Master of Arts in Teaching

Education leads to opportunity, 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. They 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 their 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 should have:

  • A completed application to Lees-McRae (fee waived)
  • BA or BS from an institution accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher (and a commensurate minimum GPA in content-area undergraduate coursework)
  • Official transcript of all undergraduate colleges or universities attended
  • Transcript of any previous master's degree work if applicable
  • One-page written statement of purpose describing the applicant's career goals and how the Master of Arts in Teaching will help the applicant achieve those goals. Applicants may choose to schedule a personal interview with a member of the Graduate Admissions staff in lieu of a written statement. Click HERE to shedule a virtual appointment. 

Applicants are not required to submit GRE or MAT scores or have previous undergraduate training in teacher education.

Praxis Subject Assessment Scores
Assessments must be passed by the end of the first semester with Content Knowledge minimum scores of 150 in Biology (Science), 167 in English Language Arts, or 158 in Social Studies (History).


Pam Vesely, EdD
Dean of Education and Social Sciences

Melissa McCullough, EdD
Program Coordinator of Master of Arts in Teaching, Assistant Professor 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.