Teaching, M.A.T.

Graduate Degree

What is Teaching?

Whether it’s your first teacher in grade school–or the amazing professor in your final year in college–your experience with excellent teachers and outstanding teaching can be powerful and long-lasting. The ability to successfully impart knowledge, ideas and more through teaching is an extraordinary ability that can be life-changing for your students–and for you.

Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, is widely recognized for leadership in training educators to develop outstanding teaching skillsets. The Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching is a graduate program that provides students who hold bachelor’s degrees in other fields the opportunity to take professional education courses and gain field experiences to graduate with teaching certification and a master’s degree from Marshall.

Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in any area ranging from math and science to English and fine arts can prepare for a successful teaching career at Marshall University. This master’s in teaching degree is designed for MAT students who want to earn their graduate degree while still working. Courses are available 100% online and clinical teaching experiences can be easily scheduled.

The MAT in Teaching is offered through Marshall’s College of Education and Professional Development (COEPD). Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, COEPD is the oldest academic unit within Marshall University, dating back to 1867. COEPD offers 16 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, and 32 educational certifications ranging from early childhood and elementary education to secondary education and administration. The College is adept at meeting the needs of adult learners who are primarily fully employed students.

Why Study Teaching at Marshall?

Marshall’s online master’s in Teaching program offers a route to teacher certification for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education. Undergraduate coursework completed in such majors as math, science, history, English, fine arts or a professional field provides the content foundation. The master’s degree in Teaching program offers the required professional education courses and clinical experiences at the graduate level to fully prepare MAT students for the classroom.

Teaching Certificate

Because applicants for certification must have completed all classes required by the state of West Virginia for the content area, MAT applicants must have a transcript analysis to determine which content requirements have already been met. Even though applicants have a bachelor’s degree in a specific field, they may not have taken the courses prescribed for teachers in their field of study, and therefore additional content classes may be required prior to application and enrollment. The transcript analysis will provide a list of courses needed to complete the content area.

Upon successful completion of the program coursework, all content courses and testing requirements, the MAT degree candidate receives a recommendation to the West Virginia Department of Education for a teaching certificate.

Full-time MAT students can complete the master’s in Teaching degree in two years. Students who take the program on a part-time basis typically complete it in 2.5 years. The MAT graduate teaching program requires 36 hours or 12 courses.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education also may choose to earn teaching certification only through the Post Baccalaureate Certification Program (PBC).

Certification Options

The following are the teaching certifications that master’s in Teaching degree students can be obtained through the MAT program at Marshall:

Grades Pre-K to Adult: Art, Music, Wellness
Grades 5 to Adult: English, General Science, Mathematics, Social Studies
Grades 9 to Adult: Biological Science, Chemistry, Physics

Online Advantages

The cost for Marshall Online programs is very competitive so Education master’s degree students can continue their education cost effectively. The MA in Education degree has been designated one of the Most Affordable Online Colleges by OnlineU.org for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Coursework is fully online with asynchronous learning experiences. Education faculty are accessible and experienced at providing instructional and advising support for distance learners pursuing their online master’s degree in Education.


The cost for the MAT program through Marshall Online is very competitive, enabling students to earn a master’s degree cost effectively. Teachers in some states, such as West Virginia, are eligible for a higher salary upon completion of a master’s degree.

Students also find that fully online coursework with asynchronous learning experiences fits busy work schedules. Education faculty are also accessible and experienced at providing instructional and advising support for distance learners pursuing their online master’s degree in Teaching.

Career Outlook for Teaching Graduates

Upon successful completion of coursework for the Master in Arts in Teaching degree program as well as all content courses and testing requirements, Marshall MAT candidates receive a recommendation to the West Virginia Department of Education for a teaching certificate in one of the following areas: art, music, wellness, English, general science, mathematics, social studies, biological science, chemistry and physics.

The majority of Marshall graduates from the MAT degree program are hired by county school districts across the state of West Virginia.

Job Outlook

Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow 4 percent through 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rising student enrollment should increase demand for high school teachers, but employment growth will vary by region.

Employment growth for public high school teachers may depend on state and local government budgets. If there are budget deficits, school boards may lay off employees, including teachers Conversely, budget surpluses at the state and local level could lead to additional employment growth for high school teachers.

Many teachers will be needed to replace those who retire or who leave the field of teaching for other reasons. Many schools report difficulty in filling teaching positions for certain subjects, including math, science, English as a second language, and special education. As a result, teachers who specialize in these subjects should have the best job prospects.

Employment in education, training and library occupations is projected to grow 5 percent through 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. About 441,000 new jobs are projected to be added through 2029. Student enrollment is projected to increase; therefore, postsecondary teachers and preschool, elementary and secondary school teachers will be needed to meet the demand. Education, training and library occupations also may be affected by state and local budgets, and budgetary restrictions.

Master’s in Teaching Salaries

The median (midpoint) annual wage for high school teachers was $62,870 in May 2020. Within the salary range for high school teachers, the lowest 10 percent earn less than $41,330, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $102,130.

In May 2020, the median annual wages for high school teachers in the top areas in which they worked were as follows:

Elementary and secondary schools; local $63,400
Elementary and secondary schools; private 58,550

Opportunities for Teaching Majors

Clinical Requirements

Marshall’s master’s in Teaching degree program requires three clinical experiences which must be completed in public school classrooms:

Clinical I is taken early in the program (first semester recommended) and requires 35 hours of classroom observation.
Clinical II is taken near the end of the program and requires 75 hours of classroom observation and teaching.
Clinical III is student teaching and is taken the final semester.

Eligibility for Student Teaching

In the last semester of the program, candidates will be enrolled in EDF 677, MAT Level III Clinical Experience, a 15-week, full-time student teaching experience under the direct supervision of a certified teacher. Prerequisites for student teaching include the following:

3.0 GPA in all graduate (professional education) courses
2.8 GPA overall and in the content courses
Passing score(s) on the Praxis II content test(s)
Completion of 100% of content courses
Completion of courses EDF 537 and EDF 637, Level I and II Clinical Experiences
Completion of all other program coursework as outlined on the Plan of Study

Eligibility for Licensure

In addition to coursework, all graduate Teaching degree candidates for teacher certification must take and pass three standardized tests required by the West Virginia Department of Education:

The Praxis CORE Academic Skills for Educators (CASE), a test with subtests in reading, mathematics and writing (required for admission to the program)
The PRAXIS II Content Knowledge Test (required prior to student teaching)
The Principles of Learning and Teaching Test (PLT), Grades 7-12. The PLT should be taken just prior to or during the student’s final semester.

Resources and Support

The College of Education and Professional Development provides an array of degree and professional development programs, continuing education opportunities, and services that fully address the needs of adult learners who are primarily fully employed students. The College provides professional/technical expertise for students and is actively involved in addressing regional and state-level educational, mental health, and social issues.

Marshall’s online master’s degree in Teaching does not require students to be on campus. However, MAT students can contact the library staff for support, and also use Marshall’s writing center for guidance.

In addition to teacher education master’s degree programs, as well as bachelor’s and doctoral programs, COEPD offers these service programs: Appalachian Studies Association, West Virginia Autism Training Center, HEART Tutoring Program, June Harless Center for Rural Education Research and Development, Higher Education Learning Program (H.E.L.P.), Marshall Child Development Academy, Marshall Early Education Center, Marshall Computer Based Testing Center, and Professional Development Schools Partnership.

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