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Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)


Master of Arts in Teaching Program (MAT)

The MAT is a 39-48 credit program designed specifically for college graduates holding an appropriate liberal arts degree in biology, chemistry, English, French, geology or earth science, history, mathematics, social studies or Spanish who have not had formal background in education and who wish to prepare for a teaching career in adolescence education grades 7-12.

Upon successful completion of the program, candidates will be recommended to the New York State Education Department for Initial/Professional Certification. 

Admission Requirements:

Applicants to the Master of Arts in Teaching programs must meet eight criteria:

  1. A 3.0 or better GPA in all undergraduate course work
  2. A 3.0 or better GPA in an appropriate undergraduate major
  3. An undergraduate major comparable in breadth, depth and rigor to the New Paltz undergraduate major in the same field
  4. Undergraduate course work that includes a broad and rigorous general education component
  5. Undergraduate course work that includes 6 credits of a foreign language at a beginning level or 3 credits of a foreign language at an intermediate or advanced level. American Sign Language (ASL) is considered a language other than English.
  6. Undergraduate course work that includes two English composition courses or their equivalent, each with a grade of at least B
  7. Please note:  Applicants seeking the MAT English degree must also submit an academic writing sample, preferably literary analysis from an English course, though research work from other liberal arts courses, such as history, is acceptable.  The writing sample may be one longer paper (10 pages) or two shorter papers (totaling 10 pages).  The sample need not have instructor comments or a grade.

Each applicant must also provide three satisfactory letters of recommendation and write a satisfactory statement indicating the reasons he/she wants to become a teacher. 

Application Deadlines for the MAT programs

For the fall:

Review of applications for the fall semester will begin March 1.
Applications received after this date will be considered; however, enrollment for the fall semester is not guaranteed. 

For the spring:

Review of applications for the spring semester will begin Oct. 1.
Applications received after this date will be considered; however, enrollment for the spring semester is not guaranteed. 

 Curriculum Requirements

First Semester:  17 credits

SED540 Graduate Foundations Seminar (1)
EDS539 Social Foundations (3)
EDS730 Adolescent Development (3)
SED703 Curriculum:  Designs for Literacy, Learning & Assessment (3)
SED551 Field Experience Level 1 (1)
XXXXXX Course in Discipline (3)
XXXXXX Course in Discipline (3)

Second Semester:  14-17 credits³

SPE565 Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms (3)
SED5/7 Discipline-Specific Methods Course (3)1
SED552  Field Experience #2 (1)
SED5/7 Discipline-Specific Education Course (3)
SED525 Digital Literacies and Learning (1)
XXXXX Course in Discipline or alternative approved by advisor (3)2
XXXXXX Course in Discipline (3) (English and Social Studies candidates only)

Third Semester:  Student Teaching 14 credits

SED553 Field Experience 3 (1)
SED604 Practicum in Secondary Education 7-9 (6)  
SED605 Practicum in Secondary Education 10-12 (6)
SED606 Practicum Seminar (1)

Student Teaching is the capstone experience for elementary and secondary teacher candidates seeking their first initial teacher certification. It is a full-time commitment extending for an entire semester with placements in two different settings. As such, the School of Education requires that all required coursework is completed BEFORE the capstone experience begins, and it restricts candidates from taking any other course(s) while registered for student teaching except the co-requisite fieldwork and student teaching seminar.


¹ Discipline-specific education coursework combines content and content-specific pedagogical methods.
² English and social studies students will meet this requirement through a content-area course (e.g. ENG5XX or HIS5XX). Mathematics, science, and foreign language students typically will meet the requirement with an education or liberal-arts elective course.


The MAT in Foreign Language Education and Mathematics Education total 45 credits. The MAT in English Education and Social Studies Education total 48 credits. The MAT in Science Education (currently chemistry, bioogy, and geology) totals 39 credits. No  graduate-level science courses are required.


MAT Science, Math, and Foreign Language students starting the program in the fall semester may take longer than the three semesters outlined.

 Additional Requirements

  • Culminating assessments are required; e.g., comprehensive examination, teaching portfolio, thesis, etc.
  • Students must attend three state-mandated workshops:
    1. Recognizing and reporting symptoms of child abuse 
    2. Prevention of school violence (SAVE)
    3. Dignity for all Students Act (DASA)
    These workshops can be taken on the SUNY New Paltz campus and online.
  • Students must obtain fingerprint clearance. Form is available in the department's office.
  • Students must have good moral character. (Applicants for certification are asked to provide information about past convictions, misconduct, etc. on the application for a certificate, and the New York State Education Department is authorized to investigate complaints regarding an applicant's past convictions or any acts which raise a reasonable question as to the individual's moral character.)
  • Students must receive satisfactory scores on three New York State Examinations:  Educational Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA); Educating All Students Test (EAS); and Revised Content Specialty Test (CST).
  •  More information on these tests may be obtained from
  • Candidates in the French or Spanish programs must earn a B or better on all components of the departmental Assessment Exam French/Spanish (repeatable no more than three times) 
  • Candidates in the French or Spanish programs must earn a score of Advanced-Low level or higher on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview French/Spanish.  

Students are responsible for their own transportation to field and student teaching placements and must be prepared to commute up to 45 miles, one way, to these placements.

Upon graduation, students will receive the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Students will have completed all academic requirements for both initial and professional certification and will be recommended for initial certification. Students may apply for professional certification from the New York State Education Department after they have completed three years of satisfactory teaching experience.

For information on obtaining a teaching credential in New York State, please visit the New York State Education Department Web site at