UM Launches Online Master of Arts in Teaching Degree

The Lyceum at Ole Miss Photo by Robert Jordan / Ole Miss Communications

The University of Mississippi School of Education has launched a new online Master of Arts in Teaching degree designed for people who want to be licensed teachers in public 7-12 schools across the state.

Through the online, alternate route program, graduate students can qualify for a Class A teaching license from the Mississippi Department of Education after the completing the program’s first three courses, which will be offered beginning this summer.

Program graduates can qualify for an advanced, Class AA teaching license after completing the 36-credit program. Applications for the program’s first cohort are due by March 1.

“Our ideal candidate is someone who is looking for a second career in teaching or a college student who is already a senior and has decided that he or she wants to teach,” said Joe Sweeney, coordinator of the MAT program. “Having the MAT degree online helps us expand our potential student base across the entire state.”

The MAT program is designed to be completed in two years of part-time study and begins with a summer term where students complete the graduate level education courses required to earn a state teaching certificate. After the first summer term, students will complete two courses per semester.

The curriculum focuses on providing future teachers with skills for effective 7-12 teaching and can be combined with undergraduate training to prepare graduate students to teach in multiple fields, including English, mathematics, science (biology, chemistry or physics) and social studies.

This is the sixth online program offered by the School of Education, which is ranked among the nation’s top institutions for online education programs by U.S. News and World Report. Other online education programs at UM include master’s degrees in early childhood education, elementary education and higher education. The school also offers an educational specialist degree in play therapy and a graduate certificate in program evaluation.

“We believe our expanding repertoire of online degrees provides the most flexibility possible in allowing students to fit coursework into both their work and personal schedules,” said John Holleman, director of graduate studies at the School of Education. “The Ole Miss reputation is built on a century-and-a-half of providing outstanding education, and our online programs accommodate the needs of working adult students whom can’t rearrange their obligations to study at the Oxford campus.”

Admission into the MAT program requires an undergraduate degree with sufficient coursework in the field the applicant wishes to teach. Other requirements include a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, a writing sample and a passing score on the Praxis Core and Praxis II exams. However, a 21 on the ACT (990 SAT) may be submitted instead of Praxis Core results.

Priority will be given to applicants who have passed the Praxis II before March 1.

For more information about the online MAT program, visit or email

By Andrew M. Abernathy 

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