Master of Arts (MAT) — Teaching

Program overview

Earn a Master’s in Teaching in a two-year program designed for working professionals

This program integrates a Master of Arts in Teaching with the Washington Residency Teacher Certificate in a part-time, two-year program designed for working professionals and/or career changers. Develop the skills to be an equitable and inclusive professional teacher in this cohort-based program.

Ready to advance your career? Discover why school districts have long sought after SPU-educated teachers.

Program Overview

The School of Education Difference

Seattle Pacific was founded more than 125 years ago, and the University has been preparing some of the most sought-after educators in the region for more than 90 years. Today, entrance to School of Education graduate programs is highly competitive. Faculty members – each teaching his or her own courses and each holding a doctorate – have worked to develop rigorous programs of quality.

The School of Education at Seattle Pacific University offers more than a dozen graduate programs. You can choose from three doctoral programs, seven master’s degree programs, and five certification programs, all of which focus on developing competence, character, leadership, and service in educators. While many students train to become teachers, others prepare for roles as school counselors, principals, superintendents, district office personnel, or professors in higher education. SPU's reputation in P–12 education in Washington and across the country is strong, and students who complete our graduate degree and certificate programs enjoy a higher rate of employment than the state's average.

Why Seattle Pacific for your Master of Arts in Teaching degree?

School districts have long sought after SPU-educated teachers for both their competence and character. Many graduates have gone on to blaze new trails in the education realm, and even earn Washington state’s Teacher of the Year award, an honor given to only one outstanding Washington teacher annually. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program was created to integrate teacher certification with a master's degree in a two-year program for working professionals. Among other benefits, graduates of the program earn their Washington Residency Teacher Certificate, earn higher placement on the salary schedule, and become equipped to guide students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence. In addition, SPU’s School of Education offers one-year alternative route teaching programs, including AMAT and AMTMS.

  1. Accomplished Faculty

    Expert, caring faculty have a desire to help students succeed. Faculty are known for mentoring their students during and following their educational programs. These professors model lifelong learning through scholarly activities of their own, publishing frequently, and presenting at professional conferences.

  2. AACU Membership

    Seattle Pacific is a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. SPU certification programs are approved by the Washington state Professional Educator Standards Board. The School of Education is also a member of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education, and has a chapter, Sigma Phi Upsilon, of Chi Sigma Iota, an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling.

  3. Deep Character Emphasis

    Built on an character education foundation, the graduate programs at SPU offer first-class education through the lens of Christian faith and values. Students take ethics courses, and character issues are integrated throughout the curriculum.

  4. Flexible Format

    Earn a teaching certification and a master's degree concurrently! Designed for working professionals, most courses within the MAT program are offered in the late afternoons and evenings. The program includes a 40-hour spring field experience, a 20-hour autumn field experience, and a full-time, 70-day supervised internship during Winter quarter of Year 2.

  5. Connected Alumni

    School of Education graduates move on to purposeful careers in schools and distict-level leadership throughout the country. When you obtain a graduate degree from SPU’s School of Education, you join a community of alumni who stay connected.

Related Master’s Programs

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Completion of the program fulfills requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching degree and Washington state Residency Teacher Certification. After completing certification requirements, the Certification Office in the School of Education at SPU recommends candidates for teacher licensure to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Completion of five additional graduate-level classes throughout the program fulfills requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching.

Program Schedule and Cohort Info

Classes are offered online and in-person. Classes that meet in person meet one night per week, generally from 5:00-7:35pm


The certification component of the MAT program is 50-58 credits, depending on endorsement area. Approximately one-quarter of these credits are allocated for a 70-day (14-week) internship. Completion of certification courses, internship requirements, and passing program assessments qualifies candidates for a Washington Residency Teacher Certificate. This certificate enables candidates to teach in public and private schools in Washington state.

Candidates in the Master of Arts in Teaching program are recommended for certification by:

  • Demonstrating effective teaching practices
  • Centering instruction on high expectations for student achievement
  • Recognizing and responding to individual student learning needs
  • Providing clear and intentional focus on subject matter content and curriculum
  • Fostering and managing a safe, positive learning environment
  • Using multiple student data elements to modify instruction and improve student learning
  • Communicating and collaborating with parents and the school community
  • Exhibiting collaborative and collegial practices focused on improving instruction and learning

NOTE: Tuition rates for the certification portion of the program and the master's component of the program are differentiated. While certification courses are offered at a reduced rate, students across all master's programs take the master's component classes at the regular graduate tuition rate. 

Coursework and Internship

Coursework begins in the autumn with online and on-campus classes in learning theory, general teaching methods, education reform, and educational technology. Coursework varies depending on endorsement area to provide discipline-specific emphasis.

The internship begins mid-winter during the second year. Candidates are paired with a mentor teacher and university field supervisor in a school setting. Internship is 70 days, or 14 weeks (the 70-day requirement does not include days off for mid-winter or spring vacations). Candidates continue with coursework during internship. Additional field-based work includes a 40-hour spring field experience in the first year of the program and a 20-hour autumn field experience beginning the second year of the program.

Candidates and mentor teachers follow a co-teaching model during internship, where responsibility for planning, instruction, management, and assessment is shared. Candidates begin internship with focused observations and progress to independent teaching. Across internship, candidates complete assignments designed to maximize field experiences, such as portfolio reflections, lesson plans, and program assessments. Internship concludes with candidates returning control of classroom responsibilities to their mentor teachers.

Completion of the MAT Degree

Candidates earn the MAT degree by completing additional graduate-level courses, totaling 3-6 credits. Classes required for the MAT degree are not needed for certification. However, most candidates complete degree requirements along with certification to increase their salary. Candidates may delay completion of degree requirements for five years following the quarter of admission, as long as active enrollment status is maintained by completing one class every four quarters.

Students admitted to the MAT program with an advanced degree may qualify for a waiver of up to 6 credits and a reduction in internship credits, thus reducing the overall cost of the program.

Course sequence

Candidates receive a specific course sequence, depending on endorsement, as they begin the program. The following shows an example sequence for Elementary Certification. 

Year One

EDU 6100 Introduction to Equitable Teaching (3)
EDU 6150 Planning, Instructing, and Supporting Students I (3)
EDRD 6529 Learning to Read: Teaching Practices for Early Reading (3)
EDU 6350 Elementary Social Studies Methods (3)
EDSC 6250 Elementary Science Methods (3)
EDU 6133 Culturally Sustaining Teaching for Diverse Learners (3)
EDRD 6539 Deepening Reading: Teaching Practices for Making Meaning (3)
EDU 6989 Spring School Observation Experience (3)

Year Two

EDMA 6431 Math Content and Processes for Elementary Teachers (3)
EDU 6140 Classroom Management and The Psychology of Learners I (2)
EDU 6944 Professional Learning Network (1)
EDMA 6432 Math Methods for Elementary Teachers (3)
EDU 6141 Classroom Management and the Psychology of Learners (2)
EDU 6942 Autumn School Observation Experience (2)
EDU 6944 Professional Learning Network (1)
EDU 6139 Professional Issues Internship Seminar (2)
EDU 6944 Professional Learning Network (1)
EDU 6949 Student Teaching Internship (5)
EDU 6139 Professional Issues Internship Seminar (2)
EDU 6944 Professional Learning Network (1)
EDU 6949 Student Teaching Internship (6)
Can be Taken Year 1 or 2. See Time Schedule for Availability.
EDU 6085 Moral and Theological Issues in Education (3)
EDSP 6644 Educating Exceptional Students (3)
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Nalline Baliram

Associate Professor of Teacher Education
PhD, Seattle Pacific University

Phone: 206-281-2453
Office: Peterson Hall 410

Scott Beers

Assistant Dean, Graduate Programs
PhD, University of Washington

Phone: 206-281-2707
Office: Peterson Hall 409

Daniel Bishop

Assistant Professor; Chair of Teacher Leadership
EdD, Seattle Pacific University

Phone: 206-281-2593
Office: Peterson Hall 313

David W. Denton

Associate Professor
EdD, Seattle Pacific University

Phone: 206-281-2504
Office: Peterson Hall 317

Greg Fritzberg

Professor of Education
PhD, University of Washington

Phone: 206-281-2363
Office: Peterson Hall 415

Kristine Gritter

Professor, Curriculum and Instruction; Chair, MEd Literacy, Language, and Equity
PhD, Michigan State University

Phone: 206-281-2323
Office: Peterson Hall 309

Jill Heiney-Smith

Director of Graduate Teacher Education; Assistant Professor of Teacher Education
EdD, Seattle Pacific University

Phone: 206-281-2372
Office: Peterson Hall 311

Robin Henrikson

Associate Professor; Director of Assessment

Phone: 206-281-2186
Office: Peterson Hall 405

Emily Huff

Director of Field Placements, Clinical Instructor

Phone: 206-281-2375
Office: Peterson Hall 318

Krystle Jalalian-Chursky

Assistant Professor, Special Education; Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education
PhD, University of London, Birkbeck

Phone: 206-281-2365
Office: Peterson Hall 313

Kirsten Koetje

Assistant Director of Graduate Teacher Education
PhD, Seattle Pacific University

Jorge Preciado

Professor of Education; Chair of Special Education
PhD, University of Oregon

Phone: 206-281-2794
Office: Peterson Hall 406

Pete Renn

Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction; Assistant Dean
EdD, Seattle Pacific University

Phone: 206-281-2028
Office: Peterson Hall 305

David Wicks

Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction
EdD, Seattle Pacific University

Phone: 206-281-2367
Office: Peterson Hall 411

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Continuing Education

To meet the changing needs of adult learners, Seattle Pacific University offers a wide range of programs and courses to meet the needs of today's professionals. With competitive credit and program rates, these personal and professional development opportunities make lifelong learning very affordable. As the largest provider of continuing education credits for teachers in Washington State, SPU's Center for Professional Education is focused on the current needs of K-12 educators.

Courses taken for credit and numbered at the 5000 level are graduate-level courses and are designed primarily with the needs of teachers and other professionals in mind for the purpose of meeting certification, endorsement, district pay lane requirements and other professional needs. These Graduate-level courses may be considered to meet elective requirements in some cases.

Still have questions? Review FAQs.

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Tuition and Fees for 2023–24

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per credit

*$670 per credit for core certification coursework; $735 per credit for master's component courses

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application fee

See additional fee details.

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credits to complete, depending on endorsement area

Financial aid

Before applying for aid, you must first be admitted to a graduate program. Make sure you:
  • Enroll in at least 3 credits (or half-time) toward a degree or eligible certificate each quarter.
  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

You may take advantage of scholarships and loans. SPU does not have a deadline for graduate financial aid, though earlier is always better than later! 

Learn more about the FAFSA and applying for financial help.

Learn more about scholarships, assistantships, and loans available to graduate students.

Second Master’s Benefit

Students entering the Master of Arts in Teaching program with an advanced degree may take advantage of a second master's benefit at SPU. Through a petition process, students may receive a waiver for 3-6 of the required credits plus a reduction in the number of internship credits required, dependent upon the chosen endorsement area. The cost of the MAT program will be reduced by up to $8,000 with the second master's benefit.


Find out more about administrative and other School of Education program fees.
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Admission Requirements

Applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. New cohorts are admitted each spring and the program begins Summer Quarter.

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit the following items to Graduate Admissions:

  • Application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Official transcript documenting bachelor's degree (including official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended).
    • Note: To be considered official, transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope from the college or university. Transcripts may be delivered to Graduate Admissions as long as they remain in their original, unopened university envelope. Electronic transcripts received via eSCRIP-SAFE or Parchment Exchange are also acceptable.
    • If your degree is not from a US college or university, please arrange for your transcript to be evaluated by an accredited transcript-evaluation company, such as FIS or WES. Have the report forwarded directly to Graduate Admissions.
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • Résumé.
  • Two to four letters of recommendation.
  • WEST-B scores, including preferred minimum score of 240 on each subtest (reading, writing, and mathematics).
    • Applicants may use a combination of SAT, ACT, and WEST-B scores to meet the WEST-B requirement (reading writing, mathematics). Please contact Graduate Admissions if you have questions.
      • Preferred SAT scores required (for test date beginning 03/05/2016) — Math: 27.5, Reading: 27, Writing: 28.
      • Preferred SAT scores required (for test date up to 03/04/2016) — Math: 515, Reading: 500, Writing: 490.
      • Preferred ACT scores required — Math: 22, Reading: 22, Writing: 8 (for test date beginning 9/1/2016), or Writing: 23 (for test date 09/01/2015 through 08/31/16), or Writing: 8 (for test date up to 08/31/2015) 
  • Passing State Endorsement Test.
    • WEST-E or NES must be passed by May 1 of the first year in the program, except for those endorsing in Special Education, which must be passed by September 1 of the second year of the program.
    • Those endorsing in Designated World Languages or Bilingual Education must also pass the oral and writing proficiency ACTFL tests (OPI and WPT) in their language area.
    • Several NES study guides are available from the SPU library through Mometrix.
  • Verify endorsement readiness.
    • Endorsements are the content and grade levels a teacher is prepared to teach. The Professional Education Standards Board (PESB) provides a comprehensive list of all endorsements offered at SPU.
      • If your major does not match your intended endorsement, please contact The Certification Office. Complete the Endorsement Verification form only after contacting the Certification Office. On the form, indicate that you have been in contact with the Certification Office and list your "Approved Plan of Study" if one has been developed.
  • Moral and Professional Character Policy form (found in the online application). 

Applicants with complete files submitted by the deadline are screened for interviews in April. Invitations to interview are sent by email. Applicants are advised to add these email addresses as contacts to avoid inadvertent delivery of correspondence to spam or junk folders.

Application deadline

Regular admission: February 1

Application and Admissions Questions?

Contact Graduate Admissions at 800-601-0603 or

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Frequently asked questions

How selective is admission to the SPU School of Education graduate degree programs?

This varies by program. Admission to some programs, such as the Accelerated Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science (AMTMS), Accerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT), and MEd in School Counseling, is very competitive. Admission to each of SPU's graduate programs in education is standards-based, and all applicants must meet all standards for admission.

Can I continue to work while enrolled in a graduate degree program in the SPU School of Education?

Yes, in most cases. Most of the graduate degree programs offered by the School of Education are part-time programs, with classes offered in a variety of worker-friendly venues. Education graduate courses are scheduled at SPU or off campus, in the evenings, occasionally on Saturdays, and during the summer.

The Acclerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT) and Accelerated Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science (AMTMS) programs are exceptions. They are one-year full-time programs due to their full-time internships.

Is it possible to complete a graduate degree from SPU's School of Education online?

The School of Education offers several fully online programs, including the AMAT-OnlineAMTMS-OnlineDigital Education Leadership, and Teacher Leadership programs. Please review the program pages for eligibility requirements.

Is a graduate program at SPU more expensive than comparable education programs at other universities?

SPU's graduate tuition rates are competitive with other accredited universities in Washington.

How does a graduate degree or graduate certificate from SPU compare with a similar degree or certificate from other universities?

SPU's School of Education has been offering a wide range of fully accredited master's and doctoral degrees in addition to graduate certificates for more than 20 years. SPU's reputation in P–12 education in Washington and around the country is strong, and students who complete our graduate degree and certificate programs enjoy a higher rate of employment than the state's average.

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