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The MSME Department currently offers one graduate degree pathway (a Master of Arts in Teaching) with four different concentrations.

MSME M.A.T. Programs

The MAT is an initial licensure degree for students seeking to become licensed teachers in middle or secondary education. We offer two different pathways to this degree.

  1. Dual-Degree (combined Bachelors and Masters): The graduate programs in this pathway are packaged with an undergraduate pre-professional program to ensure students meet content area and pedagogical licensure requirements throughout their combined program as required by the Virginia Department of Education. We offer concentrations in:
    1. Middle Grades Education (only available to students completing undergrad before spring of 2022 or earlier) and
    2. Secondary Education.
  2. Graduate-only: This pathway is only available to candidates who already have an undergraduate degree and are looking to earn an initial teaching license. Please visit our Graduate-only landing page and contact us for more information about these graduate-only initial licensure pathways. We offer concentrations in:
    1. Middle Grades Education and
    2. Secondary Education
All MSME Graduate Programs FAQs

Applying to the Graduate School

In order to be considered for admission to one of the MSME graduate programs, you must apply to The Graduate School. (If you are in one of the Dual-Degree pathways, just declaring the pre-professional Secondary Education or Middle Grades Education minor doesn't mean you're automatically admitted to the MAT portion of your teacher licensure program - you must still apply.)

Review admission requirements and how to apply correctly to a MSME graduate program.

Candidates must apply to their MSME graduate program through The Graduate School at least six weeks prior to the start of their graduate courses. Candidates are notified on their Activity Page about their admission status. Be sure to review the supplementary letter from the MSME Department which notifies candidates of any remaining coursework or unconditional admission requirements.

Unconditional Admission Deadline

Candidates are expected to complete all admission requirements to their MSME graduate program no later than August 15 of their first term of graduate coursework.

Graduate Courses and the Praxis Subject Assessment

Before beginning more than 12 credit hours of graduate coursework, students must have taken and passed the Praxis Subject Assessment test for their chosen content/endorsement area. Candidates are expected to attempt their Praxis Subject Assessment by March 1 of the semester prior to starting their summer graduate coursework.

Graduate Programs Continuous Enrollment Policy

All graduate candidates admitted in graduate degree programs must register each regular semester for a minimum of one graduate credit hour. This policy excludes summer sessions.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Progress in Graduate Coursework

The MSME Department requires grades of "B-" or higher in all graduate education coursework. If a grade below "B-" is earned, the student will need to repeat the graduate course prior to being permitted to student teach. Additionally, all "Incompletes" must be resolved prior to beginning student teaching.

Per the JMU Graduate Catalog, if a graduate candidate fails to make satisfactory progress toward their degree, the candidate may be denied permission to continue in the program. A candidate will be dismissed from the degree program if the candidate receives an "F" or "U" in any graduate course or a total of three "C" grades. A graduate candidate will receive a notice of academic warning upon receiving a grade of "C" in any two graduate courses or if the candidate's grade point average falls below 3.0. A candidate cannot graduate with a GPA below 3.0 in a Master's degree program.

Dual-Degree Program Specific FAQs

Taking Graduate Course Work Early

Yes, if you are in one of the Dual-Degree programs, you may be eligible to take graduate courses "early." Why might this be beneficial to you? Maybe you finished your undergraduate degree and graduate in December. Maybe you want to free up some time in the summer following your undergraduate graduation for a little vacation or work time. Whatever your situation, this option offers you flexibility in scheduling.

In order to be eligible to enroll in MAT graduate coursework early, candidates must:

  • Have applied through The Graduate School at least six weeks prior to when they want to start graduate coursework (November 15 of senior year to take graduate courses in the spring term).
  • Have successfully completed the undergraduate pre-professional Secondary Education or Middle Grades Education minor by the end of the fall semester of their senior year.

A couple things to keep in mind:

  • Any MAT graduate credits taken during the Spring semester will not count toward the 120 undergraduate credit hour requirement for your undergraduate degree. You need to take undergraduate courses to complete that undergraduate degree requirement.
  • Financial aid issues: Candidates who are receiving financial aid must contact the JMU Financial Aid office prior to enrolling in early MAT graduate courses. Most financial aid recipients are required to be enrolled in at least 12 undergraduate credit hours each semester. Any graduate coursework will not count toward those 12 credit hours.
  • Candidates register for coursework in MyMadison (MyMadison Enrollment Tutorial) during their enrollment appointment time for:
    • Early MAT graduate courses using their newly activated GRADUATE CAREER, and
    • Remaining undergraduate courses (if applicable) using their current UNDERGRADUATE CAREER.

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