Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a full-time pathway to initial teaching licensure. Participants will study to become a teacher with a cohort in a dynamic and hands-on learning environment.

Program students will complete a full-time course of graduate study to complete the master’s degree and requirements to earn a recommendation for a Montana Class 2 Teaching License in a compressed time period (elementary 16 months, secondary 12 months). The MAT is offered online, with the exception of one, seven-day residency during the summer, so that our participants can remain in their communities. Licensure options for the MAT are:

  • Online - Study from your home community
  • Intensive, full-time study so you can obtain your license in about one year
  • 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’s rural communities.  Qualified individuals will spend one year engaged in full-time graduate study both through coursework and hands-on classroom experience completed in a rural setting (please note we cannot place candidates within fifty miles of Bozeman). 

MAT students will typically enroll in twelve credits per semester and will engage with school-age children through our summer camp (2022 Dates: July 31 - Aug 5), initial classroom experience in the fall semester, and full-time student teaching in the spring semester. 

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


*Our final cohorts to recieve this funding will begin in May 2022

The Montana State University Department of Education, through a Teacher Quality Partnership grant from the United States Department of Education is pleased to offer the Montana Rural Teacher Project initiative within the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Well-qualified applicants to the Master of Arts in Teaching program will have the opportunity to apply for funding through the Montana Rural Teacher Project. This funding will provide a living stipend during the MAT program and professional development opportunities during the two-year service obligation required by the project. More details and criteria are found on our Montana Rural Teacher Project page


Admission Deadline for Secondary Education: February 15, 2023 (opens on July 1, 21 and reviewed on a rolling basis - so apply early!)

Admission Deadline for Elementary Education: November 15: (opens on July 1 and reviewed on a rolling basis - so apply early!) 

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.  

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. Secondary Deadline: March 1, 2020 for Secondary Education
  • 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
  • Score for Praxis Content Area Exam for endorsement area sought (Be sure to take this test no later than February 1 in order to assure scores are available by March 1)
  • 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

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