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Master of Arts in Teaching

School of Education

Overview

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a highly practical and flexible graduate degree designed to help you thrive as a classroom teacher. Ideal for both current and aspiring educators, this master’s program will equip you with the advanced skills and knowledge you need to become more effective and impactful in the classroom. And with eight distinct concentration options, the MAT allows you to choose a route that’s tailored to your specific educational background and career interests.

Depending on your concentration, the MAT can be completed fully online or through a blend of on-campus and online courses.


Concentrations

  • Curriculum and Instruction
    • Learning formats — This concentration is available fully online.
    • Who is this concentration best for? — The Curriculum and Instruction concentration is for classroom teachers who want an inside look into curriculum development and educational publishing.
    • What will I learn? — You will learn how to design curriculum, develop it in a publishing house, and learn how curriculum and instruction contribute to student learning and engagement across grade levels.
    • What certifications will I receive? — If you complete 12 credits of this concentration, you will be eligible for the institution-sponsored Certificate in Curriculum and Instruction.
  • Early Childhood
    • Learning formats — The Early Childhood concentration is available fully online.
    • Who is this concentration best for? — The Early Childhood concentration is for aspiring teachers who wish to instruct kids from birth to third grade (which includes infants, preschoolers, transitional kindergarten and early elementary) in a childcare and development program.
    • What will I learn? — Because children are just beginning to develop their learning skills, it requires experienced teachers who are both nurturing and skilled in early learning pedagogy. You will gain specialized knowledge in early childhood that enhances elementary-level teaching at all levels as it informs your understanding of a child’s developmental, social, academic, cultural and spiritual needs.
    • What certifications will I receive? — After completing this concentration, you will be eligible to apply for various Child Development Permit levels from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. With a Child Development Permit, you will be able to serve in various local infant, toddler and elementary-age educational settings. Advanced Child Development Permits can be earned by completing additional coursework.
  • Induction/Clear Credential
    • Learning formats — The Induction/Clear Credential concentration is available fully online and needs to be completed in the state of California. The MAT core and capstone courses can be completed online anywhere in the world.
    • Who is this concentration best for? — The Induction/Clear Credential concentration allows full-time teachers who hold a California Multiple Subject or Single Subject Preliminary Credential to complete the necessary requirements to upgrade their credential to the Clear Credential through biblically integrated curriculum.
    • What certifications will I receive? — Upon completion of this concentration, Biola will recommend you to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing for your Clear Credential.

      Dual enrollment option — If you are currently enrolled in your district’s induction program, but also want to earn graduate credit for your work and receive biblical integration with the CSTP, you can simultaneously enroll in Biola's Induction/Clear Credential program. These credits can be applied to 12 credits of your MAT concentration. These 12 credits will also only cost one-third of the normal tuition rate.
  • Multiple Subject Credential
    • Learning formats — The Multiple Subject Credential concentration coursework is available on campus in the evenings. The MAT core and capstone courses can be completed online anywhere in the world.
    • Who is this concentration best for? — The Multiple Subject Credential concentration is for aspiring teachers who want to earn a California Multiple Subject Preliminary Teaching Credential as a part of their master’s program.
    • What will I learn? — You will receive the necessary foundation to become a general education teacher who is prepared to teach diverse student populations in elementary schools. You will observe and participate firsthand in the methods used by cooperating teachers during fieldwork placements throughout your credential courses.
    • What certifications will I receive? — Upon completion of this concentration, Biola will formally recommend you for your California Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential, authorizing you to teach all subjects in a self-contained classroom. This is the credential normally required for elementary school teachers, but it can sometimes be appropriate for middle and high school teachers. Upon completion of the MAT concentration, core and capstone courses, you will also qualify for the ACSI Teacher Certification and earn a Master of Arts in Teaching.
  • Personalized
    • Learning formats — The Personalized concentration may be available fully online, in-person, or a combination of in-person and online courses.
    • Who is this concentration best for? — The Personalized concentration is for aspiring teachers seeking programs that will support their diverse interests and career goals.
    • What will I learn? — You can select courses from up to two subject areas, such as early childhood, special education, curriculum development, Christian apologetics or TESOL. Other potential subject areas that are offered from other schools at Biola may be explored with an admissions counselor.
    • What certifications will I receive? — Your certifications will vary, depending on your choice of coursework.
  • Single Subject Credential
    • Learning formats — The Single Subject Credential concentration coursework is available on campus in the evenings. The MAT core and capstone courses can be completed online anywhere in the world.
    • Who is this concentration best for? — The Single Subject Credential concentration is designed for aspiring teachers who want to earn a California Single Subject Preliminary Teaching Credential as a part of their master’s program.
    • What will I learn? — You will receive the necessary foundation to become a general education teacher who is prepared to teach diverse student populations in specific subject areas, including the following: art, English, mathematics, music, physical education, science, social science and Spanish. You will observe and participate firsthand in the methods used by cooperating teachers during fieldwork placements throughout your credential courses.
    • What certifications will I receive? — Upon completion of this concentration, Biola will formally recommend you for your California Preliminary Single Subject Credential, authorizing you to teach a specific subject. This is the credential normally required for middle school and high school teachers, but can sometimes be appropriate for elementary school teachers. Upon completion of the MAT concentration, core and capstone courses, you will also qualify for the ACSI Teacher Certification and earn a Master of Arts in Teaching.
  • Special Education
    • Learning formats — The Special Education concentration is available fully online.
    • Who is this concentration best for? — The Special Education concentration is for aspiring teachers who want specific knowledge and training to better serve students with special needs, particularly those with mild to moderate learning, emotional and intellectual disabilities.
    • What will I learn? — You will be equipped to create optimal learning environments for students with diverse learning needs.
    • What certifications will I receive? — If you successfully complete 12 credits of this concentration, you will have an opportunity to earn an institution-sponsored Certificate in Special Education. This certificate allows you to demonstrate to future employers that you have a basic knowledge of K–12 students with mild to moderate learning needs.

      If you complete your concentration fieldwork in California, you can also apply your concentration towards earning a California Special Education (Mild/Moderate) Credential with additional coursework and requirements.
  • Special Education (Mild/Moderate) Credential
    • Learning formats — The Special Education (Mild/Moderate) concentration is available fully online. Credential candidates need to complete this concentration in the state of California, while the MAT core and capstone courses can be completed anywhere in the world.
    • Who is this concentration best for? — The Special Education (Mild/Moderate) Credential concentration is for aspiring teachers who want to earn the Preliminary Education Specialist (Mild/Moderate) Instruction Credential as a part of their master’s program.
    • What certifications will I receive? — Upon successful completion of this concentration, Biola will formally recommend you for your Special Education (Mild/Moderate) Credential. Upon completion of the concentration, core and capstone courses, you will earn your Master of Arts in Teaching.

Why Pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching?

  • Advance your skills and knowledge as a classroom teacher. The MAT degree prepares you to conduct an action research study within an actual classroom. The process of exploring literature, choosing a methodology and reporting your findings prepare you to be a better teacher.
  • Become a witness for Christ. As a Christian, you know that teaching is more than a career; it’s a calling. Biola’s academically rich, biblically integrated curriculum prepares you to teach with excellence and model the love of Christ to your students and colleagues. Our faculty — who have served as teachers, principals, authors and curriculum developers — are professing Christians who care for your professional and spiritual growth, and share your passion about making an impact in education for Christ.
  • Benefit from a trusted, well-connected teaching program. Biola’s School of Education has a long track record of producing successful, well-prepared teachers — including numerous regional and statewide “Teacher of the Year” honorees. We maintain strong relationships both with area school districts and partners around the world, helping us to provide quality field placements for students completing credentials.
  • Work around your busy schedule. The MAT is designed with busy teachers in mind. Online and evening courses make the program especially convenient for working teachers, professionals and students. Concentrations requiring fieldwork must be completed during school hours.
  • Specialize in your area of academic interest. Whether you are new to teaching or already have a credential, the MAT’s eight concentrations support your diverse interests and career goals.

Explore different ways you can expand your education by viewing our Learning Opportunities page.


What Will I Study?

The program has three distinct elements: core coursework, concentration-specific coursework and a capstone experience. As part of the core, you’ll have the opportunity to take such courses as the following:

  • Philosophy and Values in School and Society
  • Research in Culture and Intercultural Instruction
  • Writing Literature Reviews
  • Introduction to Spiritual Formation for the Educator

View Courses


18–24 months
Standard Duration
This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary by student depending on background and courseload.
30–51
Total Program Credits
Every program at Biola University features rigorous academics, biblically integrated curriculum and vocational preparation.
WSCUC / ACSI / CTC
Accreditation
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.

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