Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

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You have the dream of one day becoming a licensed teacher. We have the experienced faculty, hands-on resources, and passion for your success to help you get there. At McKendree, you are more than just a number. You’re valued for who you are as an individual and for the future educator you hope to become.

Our online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program is perfect for students seeking initial teaching licensure through graduate studies. You’ll gain critical insight into the latest educational theories, teaching strategies, and social issues faced by students, as well as firsthand experience in practicums and student teaching under the mentorship of a current educator in a local school district.

The versatile MAT program gives you the opportunity to specialize in a wide variety of areas, including:

  • Elementary Education (Online): Earn your Illinois Professional Educator License in grades 1-6.

  • Middle School Education (Online): Obtain your Illinois Professional Educator License in Middle Level Education grades 5-8. You’ll have your choice of available licensing content areas in Mathematics, Social Science, Science, and English Language Arts.

  • Secondary Education (Online): Receive your Illinois Professional Educator License in grades 9-12. You may select a licensing content area in English and Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Biology Emphasis), and Social Science (History or Political Science Emphasis).

  • Special Education (Online): Obtain your Illinois Professional Educator License in Special Education (Learning Behavior Specialist I) in grades Pk-22.
  • K-12 Physical Education (Online): If you’re interested in teaching Physical Education to students in grades K-12, the MAT enables you to obtain your Illinois Professional Educator License in this area.



Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Online Curriculum Requirements

Elementary Education

Middle School Education

Secondary Education

Special Education

K-12 Physical Education



MAT Program Online Format

McKendree’s online Master of Arts in Teaching program is designed for working adults who juggle a wide array of personal and professional responsibilities, along with the pursuit of their educational goals.



MAT Program Practicums

As part of the MAT curriculum, you’ll earn field practicum hours in a local school under the guidance of a current teacher in your area of interest. This engaging, real-world experience gives you an up-close perspective of teaching, and requires you to be available during the school day to participate.



Interesting Courses


  • The Learning Environment: This course gives you an important glimpse into students’ motivations and offers practical ways to create a positive atmosphere for learning. You’ll discover tools for encouraging beneficial social interaction among students, as well as active learning and self-motivation.

  • Introduction to Planning, Delivery & Assessment: This course prepares teacher candidates with planning, instruction, and assessment strategies. The candidates will develop standards-based lessons for delivery in the classroom utilizing various instructional practices needed to enhance the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Course content includes writing instructional objectives, identifying research-based assessments, and constructing and analyzing those assessments to best gauge student learning outcomes.


Admission Requirements for Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Degree


McKendree University admits students who present evidence of their potential to complete graduate level work. Applicants are considered on an individual basis without regard to sex, race, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, or religion. The following documentation is required for consideration of admission:

1. A completed graduate admission application (no fee).

2. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

3. Official transcripts from each college or university attended. Official transcripts are those sent from institution to institution.

4. A minimum 3.0 GPA on a four-point scale in undergraduate studies.

5. A current resume or vita.

6. Three professional references.

7. Essay describing the personal and professional goals that will be met by completion of the degree.

The timely submission of the admission material is the student’s responsibility. As a general rule, the earlier the materials are received, the better the chances for full consideration.