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MAT Frequently Asked Questions

Our department offers introductory answers to frequently asked questions about our graduate program, specific differences between our degree offerings, etc. Links throughout the answers will guide you to further information on our website or from other sources. Should you have any further questions, please fill out our contact us form.

General Questions (click for more)

  1. What is the difference between an MEd program and this MAT program?
    The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) focuses primarily on the advancement of your teaching career. This is the degree most often pursued by people who want hands-on teaching experience and are seeking to work directly with students. The MAT focuses heavily on advanced coursework in a specific subject to hone your expertise. Coursework for the MAT also focuses on pedagogical theory and implementation. An MEd tends to focus more on curriculum, instruction, and administration.
  2. What are the educational benefits of these particular MAT degree programs?
    Building on fundamental coursework in STEM education, adult learners will benefit from direct interaction with renowned experts and specialists in biology, chemistry, geosciences, mathematics, physics, science education, and mathematics education, as well as other related schools and departments. Interdisciplinary collaboration and real-world experience will help to integrate the core concepts of science with the subtleties of pedagogy that spring from allowing students to construct their own knowledge.
    In advancing their career status, graduates of this program will have knowledge and skills to serve as innovative practitioners and qualified academicians. The knowledge in scientific research, mathematics and educational practice gleaned from their advanced study will allow them to effectively promote science and/or mathematics within K-16 classrooms. They and their students will be prepared to find acceptable solutions for the complex issues common in today’s economic, political, and educational arenas.
  3. What if I’m not a traditional ‘non-traditional’ student?
    Not only are the MAT courses student-centered, but so are the program options in order to better serve a diverse population with specific needs. Degree plans can accommodate elective hours to fulfill prerequisite deficiencies and content hours to address specialization area interests. Course sequencing enables students to maintain a full or partial load over independent semesters.
  4. How do I apply and what are the general admission criteria for the MAT programs?
    Please refer to the SME graduate programs section or the UTD Prospective Students website for more information. Our advisor can answer questions about admissions.
  5. How much will it cost?
    Students are billed depending on their residency status, and number of graduate courses. Recent legislation has and will continue to affect tuition and fee amounts; for updated information, please check the UTD Bursar’s Office website.
  6. What courses are offered and when?
    Visit our course descriptions and semester schedules.
  7. When are courses offered?
    All courses are offered at night or in the summer. See the coursebook for current and upcoming semester offerings.
  8. How many semester credit hours are required to complete the program?
    36 graduate credit hours are required for degree completion. Full-time students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester. Part-time students may enroll in 3 or 6 credit hours per semester. The advisor can answer questions about degree plans.
  9. Will my employer accept the MAT degree as a “real” degree?
    All of the UT System universities are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  10. Can courses from a previous Master’s degree apply toward this degree?
    You are allowed to transfer up to 9 graduate semester hours upon approval from your advisor and the graduate dean’s office. These courses must have been taken from an accredited university and have a grade of B or better. For more information on transfers: UTD Transfer Credit
  11. If I am interested in only taking a few selected courses is it necessary to apply for admissions into the program if I am not interested in pursuing a Master’s Degree?
    You must still apply for admission into the graduate program as non-degree seeking student, you are allowed to take up to 15 semester hours without being required submit the three letters of recommendation and application essay. None of the MAT degrees in this department require the GRE at this time.
  12. What kind of certification will I receive?
    Receiving an MAT degree will NOT confer teacher certification to you from the State of Texas. To receive Texas Teacher Certification you must complete other requirements outside the scope of this program. See the UTeach Dallas program for science and math teacher certification or the Teacher Development Center in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.
  13. How can I find more information?
    If you can’t find the information you’re looking for in our website, please contact us
  14. What does my GRE score need to be?
    The GRE is NOT required for admission into the MAT programs.
  15. Do I need the TOEFL if I have a degree from a college/university in an English speaking country?
    In general, you don’t need the TOEFL if you have a degree from an English speaking country. However, contact both the International Student Services and Enrollment Services to confirm this information.
  16. Is there a Science Education or Mathematics Education doctorate degree?
    Not at this time. If you are interested in pursuing a doctorate in these areas, a few options are listed in the SME Resources.

Mathematics Education Questions (click for more)

  1. Who might enroll in MAT-Mathematics Education face-to-face program – and why?
    The MAT-ME degree helps to fulfill mathematics educators’ need for depth in mathematics content as well as their need to understand current issues in mathematics education. Skills acquired may provide opportunities for graduates to become leaders in middle schools through community colleges. This traditional program is appropriate for:

    • public/private school teachers needing mathematics content;
    • mathematics educators seeking to continue/further studies in an area of high interest;
    • district supervisors needing to understand current issues in mathematics education;
    • community college instructors seeking content to advance their knowledge;
    • training professionals needing to ‘round out’ their existing knowledge with pedagogical techniques that are applicable to a range of content areas; and,
    • school leaders seeking to make sound decisions regarding high-stake investments in mathematics education procedures, practice, and policy.
  2. What if I’m an elementary mathematics teacher?
    The MAT-ME focuses on skills and content for teaching middle school and high school level courses.
  3. What if I want to teach mathematics at a community college? The MAT-ME does not automatically qualify you to teach at the community college level. However, depending on an individual’s background, the advisor can review the possibility and set up a degree plan accordingly.

Science Education Questions (click for more)

  1. Who might enroll in MAT-Science Education face-to-face program – and why?
    The MAT-SCE degree helps to fulfill science educators’ need for breadth and depth in science content as well as appropriate pedagogical content knowledge. Further, an understanding of science education research for classroom application is emphasized. This traditional program is appropriate for:

    • public/private school teachers needing integrated science content across grade levels;
    • science educators seeking to continue/further studies in an area of high interest;
    • district supervisors needing to conduct and understand research in science education;
    • community college instructors seeking content to advance their knowledge;
    • training professionals needing to ‘round out’ their existing knowledge with pedagogical techniques that are applicable to a range of content areas; and,
    • school leaders seeking to make sound decisions regarding high-stake investments in science education procedures, practice, and policy.
  2. I only have 6 hours of science from my baccalaureate coursework, but I am currently teaching science. Can I start this program now?
    Yes, you may apply to the program as a non-degree seeking student to begin your coursework. After 12 hours of successful coursework in science you may change your status to degree seeking. These 12 hours in science will count toward your MAT-SCE degree as well as satisfy the program’s entry requirements. Upon acceptance to the program, your advisor will help you select coursework to fulfill this requirement.
  3. Do I need to take statistics prior to enrolling in the research courses?
    If you have never had a course in statistics and are not mathematically inclined, you would be well served to take a statistics class (beyond basic probability) at a community college. If you are adept at mathematics, the statistics we will be using will not be hard for you to learn. However, a course in educational statistics will support what you will be doing in the research courses. The UT Dallas course, STAT 5353, gives you the basic information you need.
  4. What if I want to teach science at a community college? The MAT-SCE does not automatically qualify you to teach at the community college level. However, depending on an individual’s background, the advisor can review the possibility and set up a degree plan accordingly.