M.A.T. Program Requirements

M.A.T. in Secondary, Middle Grades, or Education - Full-Time Student Track and Employed Teachers Track

What is the MAT program?

The Master of Arts in Teaching in Middle Grades/Secondary Education (MAT) and the MAT in Education programs are an opportunity for college graduates who hold a bachelor's degree or more advanced degree in a content area from an accredited college or university to earn a master's degree in education and be recommended for a Georgia clear renewable T-5 teaching certificate. This is a 36 credit hour master's degree program requiring extensive field experiences and college course work. Two options are available: Candidates who are currently teaching with a non-renewable certificate (provisional) are able to earn certification their first year and complete requirements for the master's degree MAT for the Employed Teachers Track in the second year of their enrollment. The second option is for full time students, not employed as teachers, who wish to earn certification through an intensive four (4) semester program with supervised apprenticeships and internships. The MAT program, either MAT (Employed Teachers Track) or MAT (Full-Time Student Track) option, is designed to meet the needs of highly-qualified college graduates who wish to enter the teaching profession. 

What is the process for entering the MAT program?

  • Apply to Graduate School (online application)
  • Submit all official transcripts to the Graduate School by the April 15th deadline

For program questions, contact Mrs. Renee Whitmer at brwhitmer at valdosta.edu.  

What are the content areas that I may seek certification through the MAT program?

Middle Grades (grades 4-8): math, science, language arts, reading, or social studies 

Secondary (grades 6-12): agricultural education, biology, business education, chemistry, Earth/space science, economics, engineering and technology, English, family and consumer sciences education, geography, history, marketing education, math, physics, political science, science

Grades P-12: computer science

How does the MAT program work? 
The MAT Program operates through cohorts that complete the 36 semester hour program together. Program participants take coursework during summer and evenings while they are employed by a school system. They also receive supervision, mentoring, and support from Valdosta State University to help ensure their success.

The MAT Program has two tracks leading to certification and a master's degree.

For Working Teachers - The first year is a certification year, the second year is the completion of the master's degree. Classes are at night: for certification there are 2 classes in the summer, 2 classes in the fall (including an internship) and 2 classes in the spring (including an internship)

For Full-Time Students - There is a four (4) semester MAT program that requires evening classes and day time work in the schools during an apprenticeship and an internship. The schedule is: 3 classes in the summer, 3 classes in the fall (including an internship), 2 classes in the spring (including an internship) and 3 classes in the summer.

What is the schedule of classes?

The MAT programs begin as cohort programs each June. Summer classes are for 4 weeks, 4 days a week, 7 hours a day.

Fall and spring semesters - classes are in the evening with field experiences, apprenticeships, internships, and employed teachers occurring during the day.

What if I don't have a job teaching?

There is a four (4) semesters MAT program for full-time day-time candidates. This program merges certification and the master's degree program into an intensive field based program. Candidates are placed in schools for field experiences and student teaching.

What do MAT participants learn? 
MAT participants learn the skills and competencies essential to effective teaching in the middle and secondary school environments. Participants will learn how to manage a classroom, how to motivate and reach all students, effective teaching strategies, student characteristics, learning needs, and much more!

What are the MAT program admissions requirements? 
As with any graduate program, the following criteria represent the minimal requirements for admission to the program. Meeting these requirements does not necessarily ensure acceptance into the MAT Program.

Potential candidates for admission:

Requirements Specifically for the MAT Program  VSU Graduate School Admission Requirements 
  • Must have earned a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) or combined undergraduate and graduate GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants not meeting the required GPA may be eligible for admission by an alternative pathway.*

*Admission by Alternative Pathway Requirements

Must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA or combined undergraduate and graduate GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale AND meet requirements for one of the following alternative pathways:

  • Alternative Pathway 1: Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all coursework attempted while registered as an upper-division undergraduate student working towards a bachelor's degree (i.e. 3000 and 4000 level coursework); or
  • Alternative Pathway 2: Have a minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale in all graduate coursework (must have completed at least 6 credit hours of graduate work in which a letter grade was awarded); or
  • Alternative Pathway 3: Have an undergraduate GPA earned ten or more years prior to admission
  • Must apply to the Valdosta State University Graduate School.
  • Must submit all official transcripts to the Valdosta State University Graduate School
  • Must complete ALL requirements by the deadlines specified by the Valdosta State University Graduate School.

Ideally, applicants should work on completing both sets of requirements simultaneously. However, ALL requirements for both the Program and the Graduate School must be satisfactorily completed prior to the deadline for the intended semester of admission as indicated by the Graduate School.

Additionally, candidates may be asked to submit a writing sample, GRE or MAT score, and/or meet for an interview with the program faculty as a condition for admission.

Where do I start the process?

If you are unsure of your eligibility or if this program is right for you, feel free to reach out to the program advisor, Mrs. Renee Whitmer at brwhitmer at valdosta.edu or 229 249 2786.

Is Financial Support available for the MAT Program?

The Office of Financial Aid will be able to inform you of the opportunities for grants, scholarships, and graduate assistantships.

You may also find information at the Georgia Student Finance Commission website: http://www.gsfc.org.

Where can I get more information?

For more information about the MAT program, contact Mrs. Renee Whitmer, Program Advisor, at brwhitmer at valdosta.edu or call the Teacher Education department office at 229-333-5611.

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