Master of Arts for Teachers of Biology (M.A.T.)
The Master of Arts for Teachers (MAT) in Biology is offered by the Graduate School (not the School of Education) to provide training beyond the baccalaureate degree for those intending to teach in junior or senior high school and who wish additional training in biology. Each candidate for the degree must possess a teacher's certificate by the time the degree is conferred, with the exception of foreign students who intend to return to their native country.
To apply, candidates should apply online through the University Graduate School — be sure select the Department of Biology, and check the "MAT" box. Applicants for this program should have an A.B. or B.S. with a major in biological sciences from an accredited college, or the B.S. degree in Education with biology as a teaching specialty. Graduate Record Examination results, including both the aptitude tests and the advanced test in biology, should be submitted by all applicants wishing to be considered for admission.
To obtain an MAT degree 36 graduate-level credit hours are required. A minimum of 25 hours must be in biological sciences, and the remaining 11 hours may include courses in education. For the 25 credit hours in biology, courses at the 300 and 400 level may be taken if they are listed in the Graduate School Bulletin. All courses to be used for the MAT program must be approved by the Program Adviser. The current Program Adviser is Associate Professor Alan Bender. An effort will be made to balance course background in ecology, evolution, behavior, as well as molecular, cellular, and microbial biology. If the candidate is not already certified at the time of admission, care must be taken to include all courses (biology and education) which will be required for provisional certification. There are no required courses in education beyond those needed for certification. The MAT candidate who already has a provisional teacher's certificate at admission may wish to include in the elective hours the necessary education courses for conversion to a professional certificate. For information regarding transfer of graduate credit from other institutions, consult the current Graduate School Bulletin.
If the candidate's undergraduate program did not include certification, the necessary courses in education may be included in the 11 elective hours allotted in the MAT degree requirements. Note, however, that more than 11 credit hours in education will be required if no education courses were included in the candidate's undergraduate program since, at present, 27 credit hours in education (including the 9 credit hours of student teaching) are required for certification. This raises the total credit requirement for the MAT degree from the 36 to 52 hours since at least 16 of the 27 credit hours in education must be taken in addition to the 36 credit hour requirement for the MAT degree. Consult the Undergraduate Bulletin of the School of Education for a complete list of the courses in education and other areas which are required for provisional certification. Completing the Secondary Transition-to-Teaching program may be a good option for some candidates. Consult also the discussion of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts for Teachers in the early pages of the Graduate School Bulletin for a list of graduate level education courses which may substitute for certain undergraduate education courses required for provisional certification.