Program Description

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a 39-48 credit program designed specifically for college graduates holding an appropriate liberal arts degree in Biology, Chemistry, English, Geology, History, or Mathematics who have not had a formal background in education and who wish to prepare for a teaching career in adolescence education grades 7-12.

Upon successful completion of the program, candidates will be recommended to the New York State Education Department for Initial/Professional Certification.

Program Objectives

Candidates who successfully complete all required components of the MAT program in Adolescence Education at SUNY New Paltz will: 

  • Content Knowledge:Enhance content area through synthesizing scientific conceptual understandings with pedagogical practice and implementation. 
  • Planning:Be able to plan lessons in science that are NYSP-12SLS standards-based, are clear and organized, rely upon a variety of appropriate pedagogical practices, include appropriate technologies, and differentiate instruction that provides opportunities to promote appreciation of diversity, tolerance, and inclusion in safe, democratic, and equitable learning environments. 
  • Assessment and P-12 Learning:Be able to choose, design, and implement authentic and appropriate formative and summative assessments to evaluate student learning, consider assessment data when making instructional decisions, and identify effective or problematic teaching moments as they are occurring in order to facilitate student growth in specified content, cognitive skills, and/or social skills. 
  • Pedagogical Practice:Demonstrate the ability to maximize student learning by incorporating content with pedagogical knowledge, utilizing appropriate and effective technology, and implementing a variety of developmentally and contextually appropriate evidence-based instructional strategies to make learning meaningful and relevant for students while teaching. 
  • Dispositions:Exhibit the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to practice an ethically informed and self-reflective philosophy, participate effectively in institutional change, and develop respectful relationships with students, families, communities and colleagues. 
  • Critical Thinking:Identify, analyze, and evaluate different methods of planning, assessing, and teaching in order to develop well-reasoned arguments that support pedagogical decisions, and transfer these skills to students through the development of higher order thinking lesson development. 
  • Information Management:Use technology and basic research techniques in order to locate, evaluate, and synthesize best-practices concepts in content knowledge, planning, assessment, and pedagogical practice. 

Apply to a SUNY New Paltz graduate programAdmission Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Arts in Teaching programs must meet the following criteria:

  1. A 3.0 or better GPA in all undergraduate course work and in an appropriate undergraduate major.
    1. The undergraduate major should be comparable in breadth, depth, and rigor to the New Paltz undergraduate major in the same field. including course work that includes a broad and rigorous general education component
  2. Write an admissions essay responding to the following prompt:
    1. Reflect on a time when your idea or belief was questioned or challenged.  Or, conversely, reflect on a time when your idea or belief was validated. What happened? In what way(s) could this time be considered a learning experience?
  3. Applicants specializing in English must submit a 10-15 page academic writing sample.
  4. Three academic or professional recommendations are required. At least two of your recommendations should be from professors with whom you have taken courses.
  5. Applicants who graduated from college more than 5 years ago should make every effort to obtain such references and/or equivalent professional references (e.g. job supervisor). We will not accept references from friends or family members. 

Application Deadlines

March 1 Fall semester
October 1 Spring semester

Applications received after this date will be considered; however, enrollment is not guaranteed.

Curriculum Requirements

First Semester (11-17 Credits)
SED540Graduate Foundations of Adolescence Education Seminar1
EDS539Social Foundations of Education 3
EDS730Adolescent Development 3
XXXXXXCourse in Discipline 10-3
XXXXXXCourse in Discipline - English & Social Studies only 10-3
SED703Curriculum: Designs for Literacy, Learning, and Assessment in Adolescence Education3
SED551Field Experience I 1
Second Semester (14-17 Credits) 1
SPE565Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms 3
SED525Digital Literacies and Learning in Secondary Education1
SEDXXX Discipline-Specific Methods Course 23
XXXXXX Course in Discipline 10-3
SED552Field Experience II 1
SEDXXXDiscipline-Specific Education Course 23
XXXXXXCourse in Discipline OR alternative approved by advisor 33
Third Semester: Student Teaching (14 Credits)
SED553Field Experience III 1
SED604Practicum in Secondary Ed 7-96
SED605Practicum in Secondary Ed 10-126
SED606Practicum Seminar1
Total Credits39-48

The MAT in Science Education comprises 39 credits and does not require graduate-level courses in the discipline. Rather, it incorporates 6 credits of discipline-specific pedagogy coursework.
The MAT in French*, Spanish* and Mathematics Education comprises 45 credits and require at least 6 credits of graduate-level coursework in the discipline.
The MAT in English Education and Social Studies Education comprises 48 credits including at least 9 credits of graduate-level coursework in the discipline. * Please note the College stopped accepting admission to the MAT programs in French and Spanish in fall 2019


Discipline-specific education coursework combines content and content-specific pedagogical methods.


English and social studies students will meet this requirement through a content-area course (e.g. ENG5XX or HIS5XX). Mathematics, science, and foreign language students typically will meet the requirement with an education or liberal-arts elective course.

Program Requirements

Complete prescribed course work and other requirements within five years after matriculation.

Deficiencies in the candidate’s undergraduate preparation in the subject area or major shall be remedied by early advisement with the Secondary Education advisor.

Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better, with no more than two grades below B-.

Student teaching with seminar and fieldwork III (14 credits). 

Additional Requirements

  • Culminating assessments are required (e.g., comprehensive examination, teaching portfolio, thesis). Students must attend four state-mandated workshops:
    1. Recognizing and reporting symptoms of child abuse
    2. Prevention of school violence (SAVE).
    3. Dignity for ALL Students Act (DASA)
    4. Health and Safety Education (EDI095)
  • These workshops can be taken at SUNY New Paltz campus.
  • Students must obtain fingerprint clearance. See this site for more info:
  • Students must have good moral character. Applicants for certification are asked to provide information about past convictions, misconduct, etc., on the application for a certificate, and the New York State Education Department is authorized to investigate complaints regarding an applicant’s past convictions or any acts which raise a reasonable question as to the individual’s moral character.
  • Students must receive satisfactory scores on the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations. More information on these tests may be obtained at

Students are responsible for their own transportation to the field and student teaching placements and must be prepared to commute up to 45 miles, one way, to these placements.

Upon graduation, students will receive the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree. Students will have completed all academic requirements for both initial and professional certification and will be recommended for both certifications. Students will receive their professional certificate after they have completed three years of satisfactory secondary teaching experience in their discipline and notification of such to the State Education Department.

For information on obtaining a teaching credential in New York State, please visit the New York State Education Department website at