirements are based on the completion of undergraduate studies. For more information on English proficiency requirements, English-language test waivers and other alternate accepted exams, please visit the USC Graduate Admission English-Language Proficiency page.

Note: if you have attended any institution outside of the United States, it is strongly recommended that you submit all materials by the priority deadline.

Note regarding international students: To complete teaching credential requirements, you must obtain a Social Security number (SSN) from the U.S. Social Security AdministrationContact the Office of International Services for assistance.

Application Components

All items must be completed and submitted before the final application deadline, including transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Online Application

The online application includes questions about your personal, academic and professional background.

Personal Essays

The essay component includes a Personal Statement that covers your experience and professional goals, so that the Admission Committee can gain deeper insight into why you’re pursuing the MAT online.

You will also write a response to one short-answer question. Your essay should demonstrate strong written communication skills that are critical for success in this graduate program.

Employment Information

You will be asked to provide information about past employment and upload your most current resume or curriculum vitae (CV).

Letters of Recommendation

USC Rossier requires two letters of recommendation to complete the application. Letters should come from supervisors and/or former instructors or faculty who can comment on significant contributions you have made in your workplace, your leadership skills as well as your commitment to life-long learning and your ability to perform well in master’s-level coursework.

  • Recommendation letters must be typed on official letterhead from the organization with a signature. If the recommender is not able to obtain company letterhead, this must be noted somewhere in the letter.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure all recommendation letters are submitted in the proper format prior to the appropriate deadline. Letters uploaded in the incorrect format without explanation are subject to further review.
  • Recommendations letters should be submitted by recommenders by the application deadline, but they are not required to be submitted at the time you submit your application.

Please note: recommendation letters are program-specific and cannot be used to apply to additional programs.


Many schools issue transcripts electronically. If this option is available to you, please specify that your encrypted transcript(s) be sent to This will expedite the delivery of your transcript(s) and the completion of your application.

Sealed, official academic transcripts must be sent directly from all postsecondary institutions you attended, including community college, to:

University of Southern California (USC)
Application Processing Center
USC Rossier
PO Box 30096 024-003
College Station, TX 77842

Please note: To be considered an official transcript, the transcript must be sent directly from your institution(s) or through an electronic transcript vendor retained by that institution. Transcripts submitted by enrolled or prospective students are considered unofficial documents, even if they are in a sealed envelope provided to you by the issuing university.

Any academic or professional certificates or certifications earned at a regionally accredited institution may also require official sealed transcripts.

Application Fee

The USC application fee is $90. However, this fee can be waived or reduced when you apply early.

Credentialing Requirements

You will complete the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program while simultaneously preparing for a single subject or multiple subject preliminary California teaching credential. In order to be recommended for a preliminary teaching credential, you are required to satisfy a series of requirements established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

This page references credential requirements you should complete prior to beginning the MAT online program.

Basic Skills Requirement

In order to apply to USC Rossier, you are required to submit official documentation that you have satisfied the basic skills requirement.

There are a number of ways to satisfy the basic skills requirement. For details on these options, visit the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) website.

  1. Pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)

  2. Official documentation of a qualifying score on the College Board SAT for one of the following combinations:
    • If taken after March 2016, a score of 560 or higher on the SAT Evidence-based Reading and Writing exam, and a score of 570 or higher on the Math exam.
    • If taken prior to March 2016, a score of 500 or higher on the SAT Critical Reading (or Verbal) exam combined with a score of 550 or higher on the Math exam.

  3. Official documentation of an ACT score of 22 or higher on the English exam combined with a score of 23 or higher on the Math exam.

  4. Official documentation of qualifying scores on the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) for one english exam and one math exam with a score of 3 or higher.
    • Math exams:
      1. AP Calculus AB
      2. AP Calculus BC
      3. AP Statistics

    • English exams:
      1. AP English Language and Composition
      2. AP English Literature and Composition

  5. Official documentation that you have passed the CSU early assessment program or CSU placement exam.

  6. Official documentation that you have passed the CSET: Multiple Subjects and Writing Skills exam.

  7. Official documentation that you have passed a CTC-approved basic skills exam from another state.

  8. A combination of qualifying college-level coursework and any qualifying exam.

If you plan to teach in another state, speak with your Admission Counselor about alternate requirements for the state in which you plan to teach.

Subject Matter Requirement

In order to be eligible to register for classes at USC Rossier, you must submit official documentation that you have satisfied the subject matter requirement by way of an approved option:

You are required to submit one of the following forms of official documentation:

  1. Official score reports for the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) subtests for the credential concentration to which you applied
  2. Transcript showing degree conferral of an academic major in subject area of the credential concentration to which you applied

  3. Official subject matter waiver letter from a CTC-approved institution that offers subject matter preparation programs. Visit for the list of approved university programs.

What is official documentation?

CBEST or CSET Multiple Subject (all 3 subtests) with Writing (additional subtest)
Upon your passage of the exam, CTC Exams will email you an official score report as a PDF attachment. You may also access a copy of your official scores by signing into your CTC Exams account. In some cases, you may not see the official scores in your account if you took the exam a number of years ago. In that case, reach out to CTC Exams for your official scores. Screenshots and images of your score report are not acceptable.

CSU early assessment program or placement exam or College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exams
Request an official hard copy (or electronic, if available) score report from the vendor of your exam. Scan all sides of the hard copy report into a PDF document or send the official electronic score report. Score reports that have the word “unofficial” across the top are not acceptable. Official test score reports sent directly to the university are also accepted, but may cause a significant delay in processing.

SAT Score Reports
You may access your official electronic score report by logging into your CollegeBoard account and looking for a download option. Once downloaded, please double check to see whether the report has the word “unofficial” across the top; if so, the report is not acceptable. If you do not see a download option and/or the score report you are able to download is unofficial, the official score report feature is not available and you must either locate your original hard copy report or request a new one directly from CollegeBoard to be mailed to your home address. Once received, you may scan all sides into one PDF document and submit. Official test score reports sent directly to the university are also accepted, but will cause a significant delay in processing.

ACT Score Reports
Please scan your hard copy official report (typically red and white in color), all sides, into one PDF. Electronic official score reports may be available to you if you took the exam in recent years. If so, please send the PDF. If you do not have an official score report, ACT’s personal copy score reporting service is currently suspended and unofficial score reports are temporarily acceptable. Due to state requirements, you may need to request an official report from ACT at some point during your program. Due to long lead times, please plan accordingly.

Out-of-state Basic Skills Equivalent
Score reports look vastly different depending on the state in which you took the exam; please ensure your report is a PDF file sent directly to you from the vendor of your exam. Screenshots and images are unacceptable.

If you are unsure whether the score report in your possession is official, you may message for evaluation.

Prepare a Successful Application

Download our MAT online Application Checklist for more information.

Confidentiality and Document Submission Policy

Transcripts and all other materials submitted for admission consideration become the property of USC. The university does not return or duplicate materials for any reason whatsoever. The information and materials in your submitted application are made available only to the central Office of Admission and the admission committee of the academic department or professional school to which you have applied.

Virtual Tours

USC Rossier offers virtual tours of the online classroom experience. To schedule one or to learn more about other virtual engagement opportunities, please contact an an Admissions Counselor at 1-888-628-1872.