Master of Arts in Teaching
MAT Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is the UCI Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with Teaching Credential Program a good fit for me?
  2. What does the MAT Single Subject Program offer?
  3. What does the MAT Multiple Subject Program offer?
  4. How will the program prepare me for the job market?
  5. What is the cost of the program and is there financial aid available?
  6. What should I know about the admissions process (beyond the information outlined on the School of Education’s Admissions Webpage)?
  7. Where can I find out more about the MAT with Teaching Credential Program?

1.  Is the UCI Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with Teaching Credential Program a good fit for me?

  • How long is the program?
    • The program is 14 months long, beginning the third or fourth week of June and ending by August 1st of the following year. During this time, you earn both a Master of Arts in Teaching and a teaching credential.
  • Which teaching credentials does the MAT Program prepare students for?
    • The MAT Single Subject Credential Program prepares students to teach mathematics, social science, English language arts, sciences, music, art, world languages (Spanish and French). We do not offer a special education credential.
    • The MAT Multiple Subject Credential is a general education credential preparing you to teach all content areas in the California elementary school curriculum.
  • Can I earn a teaching credential without earning a Master of Arts in Teaching?
    • This option is not currently available within the UCI School of Education. We have suspended our standalone credential program and are only offering a teaching credential in conjunction with our MAT.
  • What are the benefits of earning a teaching credential and master’s degree at the same time?
    • A master’s degree from UCI sets candidates apart from other job applicants.
    • Additional graduate units lead to a higher starting salary within most districts.
    • A three-course research strand, provides you with the opportunity to deepen your understanding of the complexity of classroom contexts, as well as provide you with access to research on effective interventions.
    • A master’s degree sets you on the path for future leadership roles and other opportunities within your profession.
  • How many quarter units do students take? (Most district pay schedules are based on graduate semester units.)
    • Multiple Subject Program: 90 quarter units
    • Single Subject Program: 82 quarter units
  • Do I have to find my own student teaching placement?
    • No, the coordinator for each program finds you a field placement after conferencing with you in the spring.
  • How much time do I need to devote to fieldwork and student teaching?
    • In the fall, you’ll be at your school site two days per week, and in the winter and spring you’ll be there almost every day.
  • When are UCI classes held?
    • Course schedules vary each session. During summer session, classes are held twice a week, but during the rest of the year, you will be busy every day with student teaching and UCI classes.  In general, your UCI classes will end by 6:50 p.m.  
  • How big are MAT classes?
    • Class sizes can vary from year to year, but are generally between 25 and 40 students.
  • Will I have time to work part- or full-time while enrolled in the program?
    • This is a full-time program that does not accommodate individuals who need to work 40 hours per week. During summer and fall quarters it is possible to have a part-time job, but during winter and spring quarter this becomes almost impossible.
  • What are the benefits of a cohort model?
    • All students move through the program as a group, so everyone gets to know each other and develop strong friendships and professional relationships.
    • Coursework is sequential and coherent. The overall curriculum is designed to build on your skills and knowledge through a progressive series of courses.
  • What are the benefits of co-teaching during the student teaching experience?
    • This collaborative model allows you to gradually take on the responsibilities of teaching as you collaborate with an experienced classroom teacher.

2.  What does the MAT Single Subject Program offer?

  • Which secondary teaching credentials are offered?
    • Sciences, English Language Arts, Social Science, Mathematics, World Languages (Spanish and French), Music, Art
  • How does the program prepare me to teach in my chosen content area?
    • You will be involved in a 3-quarter series of methods courses in your content area. The instructors of these courses are experts in their pedagogical content knowledge and are committed to helping you learn the state content standards, develop unit and lesson planning, and implement effective instructional strategies. 
  • Can I receive my teaching credential in more than one subject matter discipline?
    • You cannot do this while you are in the program; but any time after completion of the program, you can add an authorization by taking the CSETS and an additional methods class. We often have room for returning students in our fall methods courses.
  • How are fieldwork placements arranged?
    • The program coordinator will meet with you in the spring to get to know you and discuss your preferences, and will then work on finding you an appropriate mentor.
  • Will the program prepare me for the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)?
    • Yes, all of the MAT courses contribute to the knowledge and skills you will need to succeed on the edTPA. In addition, we hold a series of seminars designed to help you understand the structure and expectations of the edTPA. 

3.  What does the MAT Multiple Subject Program offer?

  • What grade level(s) will I work with?
    • You will have both a lower and an upper grade placement. You will be in your first placement from the first day of school until the end of winter quarter and second placement for all of spring quarter.
  • Is the UCI curriculum aligned with Common Core?
    • Yes, all of our curriculum is aligned with California State Standards, including Common Core. 
  • I’m bilingual. Are there placements in dual immersion schools?
    • Our Bilingual Coordinator, Susan Guilfoyle, finds placements for bilingual multiple subject candidates and supports those candidates throughout the program. Placements for Spanish and Mandarin bilingual candidates are currently available. 
  • Will the program prepare me for the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) and the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)?
    • Yes, the fall quarter methods courses prepare you to be successful on the RICA, and all of the MAT courses contribute to the knowledge and skills you will need to succeed on the edTPA. In addition, we hold a series of seminars designed to help you understand the structure and expectations of the edTPA. 

4. How does the program prepare me for the job market?

  • What is the current job market like?
    • California is experiencing a teacher shortage, and this has resulted in increased job opportunities at all grade levels and in all subjects.
  • When will we be able to start applying for teaching jobs?
    • In April, job postings for the next academic year will begin to appear and the coordinators will start providing workshops to help you prepare your application materials.
  • Where are most teaching jobs advertised?
    • Edjoin.org is a site that lists teaching jobs from across the country. Each district also advertises teaching jobs on their website.
  • What help is available to prepare me for the job market?
    • Program coordinators support the job search with resume writing workshops and mock interview practice.
    • A panel of local principals is invited to campus to share their tips on presenting yourself as a strong applicant.
    • Onsite interviews are held at district and school’s request.
    • We hold a job fair in late winter or early spring each year.

5. What is the cost of the program, and is there any financial aid available?

  • How much will the program cost me?
    • The program consists of 3 summer sessions (24 units) and 3 quarters during the school year (fall, winter, spring). Summer Session is based on a per unit fee (current fees), and this cost is often reduced through Summer Session incentives (e.g., the pay for “8 units only” incentive). Fall, winter and spring quarters are based on UCI graduate fees (current fees). Note that UCI health coverage is over $1,100 per quarter and can be waived if you are covered through a spouse or parent.
  • How can I apply for financial aid?
  • Does the School of Education provide scholarships?
    • Some merit-based and need-based scholarships are available. These will be awarded based on your application materials and information provided through FAFSA.
  • Are there any loan forgiveness programs for teachers?

6. What should I know about the admissions process (beyond the outlined instructions on the School of Education’s Admissions webpage)?

  • Is there a minimum GRE score requirement?
    • No, we take a holistic approach to reviewing your application file. 
  • Which transcripts do I need to provide, and do they need to be official copies?
    • You need to provide us with transcripts from all postsecondary institutions you attended full or part-time. For instance, if you took community college courses during high school, we would need those transcripts.
    • You will need to submit official copies in sealed envelopes.
  • It’s been many years since I graduated. What happens if I cannot locate a university professor for a reference?
    • If you graduated ten or more years ago, you are not required to have an academic letter; however, it is still beneficial to have someone who can speak to your ability to succeed as a graduate student.
    • Have you taken continuing education, extension or other professional development courses recently? An instructor from one of these contexts will suffice.
  • I am not applying to the program this year, but want to begin to prepare for the admissions process. How should I get started?
    • The most important thing to do is to start preparing for and taking the CBEST, CSET and GRE. The CBEST is good for life and the CSET and GRE are good for five years. 
    • Order official transcripts from every post-secondary institution you attended (these can take a long time to receive).
    • Attend an Information Session or Coffee Chat at the UCI School of Education.
  • How can I check the status of my application?
  • Where can I find out more about the CSET and CBEST exams?
  • How long will it take for me to find out about my admission decision?
    • This depends on the number of applications received, interviews, and time of year. You can check on the status of your application through this link: https://apps.grad.uci.edu/ogsa/
  • Can I still be admitted even though I still have not received my Bachelor’s degree?
    • Yes. You can receive provisional admission to the MAT program. You will need to submit the official, degree posted transcript by the end of your first MAT summer.
  • How many students are admitted each year? What is the expected enrollment?
    • The number of admitted MAT students varies each year, but, in general, we anticipate a total enrollment of between 115 and 140 students each year.
  • How long will it take for me to receive my Certificate of Clearance?
  • If I already went through the livescan fingerprinting process for another job working with children, do I need to do it again?
    • Yes, find the Certificate of Clearance link on our admissions webpage for detailed instructions.

7. Where can I find out more about the MAT with Teaching Credential Program?

  • Information Sessions and Coffee Chats are held every few weeks in the UCI Education Building (http://www.education.uci.edu/ai_is.php). The Director of Teacher Education and the Program Coordinators will present information and answer your questions.
  • If you have specific questions about admissions, please contact David Lim (dklim@uci.edu) in our Student Affairs Office.
  • If you have specific questions about the curriculum, fieldwork, student teaching or structure of the program, please contact the Single Subject Coordinator, Sue Vaughn (smvaughn@uci.edu), Multiple Subject Coordinator, Susan Toma-Berge (tomas@uci.edu), or the Director, Virginia Panish (vpanish@uci.edu).