Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a master’s level teacher education program leading to a recommendation for a teaching license. Participants will study to become a teacher with a cohort in a dynamic and hands-on learning environment.

MAT students will complete a comprehensive course of graduate study to complete the master’s degree and requirements to earn a recommendation for a Montana Class 1 Teaching License. The MAT is offered online, with the exception of one required, seven-day residency in Bozeman during the summer, so that our participants can remain in their communities. Licensure options for the MAT are:

  • Online - Study from your home community
  • If hired as a teacher-of-record, field experience can be completed in your own classroom
  • Experiential and field based – graduate students work with K-12 students from their first semester in the program
  • Rural focused, with the culminating capstone course titled “Reflective Inquiry in Rural Education”

Who Should Participate?

The MAT program is designed to support the needs for fully licensed teachers in Montana and Wyoming's rural communities. The MAT program offers applicants with a bachelor's degree a pathway to complete a teacher preparation program and become a licensed teacher in as little as 5 to 7 semesters (including summer), depending on cohort availability. Additionally, the Master of Arts in Teaching degree at MSU is also available to support candidates working as teachers-of-record on a Class 5 provisional license or equivalent. 

MAT students will typically enroll in full-time study during the first summer semester and will engage with school-age children through our summer camp (2023 Dates: July 30 - Aug 4). Additional field experiences are determined by teaching status and program option.

If you are wondering if this program is for you please reach out to Jamie O'Callaghan at [email protected] for more information. 

Not sure about online learning? Try taking the "Is Online Learning Right for Me" Quiz:

Montana Rural Teacher Project


For participants of the Montana Rural Teacher project: More details and criteria are found on our Montana Rural Teacher Project page. NOTE: this project is no longer accepting participants as funding has ended. 


Admission Deadline for Secondary Education: Rolling Admission - Please APPLY now! 

Admission Deadline for Elementary Education: Rolling Admission - Please APPLY now! 

Interested candidates for the MAT program should begin by reaching out to the MAT office by emailing Jamie O'Callaghan at [email protected].

Next, begin a review and self-assessment of the endorsement area in which  you are interested. Note the content specific requirements and guidelines for admission outlined on our Endorsements page.  Schedule a conversation with Jamie O'Callaghan in advance of your application to discuss endorsements and pathways.

Applicants will also need to take and pass the appropriate Praxis Content Area exam prior to application. Be sure to allow enough time to study for the test, and allow 2-5 weeks prior to the application deadline to receive official test scores.

  • Online application to Montana State University Graduate School with $60 fee. 
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended. Please note minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Endorsement Verification Form for endorsement area sought
  • Official score for Praxis Content Area Exam for endorsement area sought (Be sure to take this test no later than 2-5 weeks prior to admission deadline)
  • Personal Statement (use template) Further information about the Personal Statement and guidelines are found on our Endorsement page
    • Describe your previous work history, academic preparation, and previous work with children or adolescents.
    • Describe the unique characteristics, academic abilities, and personal traits that qualify you to become a teacher.
    • Describe why you want to enter the teaching profession, and what you expect to encounter as a _ (ex: Science) _ teacher.
  • Submit Resume/CV containing all previous work experience and education, with relevant work with youth included
  • Submit 3 Letters of Recommendation:
    • Minimally, one from each category
      • Current/previous employer
      • Personal (particularly if the recommender can speak to the applicant's previous experience working with youth) or academic
  • International Applicants are required to follow the Montana State University Graduate School policy for International Admissions, including passing the required English language proficiency exam (TOEFL or IELTS) 

The MAT program will offer teaching endorsement areas in:

  • English 
  • Mathematics
  • General Science
  • Social Studies
  • Modern Laguages (French, German, or Spanish)

Please see our Endorsement Area page for detailed information about our endorsement areas offered an qualifications for those areas.