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DE Track: Elementary Education

Degree: Master of Arts in Teaching
Program: Teaching

Delivery Method: Online

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The MAT program is an accelerated teacher licensure program that is 100% online and leads to both an initial teaching license and a master’s degree in as little as a year-and-a-half (full-time).

You will be prepared to teach in any type of learning environment, including in-person, remotely or a mix.

In the MAT program, we expand our knowledge and impact, and continue to support teachers’ needs to integrate practice with theory as well as to experience today’s culturally diverse and technology-enhanced classrooms. The MAT provides an outstanding teacher preparation program at a reasonable cost.

Please note that the MAT’s focus is on preparation to teach in K-12 schools rather than an advanced credential for practicing teachers or a precursor to research-oriented doctoral studies in education.

Program Description

Graduates from NC State’s MAT in Elementary Education distance education (DE) track will:

  • Become teachers of quality for all children; they will demonstrate values and dispositions characterized by a sound commitment to social justice, especially for underserved and vulnerable populations of children.
  • Use developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant, child-centered pedagogy in teaching young children.
  • Have depth of knowledge in the content areas of the elementary school curriculum, especially in math, science, technology and literacy.
  • Implement research-verified practices in all areas of the elementary education curriculum.
  • Employ proven practices of teaching using appropriate technology tools.
  • Foster sound and productive collaborative relationships with students, families, and colleagues.
  • Make instructional decisions based on sound evidence of student work and meaningful assessments.
  • Become deeply and productively reflective in their own practice of teaching, so that reflection will become a habit of mind.
  • Succeed in a range of high quality, supervised school-based experiences with area partnership schools, including participation in guided inquiry regarding current practices in elementary education.
  • Contribute to the continuous assessment and improvement of preparing elementary education professionals.
  • Participate in innovative courses, experiences and opportunities that will prepare them for teaching in the twenty-first century.
  • Participate in communities of practice both face-to-face and virtually.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a college or university that holds regional accreditation from a recognized accrediting agency such as SACS
  • 3.00 GPA or higher in prior work, as required by the Graduate School
  • Minimum passing score of 100 on the TOEFL AND an official course-by-course evaluation from an accredited foreign credential evaluation service required for applicants with non-U.S. degrees*
  • Meet the specific requirements of content area or grade level. See specialty coursework under curriculum for content standards.

MAT in Elementary Education is designed for individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree with the following 24 semester hours in the core content areas:

  • Mathematics: 6 credit hours
  • Science: 6 credit hours, one with a lab
  • Literature: 3 credits
  • Sociology or Anthropology: 3 credits
  • American History: 3 credits
  • Additional Relevant Course Work: 3 credits

In the absence of a content degree, 24 semester hours/credits in content relevant to the area in which you wish to teach are needed. Candidates who are missing content area courses can take them at a local college or university or as a PBS (post-baccalaureate student) at NC State prior to admission.

If an applicant does not have the 24 content area credits needed to be accepted into the program, he or she can still enroll in the first graduate classes as a Non-Degree student (NDS) while completing the full 24 content-specific hours and transfer those credits into the degree program. Up to 12 credit hours with a grade of “B” or better can be transferred into a master’s degree program (either from NDS studies or from partner institutions). See the NC State Graduate School policies at

* Please note that the Master of Arts in Teaching is considered a Distance Education track, so students on university-sponsored visas are not eligible for this program. Please contact the Office of International Services with any questions.

Course of Study

MAT participants can undertake this program full-time or part-time. The program includes 10 courses (30 hours).


Course descriptions can be found in the university course catalog.

MAT Core Courses (Required for all MAT students):

  • ECI 579 Behavioral Management of Inclusive Classrooms (3 hrs.)
  • ED 508 Diversity in Classroom and Community (3 hrs.)
  • ED 507 Developing and Interpreting Assessment (2 hrs.)
  • ED 569 Full-semester Student Teaching Experience (4 hrs.)

Specialty Area Course Requirements:

  • ELM 571 Language Arts, New Literacies, and Media for Initial License (3 hrs.)
  • ELM 572 Methods for Teaching Reading in the Elementary Classroom for Initial License (3 hrs.)
  • ELM 573 Methods of Teaching Elementary School Science for Initial License (3 hrs.)
  • ELM 574 Methods for Teaching Elementary Mathematics for Initial License (3 hrs.)
  • ELM 575 Methods for Teaching Elementary Social Studies for Initial License (3 hrs.)
  • ELM 515 School Experiences 1 – 1 credit
  • ELM 516 Instructional Practices in Schools II – 2 credits

Additional Info

Approximate total program cost (North Carolina residents) for the MAT in elementary education program: $1,599.21 per 3 hour course, or $15,992 total

Visit the NC State’s Graduate Distance Education Tuition rates page for detailed information about tuition and fees.

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