Frequently Asked Questions

What is the focus of the MAT?

The Master of Arts in Teaching is a graduate program taught primarily in the summer, designed specifically for those who want to enhance their understanding of teaching, learning and subject matter in the PreK-12 classroom. The program is grounded in individualized, inquiry-based learning. During the program, you will develop a set of questions within a content area of your choosing, collect multiple resources for teaching the content, investigate research on teaching and learning in specific subject areas, design new ways to teach, create an e-portfolio, and submit a final project. The final project will be a substantial educational product, whether a curricular unit, educational video, interactive website, training handbook, or another kind of project. Courses will combine regular class sessions with video conferencing and online work.

How much does it cost?

The MAT has four required courses beyond the credential, totaling 8 graduate units. Tuition for 2013-14 is $875/unit. Students in the MAT may apply for financial aid. For information regarding financial aid, contact the Financial Aid Office at (925) 631-4370 or visit

How long does the program take to complete?

If you enroll full-time, you could complete the program in as little as 8 months. If you enroll part-time, you can take from 18 months to 3 years to complete the program. Most of the coursework takes place between June and August.

What are the admission requirements?

The MAT is open to those who have earned Single Subject, Multiple Subject, or Education Specialist credentials from Saint Mary’s College in 2003 or later. To be accepted to the MAT, you must first pass the Writing Proficiency Exam. You must also fill out an application form. Course enrollment begins in late March.

What is the Writing Proficiency Exam?

For the Writing Proficiency Exam, you will have up to two hours to respond to questions about an academic research report that has been sent to you in advance. You will enter your responses in Word in a computer lab. The goal is to ensure that all entering students are able to meet at least the basic level of academic writing necessary for success in a graduate program.  The dates for the next Writing Exam will be available in November from the Program Assistant, Cyndie Paul (925-631-4724 or