Master of Arts in Teaching Graduate Program

Colgate offers a socially and critically engaged Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree for candidates interested in teaching childhood education or secondary education in English language arts (ELA), math, science, or social studies. Our program aims to foster a supportive and inclusive environment, diverse student cohorts, and an engaging interdisciplinary curriculum.

To teach and educate is to broaden horizons and to make school walls more permeable; to use the practice of making meaning (as learned in a study of text and language) as a way to recreate selves and society.

Jennifer McDowall ’14

MAT Program Vision

June Young Teaching

The program was founded on the premise that as a prospective teacher, students will need a socially critical liberal education, thorough knowledge of your chosen discipline, knowledge of educational theory and practice, and a complex understanding of social institutions. Students will also need habits of mind that include life-loving spirit, a willingness to move beyond personal comfort, and a desire to be challenged in all aspects of learning.

MAT Program Overview

The MAT program challenges students with advanced coursework in a selected discipline and in educational studies, working toward secondary school teaching certification. The program offers certification in the following areas:

  • Childhood education
  • Secondary education
    • English
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Natural science (biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics)


To earn an MAT degree from Colgate, students complete:

  • Three or more courses in:
    • Liberal arts for childhood education
    • Your chosen discipline for secondary education
  • Between four and eight courses in educational studies (depending on previous experience and coursework)
  • Fulfill foreign language requirement
  • A special project or thesis
  • Student teaching in a local or regional classroom
  •  Students will accumulate 100 hours of classroom observations before student teaching.
  • Complete all New York State Department of Education teacher certification requirements.


Learn more about our teacher certification program 

Colgate student works with child student


Graduates of recognized colleges and universities are eligible to apply for admission to the MAT program. The program is extremely competitive and and has limited spots available. Admission requirements include:

  • Application form completed and signed (pdf format)
  • Resume. 
  • Personal statement that includes a discussion of your past experience and your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate study at Colgate. 
  • Sample of written academic work such as a research paper. 
  • $50 non-refundable application fee mailed to the Educational Studies Academic Division Coordinator (this fee does not apply to current and former Colgate undergraduates). Checks made out to Colgate University.
  • Transcripts of your academic record can be mailed to Educational Studies Academic Division Coordinator.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors with whom you have studied and one letter of recommendation from a professional who has observed you working with children or adolescents in a learning environment. The Educational Studies Academic Division Coordinator will use the email addresses you provide on the application form to request these letters.
  • A strong academic background in at least one area of certification, usually the equivalent of an undergraduate major concentration


The program accepts students for both fall and spring cohorts:

  • Fall cohort application due date: Feb. 1
  • Spring cohort application due date: Oct. 1

All application materials must be in by this due date to be considered. 


Financial Assistance

Colgate University contributes 80 percent of the tuition for MAT students as part of its commitment to support quality public education. Students are strongly encouraged to submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in order to qualify for additional financial assistance.  For more questions about financial aid for the MAT program please email

Our department also offers Graduate Assistantship opportunities for MAT students in the program. It pays a maximum of 10 hours and at an hourly rate set by the Colgate Student Employment Office and requires student employment paperwork to be completed. Work usually pertains to supporting the Teacher Preparation Program in various ways.

Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP)

The Masters of Arts in Teaching at Colgate University is a member in good standing of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). The Teacher Preparation Program at Colgate University has received accreditation of its educator preparation programs under the AAQEP standards with a successful Quality Assurance Review in Spring 2022.

Colgate's 2023 AAQEP Annual Report

AAQEP logo