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MAT in Elementary Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching program in Elementary Education at the University of Georgia is designed for individuals seeking initial teacher certification in grades PK-5. The program blends theory and practice grounded in our shared philosophy of critical pedagogy. We prepare teacher-leaders who are capable of engaging culturally and linguistically diverse children, families, and communities.

The Summer-to-Summer program (four semesters) is flexible, accessible, and designed for working adults. The program offers online and face-to-face courses in content areas such as language arts, social studies, mathematics, and science, as well as courses in educational theory and practice; equity, access, and inclusion; bilingual reading strategies; integrating curriculum and assessment; culturally responsive teaching and environments; and critical arts-based pedagogies. The M.A.T. program offers theoretically and clinically rich experiences in diverse environments that encourage teachers to develop their identity as thought leaders and agents of change.

We are seeking education professionals and others with a passion for teaching, a wealth of experience, and a drive to engage children and young people in Georgia and beyond.


  1. Ranked in the top 10 elementary teacher education programs by U.S. News & World Report
  2. Designed with working adults in mind and can be completed Summer-to-Summer in as little as four semesters
  3. Small cohorts allow one-on-one and small group mentorship and supervision
  4. Program includes clinically rich field experiences in schools and classrooms aligned with our core mission and values
  5. Endorsements such as the English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) may be included in program of study

Summer-to-Summer MAT

Unlock your teaching potential. Take the next step in your teaching career.

Complete a Master’s Degree in Teaching with certification in as little as four semesters.

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Our vision is to prepare teacher leaders who are capable of effectively serving culturally and linguistically diverse children, families, and communities. We equip our teacher leaders with the skills to provide child-centered, inquiry driven instruction ultimately intent on advocating for equity and access to high quality educational experiences for all.


The M.A.T. in Elementary Education blends theory and practice grounded in our shared philosophy of critical pedagogy. Upon program completion, students will be expected to demonstrate teaching competencies related to habits of reflexive practice, integrating scholarship and research, engaging in professional collaboration, and appreciating diversity. These elements of thought and action are viewed as key to supporting critically informed and equitable teacher decision making. The M.A.T. program is designed to offer theoretically and clinically rich experiences in diverse environments. By the end of the program, teachers will develop their identity as thought leaders and agents of change.

Program of Study

The M.A.T. in Elementary Education requires a minimum of 51 credit hours, including content courses and associated field experiences. M.A.T. Teacher candidates must (1) apply for a GaPSC Pre-Service Certificate prior to beginning field experience and (2) complete several assessments prior to certification.

Download Program of Study (PDF)

How to Apply

Part 1: Apply to the University of Georgia

The Graduate School handles admission for all graduate programs at the University of Georgia, including those in the College of Education. The Graduate School website contains important details about the application process, orientation, and many other useful links to guide you through the process of attending UGA at the graduate level.

Start a Graduate School Application

Part 2: Apply to the M.A.T. in Elementary Education

The M.A.T. in Elementary Education accepts applicants for Summer admission. Eligible applications must have a bachelor’s degree and a 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale cumulative GPA. While completing your Graduate School application, please complete the following sections:

  • Program selection (Athens, M.A.T., Summer)
  • Personal background, citizenship, and residency
  • Educational background and additional information (upload unofficial transcripts)
  • Resume and statement of purpose (see guidance for resume and narrative in FAQs )
  • Honor code and privacy policy
  • Payment selection (application fee)
  • Crucial data
  • For all other sections enter “not applicable”
  • Review and submit

When you begin the application, select the academic year in which you intend to begin the M.A.T. in Elementary Education program. If you select a different year, you will have trouble completing your application.

For example, if you intend on beginning the program in Summer 2023, choose AY 2022-23.

GAPSC Requirements

Candidates are required to have a minimum 2.5 GPA on undergraduate or previous graduate work. Go to the GAPSC website for details.

Deadline To Apply

For the Summer-to-Summer cohort, applications are due by the second Friday in January of each academic year.

For questions about the M.A.T. in Elementary Education, please contact Leslie Rech Penn

Applications will be evaluated by a committee of M.A.T. faculty members on a monthly basis and notifications will be sent out each Spring. Candidates whose undergraduate grades do not necessarily represent their future potential should use the essay portions of the application to make their case for admission.


Upon acceptance to the program, you will be asked to:

  1. Attend an online orientation for new M.A.T. students
  2. Attend a pre-service session to complete the GaPSC Pre-Service Application (PDF)
    • Authorization of background check
    • Completion of Georgia Educator Ethics assessment test code 360 ($30)
    • Signed and notarized Verification of Lawful Presence (VLP) affidavit
  3. Meet with your assigned advisor prior to Summer I session
  4. Register for Summer I session


After the orientation for new M.A.T. students (advising for Summer and Fall), you will be assigned an M.A.T. advisor. You and your advisor will meet prior to Summer I to review your undergraduate transcripts, assess pre-certification status, and areas of needed support in your program of study. Your advisor will work with you to review your experience with content areas (mathematics, language and literacy, science, social studies) and confirm your program of study. Guidelines for transcript review include:

  • Number of courses taken
  • Level of content in the content area
  • Evaluation in the course

You will meet with your advisor again throughout the school year to discuss your progress through the program of study and/or address concerns.

Student Outcome Data

2022-2023 Program Assessment (PDF)

Strategic Partnerships

The M.A.T. program is committed to thoughtfully partnering with schools that profess a commitment to equity, diversity, and social justice. It is our goal for M.A.T. students to be able to transfer their knowledge of teaching for social justice to a variety of different teaching contexts. Therefore, we seek to develop meaningful relationships, collaborations, and partnerships with schools that are open to continued professional development and mutual learning exchanges with our faculty.

These partnerships can enable strategic field placements for M.A.T. students in schools and classrooms that are aligned with our core mission and values. A dedicated M.A.T. field coordinator and supporting faculty will cultivate relationships and maintain strategic partnerships with local teachers and schools.

Additional Resources

Faculty and Advisors

The College’s programs are taught by dedicated faculty who are experts in a range of areas and are passionate about helping students succeed both in their programs and professionally.

Meet the Faculty

Most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance. A close working relationship with your advisor is paramount to progressing through your program of study.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Almost all in-state students begin their studies at UGA paying limited tuition or fees. Please note that these amounts are subject to change and are meant to give prospective students an idea of the costs associated with a degree at the University of Georgia College of Education.

Students may qualify for a variety of assistantships, scholarships, and other financial awards to help offset the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.

Tuition Rates   Browse Financial Aid

Student Life

Our students have a range of opportunities available outside the classroom as well, from professional organizations, experiential learning, clubs and other non-academic experiences.

See for yourself how much UGA College of Education has to offer! Schedule a tour of campus to learn more about the UGA student experience.

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