Master of Arts in Teaching Guide: Admissions

Welcome to our Master in Arts of Teaching Guide series. Check back for additional information on getting your MAT.

If you have decided to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree, you are on the right track to becoming a skilled educator. A master’s degree offers teachers more advancement opportunities, higher salaries and advanced skills to become more confident, knowledgeable instructors. An MAT is ideal for an individual with a bachelor’s degree who wants to become a teacher or an active teacher who wants to improve his or her pedagogical skills. MAT programs are offered in traditional and online formats, and many programs offer flexibility to students who do not want to leave their current jobs. Before you submit your MAT application, here are some things you should know about the admission process.

Basic Requirements

While application requirements are not the same for every institution, there are two requirements that will be consistent across graduate programs. USC Rossier Online, which offers a high-quality online MAT program, expects applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. The degree does not have to be in education, since education courses can be taken at the graduate level. You will need to send sealed official transcripts from any colleges that you attended to the school that you are applying to. Candidates also need to be proficient English speakers. Candidates from foreign countries may need to pass a TOEFL exam to demonstrate proficiency.

Time Considerations

It would be unwise to rush your application, as you want to prove that you are an outstanding candidate for an MAT program. All graduate schools post application deadlines, and most deadlines are far in advance of the semester that you wish to start in. The deadline could be as early as six months prior to a semester starting, so check what your deadlines are and give yourself ample time to complete your application.

Additional Application Requirements

Most MAT program applications require the following:

  • An application fee: This is nonrefundable and required. Rossier Online charges $85, but this amount is different for every institution.
  • GPA: In addition to sending your sealed undergraduate transcripts, most graduate institutions have a minimum GPA requirement for prospective candidates. Many colleges expect a minimum of a 3.0.
  • Letters of recommendation: These should come from people who are familiar with your work and abilities. If you are a teacher, you should get letters from supervisors. If you are a student, get letters from professors. You may be required to submit up to three letters.
  • Personal essays: With MAT admissions, these essays give you an opportunity to really sell yourself. Besides informing the application committee of your experiences and vision for education, the essays prove that you have strong written communication skills. Proofread these carefully. It helps to also have others proofread them for you.
  • Other requirements: For some universities, you may need to take a graduate school exam, like the GRE, and include your score report with your application. You may also need to include a resume or C.V. of your past employment experiences. Carefully check all of the application requirements with the college that you are applying to.


Finally, make sure that you do not leave any blanks on your application, and review it for any errors or awkward sentences before submitting it.

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