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. We are currently accepting applications for all 2021 cohorts. Learn more about admissions requirements.

January 2021

January 2021 Application Deadlines
Classes Start January 11, 2021

May 2021

May 2021 Application Deadlines
Early Action Deadline February 19, 2021
Priority Submit Deadline March 12, 2021
Final Submit Deadline March 29, 2021
Classes Start May 19, 2021

August 2021

August 2021 Application Deadlines
Early Action Deadline May 28, 2021
Priority Submit Deadline June 18, 2021
Final Submit Deadline July 6, 2021
Classes Start August 23, 2021

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.

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 two, no more than 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.


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.

Credential Exam Registration

To apply for the MAT online program, you must provide proof of passage or registration for the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) and for at least one of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) subtest in your concentration area.

You do not have to have taken the tests to apply, but you must pass the basic skills and subject-matter subsets 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.

Please upload passing scores or registration to our MAT online application, or email 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. Please speak to your Admissions Counselor directly about other options not listed below.

  • 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