Program Overview

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Degree Offered

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Education

A program for college graduates and career changers who want to earn their masters degree and teach grades 6-8 to meet requirements for a Virginia teaching license. For more than a century, JMU has prepared highly-qualified licensed professionals through our outstanding teacher preparation programs.

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The mission of the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Education with a concentration in Middle School Education (Grades 6-8) program is to prepare highly qualified professionals for educational roles in middle schools through advanced coursework and multiple, diverse field experiences. These school professionals will:

• Design and deliver curricula that effectively impact student learning,
• Integrate technology in learning settings,
• Value diversity of faculty and students in the school,
• Collaborate with colleagues, parents, and others,
• Be reflective practitioners who continually evaluate their actions, and
• Value lifelong learning, engage in professional development, and conduct educational research.

This M.A.T. pathway is designed specifically for and only available to college graduates, undergraduate seniors, and career switchers who have decided to pursue a teaching license. Candidates planning to teach at the middle grades level (grades 6-8) should contact the Middle, Secondary, and Mathematics Department ( for more information and to meet with an education advisor prior to applying to the program to discuss program options.

To be eligible for a teaching license in Virginia, candidates must not only meet certain pedagogical competencies set by the state and met in the M.A.T. program, but must also meet certain content-area competencies for at least one middle grades endorsement area (mathematics, English, social sciences, natural sciences), also set by the state but not included in the M.A.T. coursework. Interested candidates are highly encouraged to contact the MSME Department to determine which pre-requisites have already been met, either through coursework or comparable work experience.

This three-semester graduate licensure program starts with foundational pedagogical concepts and skills, with the subsequent semesters building on those experiences. Candidates who complete the program will participate in field experiences in the middle school in addition to student teaching, as well as be fully equipped with essential teacher “tool-kit” skills for successful classroom instruction.

Candidates interested in the requirements for the M.A.T. program with a concentration in physical and health education (PreK-12) should refer to the description for that program in the Department of Kinesiology.

Candidates interested in the requirements for the secondary licensure program in foreign languages should refer to the description for that program in the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the undergraduate catalog.

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