Our Master of Arts in Teaching program is designed to prepare you for an initial North Carolina teaching licensure in

  • Elementary education (K-6)
  • Secondary education (6-9 and/or 9-12) in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies subject areas
  • Special Education (K-12), General Curriculum
  • English as a Second Language (K-12)

The year-long program includes coursework and a two-semester residency in a public school setting with an experienced classroom teacher.

Through our MAT, you will learn to serve and challenge today’s diverse students through

  • Rigorous academic experiences
  • Sustained involvement in local educational and youth-based settings
  • Signature experiential education opportunities
  • Educational research experiences, and
  • Opportunities to earn a specialty license beyond the primary content area in ESL or Special Education.

Alumni of our MAT are making a difference in schools and classrooms and in the lives of young people. Our students are exceptional, having been selected for admission from a highly competitive pool of applicants each year. Our strengths include both the academic and professional quality of our program as well as the community spirit that is part of being a University of North Carolina Tar Heel.

The Curriculum

The curriculum includes 12 months of coursework and field experiences that begin in early June and end the following year in late May. You must be enrolled full-time and complete the program in sequence. The program of study consists of 40 graduate credits derived from a combination of coursework and fieldwork experiences in the schools.

The MAT is built on research-based best practices, provides early and extensive clinical experience, and engages practicing teachers in collaborative inquiry. The student teaching fieldwork provides candidates for licensure with an opportunity to integrate theory and practice, to demonstrate skills in a structured and supportive environment, and to enhance their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses. It is the most important component of the program and is a requirement for state licensure.

The MAT program’s signature pedagogy is Experiential Education, where experiences outside of the classroom are linked to the pedagogies and methodological approaches you will learn in your coursework and fieldwork.

Two Ways to Enter the MAT

We have two ways for students to enter our MAT program:

Early affiliation (Pre-MAT)

For current UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate students, early affiliation with the MAT program is a popular option which allows you to take specific graduate-level MAT courses (EDUC 532, 614, 615, 616, and 628) during your undergraduate career. You may apply for early affiliation as early as the second semester of your first undergraduate year.

Once approved for the early affiliation option, you may transfer in to the MAT program up to 12 credits. In order to do so, you must:

  • be accepted into the MAT program;
  • have earned a B or better in the specified course(s);
  • be applying those credits above and beyond the 120 undergraduate credits (minimum) required to complete your bachelor’s degree.


You can apply to enter through this route if you have earned a bachelor’s degree (or if you are in your final year of obtaining a bachelor’s degree) from an accredited institution.

Note that you must complete your BA or BS degree and all prerequisite courses prior to officially starting the MAT program.

Opportunities to Gain Additional Specializations

You may choose to pursue an add-on license in a specialty area in addition to your primary content area. The following specialty licenses are available:

  • Special Education (available to Elementary, Secondary and ESL candidates only)
  • English as a Second Language (available to Elementary, Secondary and Special Education candidates only)