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MAT in Middle Grades Education (Grades 4-8)


UGA Middle Grades Education Program Commitments

To cultivate and sustain a more equitable society, the Middle Grades Education program is committed to:

  • Modeling and enacting justice-oriented curriculum design and instructional practices that center youth and invite educators to cultivate positive, supportive, humanizing relationships with and among youth, families, and communities
  • Advocating for and working with youth to acknowledge, honor, and embrace the power and possibilities of creating a more equitable society
  • Engaging in and creating practices and structures, both individually and collectively, which require constant critical reflection and analysis and inspire community and societal action

Have you decided that you want to pursue a teaching career after completing another degree?

If so, our Masters in the Arts of Teaching (M.A.T.) degree in Middle Grades Education is for you! Our M.A.T. program is designed for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education and want to go back to school to earn a degree and become certified to teach grades 4-8.

As one of the oldest middle grades-focused teacher certification programs in the country, the Middle Grades Education (EDMG) program at the University of Georgia is a leader in the field of middle grades reform. Our faculty are committed to designing and enacting justice-oriented curriculum and instruction as we prepare master’s students to become middle grades teachers.

Students in our M.A.T. program choose two content areas from the following as the focus of their middle grades certification:

  • English language arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social studies

After successfully completing this two-year program, students will earn a master’s degree and be eligible for a Georgia teacher certification in middle grades education.


Carrington Eley

M.A.T. in Middle Grades Education, University of Georgia
Bachelors in Business Economics, Wofford College

I absolutely love the cohort model that the middle grades program uses. I have made amazing friends throughout this experience that I would not have made if we were not in a cohort. I love being able to see these people in class and talk about our experiences together. We have been able to see each other grow, struggle together, and celebrate our accomplishments. We have become like family!

Allie McCullen

M.A.T. in Middle Grades Education, University of Georgia
Bachelors in English and Women & Gender Studies, University of Georgia

The core beliefs of the middle grades program are what drew me to apply—and I am not disappointed with that decision. Every day in my coursework and in my student teaching, I am encouraged to take a “critical inquiry stance by questioning the world as it is and how it could be different” and to commit “to action towards social justice and equity.” As a former community organizer, this is exactly what I was looking for in an M.A.T. program—a safe and welcoming space to learn alongside other future educators about how to design and implement pedagogy and classroom environments that all young people deserve.


The M.A.T. in Middle Grades Education is a full-time, two-year program. At the beginning of each Fall semester, the M.A.T. program of study (PDF) includes a variety of coursework focused on middle school youth, curriculum design, instructional strategies, and content. Students will take one of the middle grades core courses each semester alongside subject matter content courses, which provide opportunities to study deeply in the in the subject area they choose.

Our M.A.T. program is structured as a cohort model, so students take their core middle grades courses with the same group for four semesters. Graduates from our program report each year how important their cohort experience was throughout the program, as this model allows for more opportunities to cultivate relationships and begin teaching with a community of support.

In the middle grades core courses, students will be immersed in topics and experiences, such as learning to unlearn the deficit perspectives about 10 to 15 year olds that dominate popular culture; developing an understanding of middle grades students’ communities and cultural contexts and how we can bring those assets into our curriculum and instruction; examining how youth, educators, and schools are always connected to and impacted by a larger network of systems; designing engaging curriculum and instructional practices that are equitable and accessible for all students; and assessing and responding to students’ learning needs.

Future teachers in our M.A.T. program spend more than 850 hours in 4-8 grade classrooms throughout the two years in our program. M.A.T. students participate in semester-long practicum experiences during their second and third semesters in the program and complete their full-time student teaching in the final semester.

How to Apply

Admissions Timelines

  • Preferred deadline: March 1
  • Final deadline: May 30

Note: Students admitted to the M.A.T. in Middle Grades Education program begin with their cohort in Fall semesters only.

PART 1: Apply to the University of Georgia’s Graduate School

The Graduate School handles admissions 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 Middle Grades Education (Grades 4-8) program


  • Cumulative GPA for all undergraduate courses should be 2.5 or above on a four-point scale
  • The state also requires that all candidates have a minimum 2.5 GPA for undergraduate or previous graduate work

Visit the GACE website for more info

Submit Application Materials for the M.A.T. in Middle Grades Education Program

  1. Resume: Particular format is not required
  2. Application essays: Examine the middle grades education program’s commitments and respond to the three application questions. Each response should be 350-500 words and first-person narrative is welcomed.

Go to the Commitments and Application Questions

Please email your resume and essays to Linda Dunbar, assistant to the graduate coordinator, at .

Review Process

When all application materials have been received by the UGA Graduate School, faculty in the middle grades program will review each application. Faculty may request additional materials from applicants before making a recommendation on the application. The faculty makes recommendations to the Department of Educational Theory and Practice’s graduate coordinator, who will in turn make a recommendation to the Graduate School for all admissions. The final decision on admissions is made by the Graduate School.

Applicants will receive notification directly from the Graduate School about the applicant’s acceptance decision.


If you have any questions about the M.A.T. in Middle Grades Education program, please contact Hannah Rogers Davis . The middle grades education program coordinator will respond to your inquiry.

Student Outcome Data

2022-2023 Program Assessment (PDF)

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.

Schedule A Visit

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