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.

Application Deadlines

The MAT online program offers three start dates throughout the year: January, May and September. All application items must be completed before the Final Application Deadline. Learn more about admissions requirements.

September 2020

September 2020 Application Deadlines
Early Action Deadline May 28, 2020
Priority Submit Deadline June 18, 2020
Final Application Deadline July 9, 2020
Classes Start August 24, 2020

Why Apply Early?

Applying before the final deadline gives you an earlier admissions 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 receive an application fee waiver. If you apply by the Priority Submit Deadline, your application fee will be reduced from $90 to $50.

Admissions 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 admissions criteria for our online programs as for our on-campus programs, including:

  • A bachelor's degree or its recognized equivalent from a regionally accredited institution
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 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
  • Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores (for applicants whose academic work has been in a country other than the United States, United Kingdom, Australia or English-speaking Canada)

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 Admissions 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.

Basic Skills Requirement

Applicants must show either proof of having met the Basic Skills Requirement or registering for the CBEST.

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

Provide at least three letters from supervisors, colleagues or former instructors who can speak to the contributions you’ve made in the workplace and your ability to perform in graduate-level courses.


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

Application Processing Services
USC Rossier Office of Admission and Scholarships
7900 Harkins Road
Suite #501
Lanham, MD 20706

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

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.

Application Fee

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

Basic Skills Requirement

In order to obtain a California teaching credential, you are required to satisfy the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing basic skills requirement by the end of your first fall semester in the program. The most common method of satisfying the requirement is to pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), however the requirement can be met by alternative methods.

Credential Exam Registration

To apply for the MAT online program, you must prove that you have registered for at least one basic skills exam, such as the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), and a subject matter–specific test, such as the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) subtest or a subject-specific exam required for credential in another state.

You do not have to have taken the test to apply, but you must pass all CSET subsets or the subject-specific subtests required for a credential in your state before you begin student teaching. Contact your Admissions Counselor to learn more about exam requirements and the free test preparation resources we offer to our students.

We offer a $400 credentialing scholarship to help offset the out-of-pocket expense of registering for credentialing exams. Learn more on our Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Exam Registration Checklist
  • Register or submit passing scores for one exam to apply.
  • Register for an exam specific to your chosen MAT online concentration.
  • Upload your registration confirmation email into the online application or send it to
  • Due to the amount of time required to process exam registrations, it is recommended that you register as early as possible for your desired test date.
  • If you have already taken and passed a basic skills test, please upload your passing score report into your online application or email it to
  • Have you already taken and passed a subject-specific test? Please upload your passing score report into your online application or email it to

Satisfying the Basic Skills Requirement

There are a number of alternative ways to satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement. You may upload proof of one of the following in place of the test registration or passage of CBEST.

  • Official SAT test score of 500 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section combined with a score of 550 or higher on the SAT mathematics exam 1
  • Proof of an official ACT score of 22 or higher on the English exam combined with a score of 23 or higher on the Mathematics exam
  • An official College Board Advanced Placement (AP) English exam and an AP Calculus or AP Statistics exam with a score of 3 or higher

Prepare a Successful Application

Download our MAT online Application Checklist for more information.

Download Checklist

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.

1 The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (previously Critical Reading or Verbal) section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test Return to footnote reference