Master of Arts in Teaching

We create opportunity through education, and that’s exactly what our Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education (MAT) program is all about—sending highly-qualified teachers into our schools so they can help provide opportunities for the next generation.

At Lees-McRae, you will be taught by full-time faculty and experts from the field who model dedication and passion every day, and will make sure you leave not only with a certificate or degree, but also with the knowledge and drive to be a great teacher.

With an existing bachelor’s degree you can take what you already know and love, pair it with graduate-level instruction in education, and find or continue a teaching career. 

The flexibility of our MAT program—with traditional classroom or online options—means you can start your education on campus, get a teaching job, and finish the degree without any interruption! It’s truly a degree that meets you where you are and starts on your schedule.

How the Program Works

Our long history of educating teachers in western North Carolina and beyond, means that we have strong partnerships with school districts for student teaching opportunities, class observations, and more. You will experience a term-length supervised field experience—directed student teaching—in an accredited school setting in the subject and grade levels of the licensure specialization. Lateral entry teachers may even use their own classrooms to complete their directed student teaching component.

Upon completion of the program, students receive a license in secondary education with a specialization in one of three areas—history/social studies, biology, or English. All students in the program will complete his or her degree through two stages to fit their professional and personal needs.

First stage complete!

Once stage one is complete, you're eligible for your initial North Carolina teaching license. At this point you can start work in the classroom while concluding the final term of the program. This early start complements your classroom education and sets you apart from your peers.

Degree earned!

Once you have completed the program, you will receive your master's degree! With your degree in hand you are eligible for a North Carolina license in secondary education with a specialization in your chosen content area—history/social studies, biology, or English.

Want to combine undergraduate and graduate studies?

With an early start, you can save on tuition and earn both a bachelor's degree and master’s degree in five years! Students planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree in history, biology, or English, can bridge their undergraduate and graduate education. Students accepted to join their degrees must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher through the first four semesters in order to begin graduate coursework.


This program is designed for individuals who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than education. Applicants are not required to have previous undergraduate training in teacher education.

Applicants should have:

  • BA or BS from an accredited four-year college or university and a cumulative GPA of 2.75, with a commensurate minimum GPA in content-area undergraduate coursework. If your GPA is below 2.75 you may enroll as a non-degree seeking student prior to application to increase your GPA. If below a 2.75 please provide justification in your statement of purpose.
  • Three letters of recommendation (must be on letterhead and include the writer’s signature)
  • Statement of purpose sharing your disposition for teaching and your current teaching philosophy
  • GRE minimum scores of 135 in both Verbal and Quantitative and a 3.5 in Analytical Writing
  • ETS Content Specialty Area minimum passing scores of: Biology/Science 150, English Language Arts 167, or Social Studies/History 158 (by the end of the first semester)


Dr. Pam Vesely
Dean of Arts, Humanities and Education
Director of Education

Ready to take the next step?

We're glad to hear that! Our admissions office is ready to guide you through the process.