Be a teacher that inspires!


This one-year, 30-unit Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program - 10 courses - is completely online and is ranked #5 in online education master's programs in the nation. For many students with recent post-undergraduate credential work from accredited institutes in the last 5 years the course load drops to just 24 units, or 8 courses.

This completely online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Elementary Education or Secondary Education program is designed for those who are inspired to be responsive and innovative K-12 master teachers. Our program foundation rests in social justice and equity in education.

The program offers the same high quality as our face-to-face instructional program. However, it has the added flexibility for you to complete instruction when it is most convenient, rather than having to arrive at a particular time on campus during the work week.

This program is a real value, especially for California residents, and is a substantial savings compared to many other universities. For more information about cost, visit SDSU's Tuition and Other Fees page.

We are seeking the most committed educators who want to make a difference in the lives of students.


Applications open October 1st. Limited spaces available, so apply early. SDSU applications close in the first week of March. The secondary department application closes in the first week of April.

Program Highlights

  • Take this flexible and fully accredited master’s from anywhere in the country.
  • Fantastic value for your career and perfect for working professionals.
  • Finish in a year (24-30 unit program).
  • Completely online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

MAT Structure

We offer an exceptional program that presents the most up-to-date research on teaching and learning. The degree focuses on inquiry-based education which includes hands-on instruction with problem-based learning and issues-centered curriculum, with a focus on reflection during the teaching process.

In addition, the coursework links theory and classroom practice to assist teachers in learning how to teach with an inquiry-based focus in elementary and secondary classrooms. This degree is offered so that teachers can earn their MAT in one year, beginning summer semester and continuing over fall and spring. Most students already hold a valid teaching credential. This is not a credential program.

Here are important aspects of the program you should consider:

  • It is a high-quality program focusing on inquiry-based education taught only by full-time tenured faculty.
  • It is flexible and designed for working professionals.
  • It is a 24-30 unit program which can be finished in one year (typically 4 courses first summer, 2 courses in the fall, and 2 courses in the spring, and as needed 2 courses second summer). To earn the 6 units of credit as part of the MAT, a student must have earned a post-undergrad credential from an accredited program not more than 5 years of completion of the MAT.
  • If your credential was earned as an undergraduate, you will need to take 2-additional classes. Credit can only be given to classes from a graduate credential program.
  • This program is highly competitive and unfortunately, we cannot accept all of those who apply. We recommend you apply as early as possible.
  • The online MAT in Elementary or Secondary Education no longer require the GRE.
  • Priority admission is provided to current credential candidates and recent SDSU credential graduates. Apply early.


Courses vary but are situated in a broader theme of technology and virtual learning, critical thinking, diversity, and research-based pedagogy. Students engage in coursework around assessment, research methods, evidence-based practice, and modern technologies and their application to classroom-based teaching. Emphasis is placed on teaching students from diverse backgrounds.

Courses will be selected in collaboration with the graduate advisor.

Development of assessments and tests common in instructional and research contexts. Uses and interpretation of assessment data in given differential social/political contexts. Implications for research and instruction.
Critical thinking and educational technology. Educating diverse learners.
Instructional strategies applicable across disciplines.
Development of curriculum using evidence and research supported pedagogy toward producing high quality online instruction in an educational setting.
Research, theory, and practice of inclusive education to include examination of the politics of disability in the public schools and American society.
An examination of pedagogy and practices of equity and access in 21st Century K-12 learning communities.
Advanced study of the research in curriculum development, construction and evaluation.
Capstone course for Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Action research conducted in students’ own teaching environments.


First teachers will have the opportunity to take foundational courses which cover innovative curriculum development, measuring student achievement, inclusion in the classroom, and research-based pedagogy.


Courses on pedagogy will present cutting-edge research that will enhance the professional skills of teachers who teach students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Exceptional teaching starts with a strong foundation of theory and best practice in which educators learn how to incorporate the instruction of critical thinking, high-quality curriculum, effective assessment, discipline-based knowledge, and research into inquiry-based education.

Research and Capstone

The program presents classes on research in learning and teaching for teachers of students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Teachers will have the opportunity to examine and develop curriculum for use in their own classrooms which is grounded in the values of social justice. They will also create a high-quality capstone project which emanates from their research in the MAT program.


Our program is founded on the belief that teachers must have the opportunity to examine and think critically about the curriculum and delivery methods they use in the classroom. We will discuss Common Core Standards and their impact on learners.

Degree Learning Outcomes (DLOs)

DLO TE 693 TE 615 TE 677 TE 790/620 TE 709 TE 790/625 TE 600 TE 779
1. Students discover, recognize, and evaluate research-based teaching methods as they relate to teaching students from diverse backgrounds X X X   XXX     X
2. Students demonstrate an understanding of measurement, assessment, and data analysis in education XXXX X     XX     X
3. Students discover, recognize, and evaluate research-based teaching methods as they relate to the integration of technology in teaching and learning   XXX   XXX   XXX   X
4. Students develop and articulate a teaching and learning philosophy   X X     X X  
5. Students discover, recognize, and evaluate research-based teaching methods as they relate to inclusion X XX   XX   XX   X
6. Students demonstrate their knowledge of curriculum foundations such as goals, aims, objectives, and standards   X       X X  
7. Students master methods that promote critical and inquiry-oriented teaching and learning   X         X X
8. Students create and implement an action research capstone project to explore best practice in their own setting               X

Note: Each X means an assginment in that course addresses the degree learning objective (DLO). For example, two Xs mean two assignments in that class address the DLO.

Our Faculty

The faculty are internationally and nationally known professors who have published in journals such as Curriculum Studies, Harvard Educational Review, Science and Children, The Social Studies, The Kappan, and many other highly respected academic publications. They have extensive experience in urban, rural, and suburban schools. They have expertise in areas such as Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Philosophy, Disability Studies, Mathematics Education, Language Acquisition, and Multicultural Education. The faculty include Valerie Ooka Pang, Luke Duesbery, and Melissa Soto.

Frequently Asked Questions

This program is designed for educators who are interested in learning about inquiry education. The focus is how to create educational programs in which teachers and students become independent learners and examine educational issues. The degree is for those interested in elementary or secondary education.

This degree program is designed for busy professionals. This fully online course of study requires that students are independent learners and organized.

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is for most teachers a 24-unit program which consists of 8 courses. Though the MAT is technically a 30-unit program, six units of credit are given to educators who have earned graduate credits through their credential program. There are teachers who may need to take 2 additional classes if their credential units are over 7-years old when they finish the MAT or do not have a credential or have not earned graduate credit in their credential program.

This is NOT a credential program; this is a Master's/graduate program only.

The program is geared toward full-time teachers looking for a high-quality experience. The flexibility of the learning environment, pace of the courses, and length of the program are all constructed to optimize your time to completion.
This is a high quality program and takes 3 semesters to finish, therefore the MAT takes a year to complete. Four courses are offered in the summer when teachers have more time. Two courses are taught in the fall and another two classes are given in the spring. In 3 semesters most teachers will have completed the MAT. We believe that quality takes time.
The MAT is an applied degree and so does not require the creation of a thesis or large project.

 Tuition and fees fluctuate from year to year. For the most current information about cost, visit SDSU's Tuition and Other Fees page.

There are few scholarships for graduate education. We suggest that you contact the College of Education’s Office for Student Success to inquire about opportunities.

Students must have access to a computer. They must also complete all assignments. Students must also complete the Comprehensive Examination which is usually given during the winter break.


For more information, please contact:

Elementary Education and Secondary Education Advisors

[email protected]