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Program Outline: Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

The Master of Arts in Teaching consists of requirements for Residency Teacher Certification and requirements for the master’s degree. Once you have satisfactorily completed the teacher certification component of the MAT, SPU will recommend you to the state of Washington for a Residency Teacher Certificate. An additional 15 credits of graduate-level foundation classes completes the master’s degree component of the MAT.

Program Components

Certification Component

The certification component of the MAT consists of theory, research, and application courses plus opportunities for you to integrate this learning with school-based field experiences. The component culminates in a 14-week internship. When you complete the certification component and field experiences satisfactorily, you will be recommended to the state of Washington for a Residency Teacher Certificate.

Foundations Component

You will be granted the MAT degree when you have completed the five graduate-level Foundations courses (15 credits). One or more of these five courses may be taken online. The Foundations courses are integrated into the overall two-year curriculum.

Field Experiences

Initial Field Experience: This component occurs during Spring Quarter of Year One and is taken in conjunction with a seminar to discuss issues that arise as a result of the school field experience. Students arrange this initial experience on their own.

September Experience: Taken at the beginning of Year Two, the September Experience familiarizes certification candidates with the opening of a school year, including faculty meetings, preparation days, and in-service workshops that take place prior to the students’ arrival. Typically, the September Experience occurs at the same school where your initial field experience took place.

Internship Experience: The Internship gives you a supervised teaching experience in an elementary, middle level, or secondary classroom setting. Arranged by SPU’s School of Education, the Internship takes place during Spring Quarter of Year Two, depending on your completion of endorsement content courses. Students whose employment interferes with the Internship hours must make arrangements to take leave from work during this time.


During the program, students create a portfolio to demonstrate their professional competence. It may also be presented to employers during future job interviews. The portfolio documents the accomplishments you have attained throughout the program. Contents usually include examples that represent your best work in lesson planning, classroom management, collaborative learning, and assessment procedures. You may also include some personal reflections that communicate your teaching philosophy as well as items you’ve created to demonstrate your classroom style.


Residency Teacher Certificates (and Professional Certificates) specify the subjects and levels the holder is certified to teach. These subject/level designations are called endorsements. Endorsements are earned by:

  • Demonstrating content competence through a review of one’s academic background, relevant life experiences, and passing the Washington Educator Skills Test – Endorsements (WEST-E) exam specific to one’s intended endorsement.
  • Completing an appropriate methods course(s).
  • Completing an appropriate field experience.

Each teaching certificate must have at least one endorsement. SPU’s School of Education provides endorsement programs in many state-approved endorsements. SPU recommends the candidate to the state of Washington for endorsement(s) upon completion of the appropriate program. For questions about endorsements, contact SPU’s certification officer.

Program Schedule

The two-year MAT program begins in Autumn Quarter. Completion of an educational technology course in the previous summer is recommended. One or two late afternoon/evening classes are held each quarter (1–6 credits).  

Course Sequence

View a sample Master of Arts in Teaching program's course sequence.

Find information about this Program Overview, Program Outline, Course Sequence, and Admission Information.

Did You Know?

Help Icon SPU also offers a two-year, part-time MAT program to earn teacher certification and a master’s degree concurrently.