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If you hold a bachelor's degree in a field other than early childhood education and wish to gain teaching certification in Georgia, our MAT in Early Childhood Education is for you. We designed it for non-certified candidates seeking initial certification to teach children in prekindergarten through fifth grade.

Our MAT in Early Childhood Education program prepares you to work as a teacher in diverse and inclusive educational settings. You will gain practical and theoretical educational knowledge to benefit children, families, and communities.

Program Highlights

  1. Regularly ranked as a top 5 program by U.S. News & World Report
  2. Stimulating teaching opportunities combining theory and practice
  3. Supervised practicum experience in local classrooms

Deadline to Apply

March 1 (Summer)
Note: Deadline is one month earlier than the Graduate School's summer deadline.

View admissions criteria

Faculty and Curriculum

We admit students once each year to begin as part of a cohort, going through classes at roughly the same pace. the introductory class is always taught during Maymester, a short session in the middle of May, and meets two evenings a week from 5-10 p.m. to accommodate your schedule. While some students are more part-time than others, you will have at least a portion of your classes with your cohort, and you will end up student teaching with at least part of your group.

The classes are almost all taught on the Athens campus, and our students are expected also to spend a significant amount of time in local classrooms doing practicum/field placements before the 13-week student-teaching semester, when you are placed in a full-time class. Our students tend to come from all different fields and backgrounds, so the curriculum essentially addresses the full range of subjects (mathematics, science, reading, writing, social studies) as well as special education and second-language learners. You also take a number of pedagogy classes specifically geared toward early childhood education—your degree prepares you for certification to teach Pre-K through fifth grade—as well as a research class.

Note that our program is subject to change possibly after matriculation, as we must keep up with any required changes made by the Georgia Performance Standards Commission (which issues certifications). But the heart of the degree—the classes mentioned above—are consistent. Our students are currently required to take 12-13 classes (three hours each) and spend a 15-hour semester as a full-time student teacher.

You will have both face-to-face educational theory and practicum experiences with a full-time student teaching period at the end. You will actively involve yourself in elementary classrooms where you observe, assist teachers, tutor individual children, work with small groups of children, and lead whole-classroom activities.

Our faculty closely supervises you and supports you in both your academic work and future professional career. With their strong ties to local schools, our faculty fosters supportive and collaborative learning environments.

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

Meet Your Advisor

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.

Find your advisor

Student Life

Classes are offered in the evenings (usually 5-7:45 one night a week per class) during fall/spring terms, and often in one-week seminars during the summer. As a result, you will typically be in class 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in a class for a week, along with some outside reading and other homework, and can end up taking up to four classes in a summer while still having a bit of time to relax.

You also benefit from hands-on experiences with different student populations through university partnerships with a number of school districts, including the Professional Development School District, a collaboration with Clarke County.

There are membership opportunities such as the Student Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the UGA Feminist Scholar-Activists student organization established by educational theory and practice students

Our students are highly invested in service projects that reflect the drive that leads them into education fields. Our department also has several unique study abroad experiences available to graduate students, and our students regularly student teach abroad with the Consortium of Overseas Student Teaching Program.

Book a campus visit

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


Part 1: Apply to the University of Georgia


  1. Submit an online application to the Graduate School
  2. Test scores (depending on your program)
  3. Unofficial transcripts (native language and English for international applicants)
  4. Three letters of recommendation

Part 2: Apply to this program


The program faculty may request additional materials from applicants before admissions decisions are finalized.

The program faculty may request additional materials from applicants. As you complete your application for the UGA Graduate School, you will be able to attach the following documents:

  1. Curriculum vita (CV) or resume
  2. Statement of purpose (short essay)
  3. Official transcripts
View full admissions requirements

Program Resources