Nov 28, 2023  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Teaching, M.A.T.

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Melissa Hess, Ed.D.., Graduate Program Director


NKU’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program prepares bachelor’s degree holders who are already knowledgeable in their content areas into outstanding middle grades and secondary educators. Teacher candidates seek certification in the following areas:

Middle Grades 5-9 Secondary Grades 8-12 Grades P-12
English and Communications Biological Sciences French
Mathematics Chemistry German
Integrated Science Earth/Space Science Spanish
Social Studies English Physical Education/Health
  Social Studies  

Note: The MAT program does not provide certification in Elementary Education.

Combining thoughtful placements, knowledgeable cooperating teachers, and courses taught by expert faculty, our MAT program develops effective teachers with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to contribute to their students’ academic and personal development. Students move through the program in cohorts. We find that the cohort is a tremendous source of learning and professional support for our teacher candidates.

We offer an online option consisting of courses offered in 7-week semesters. The online program prepares teachers for excellence across a range of settings. Candidates in the online program are eligible for employment in a Kentucky school under a Temporary Provisional Certificate (through Kentucky’s Option 6 alternative certification pathway). Candidates complete the online program through one of two paths: A (for candidates doing supervised student teaching) and B (for candidates employed through the Option 6 pathway). Path A is accomplished through completion of a 16-week supervised teaching experience. This is a non-paid teaching experience and requires full-day attendance 5 days a week at the assigned school, preparing lesson plans, grading student work, and participating in the school community. Teacher candidates must understand it would be very difficult to be employed full time during this semester. Completion of Path B is through successfully completing the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) through the Option 6 pathway for students who have secured employment in a Kentucky school.

Students interested in applying to the MAT program are strongly recommended to schedule a pre-advising appointment with the Program Director to ensure pre-requisite courses for content-area certification have been taken prior to admission.


Individuals applying must meet all requirements for admission to graduate study at Northern Kentucky University as defined by the Graduate Catalog at the time of application in addition to the criteria below:

  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) coursework from an accredited institution, with a minimum 2.75 GPA or a GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 30 semester hours of coursework
  • Submit official notification of appropriate Praxis 2 content exam(s) in the area in which you are seeking certification with the minimum score required by the state of Kentucky
  • All required paperwork and official background check.
  • An online application for admission and paid fee to the Office of Graduate Education
  • Current resume that includes work experience and prior education. Please include experience working with children other than in a family setting, whether through work or volunteerism, if applicable (send to
  • A Statement of Professional Purpose which states the applicant’s reasons for pursuing teacher certification at this point in their life, as well as in the chosen content area (send to
  • Criminal and federal background check - when you receive official report, please email it as an attachment to
  • Successful completion of the Praxis II Content Exam for your proposed certification area (not the Principles of Learning and Teaching exam - just the content area exam in each content area in which you plan on earning certification) - when you receive official report, please email it as an attachment to


♦ Indicates prerequisite.

Curriculum Requirements

Students progress through the MAT program in a planned program, the details of which are laid out in a curriculum contract.  Students will be held to the program-specific policies in the MAT handbook.  

To earn the MAT degree, students are required to complete a core curriculum of 19 credit hours, methods courses of between 3-6 credit hours (depending on area of certification), and field and clinical experiences totaling 14 credit hours, for a total of 36-39 credit hours.

Methods Courses (3-6 credit hours):

Candidates seeking certification in any certification area except secondary English must take one 3-credit hour methods. Methods  courses are generally offered once per year.

Secondary English candidates are required to take two methods courses (ENG 620  and ENG 630 )

Students pursuing two content areas are required to take a methods course in each content area and may require additional semesters in the program.

Field and Clinical Experiences (14 credit hours):

Option A:  Clinical experience (EDMT 695 /EDMT 696 ), is intended for candidates completing the program through placement in a cooperating teacher’s classroom.

Option B:  Professional lab experience (EDMT 697 /EDMT 698 ) is intended for candidates completing the program through Option 6 certification; the placement occurs in the candidate’s own classroom.

Total Hours: 36

Exit Requirements

Before a degree or certification can be awarded, students must:

  1. Complete and submit the Praxis II PLT at the appropriate grade levels with a passing score as prescribed by the KY Education Professional Standards Board.
  2. Complete the MAT curriculum with at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Complete all required coursework used for the degree with a C or higher.
  4. Apply for the master’s degree graduation.  Application may be found on myNKU.


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