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Middle Grades - MAT
The Master of Arts in Teaching programs in middle grades (5-9) and secondary education (8-12) are alternative teacher certification programs. Completion of the MAT results in a master's degree and a Kentucky teaching certification. The programs are designed for individuals who have earned an undergraduate degree in a certification content area or closely related field.


A master's degree with a professional certification is the end result of successful completion of Praxis exams and the 36-hour program. Areas of teacher certification include:

There are two routes through which you can complete MAT Certification in the above areas:
  • Option Six Program: A student is admitted to the Option Six program for middle grades  5-9 or secondary MAT when he/she obtains a full-time teaching position within a Kentucky accredited school. At that time a Temporary Provisional Certificate can be issued, which is valid for one year and must be renewed each additional year through the MAT program for a total of three years
  • Traditional Program: A student will be admitted to the Traditional Program for middle grades 5-9 or secondary MAT if he/she wishes to complete the student teaching requirement as per KY EPSB regulations.

  Graduate Programs and Certifications

Program Requirements

GPA Requirements

A 2.75 GPA  earned in an undergraduate or graduate degree  or a 3.0 GPA on the last thirty (30) hours of credit completed including graduate and undergraduate work is required for admittance into the MAT program.

Testing Requirements

Successful completion of the following pre-professional skills assessments tests administered by the Educational Testing Service (applicants in a teacher ed preparation program may have already met the PPST requirements, however the scores must have met the PPST scores in place set forth by EBSP at the time. Scores for tests taken prior to Oct. 1, 2018, are valid for 10 years, while scores for tests taken after Oct. 1, 2018, are valid for five years.)

PRAXIS Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST)  or Core Academic Skills for Educators (CASE)

Each exam consists of a mathematics, reading and writing section. Note: PPST exam scores for tests taken prior to Oct. 1, 2018, are valid for 10 years while tests taken after Oct. 1, 2018, are valid for five years. CASE exam scores are valid for 10 years.)


GRE Requirements

The GRE consists of a writing, verbal and quantitative section.

Note: GRE scores are valid for 5 years.

Content Requirements

MAT candidates must have enough content reflected on their transcript for one or more of the MAT certification areas. Your transcript will be assessed by our MAT program coordinators.

Additional Requirements

  • Submission of a national and state criminal history background check by the Kentucky State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that meets the requirements of Kentucky House Bill 204

Students are responsible for keeping up to date with the testing requirements found on the Education Professional Standards Board website which are subject to change.

After You Are Admitted

Once admitted, you may seek employment and may apply for temporary provisional certification.

The program is a 36 hour Master’s program.

  • 15 hours of graduate level professional education coursework
  • A two semester practicum/student teaching and associated module course for 15 hours
  • 6 graduate level hours in the teaching certification area

MAT program coordinators have compiled a MAT program guideline check sheet to help assist you through the process of earning your degree.

Other Requirements

  1. Official transcript from an accredited institution verifying a baccalaureate degree with a GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale; or a GPA of 3.0 on the last 30-hours of coursework taken at either the graduate or undergraduate level.
  2. Successful completion of the PRAXIS pre-professional skills assessments.
  3. Successful completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  4. Completion of and successful evaluation by program faculty of an admission interview demonstrating 1) effective communication, 2) creativity, 3) critical thinking, 4) ability to effectively collaborate with others, and 5) an understanding of the professional dispositions required of teachers.
  5. A signed statement that the applicant has read and understands the Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky School Certified Personnel and Kentucky's fitness and character requirements for teachers.
  6. Submission of a graduate application form.

For a complete list of program requirements and additional course information, visit the graduate catalog website.

Course Lists and curriculum


Program Course Requirements

  • For complete requirements, visit the Graduate catalog.
  • CAN check application
  • Praxis II Content or Specialty Area Exam/s
  • Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching Test (PLT)
  • Completion of Online Diversity Field Experience workshop

Required Program Courses

  • EDF 610 or EDF 611                                                                                            3 hours 
  • EDSE 634/EDMG 636 (required for each certification area)                                3 hours

(If obtaining dual certification in Middle and Secondary grades, both are required)

  • EDEL 677                                                                                                              3 hours 
  • EDSE 633 or EDEL 640                                                                                        3 hours
  • EDSP 601                                                                                                              3 hours 

(If a special education class has been taken as an undergraduate, EDF 680 is an option)

  • EDUC 650 (must be taken in the fall semester)                                                     6 hours 
  • EDUC 652 (must be taken in the fall semester)                                                     2 hours 
  • EDUC 651 (must be taken in the spring semester)                                                6 hours 
  • EDUC 653 (must be taken in the spring semester)                                                1 hour 

Six additional hours of graduate content course work approved by the advisor for each content area of certification.

Total Program Hours for the Basic Program- 36 hours   

Career Opportunities

Middle grade teaching careers in:

  • Math
  • Science
  • Language arts
  • Social studies

Secondary teaching careers in:

  • Math
  • Language arts
  • Social studies
  • Earth science
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics

P-12 Certification careers in:

  • Spanish
  • French

MSU's Career Services offers career planning, interview and resume preparation assistance, internship placement, and services to help you find a job after you graduate.