Master of Arts in Teaching Social Studies Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Social Studies Education pairs rigorous coursework with substantial classroom time to prepare graduates with both the theoretical knowledge and the real-world experience that they will need to forge successful teaching careers. From drawing up lesson plans to managing the classroom, the MAT program will provide you with a rigorous and thorough foundation in the fundamentals of teaching. The program pairs intensive coursework with student teaching opportunities to ready the next generation of Social Studies teachers.

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: 10 months over three terms (Fall, Spring, and Summer I)
  • Time Commitment: Full time
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall
  • Course Requirements: 36 credits
  • Application Deadline: Rolling until June 1; priority given to applications received by January 15
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE Exam Not Required


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Program Details

The Master of Arts (MAT) program in Social Studies Education offers students a rigorous course of instruction in teaching Social Studies topics in grades 7-12. The MAT satisfies the requirements for earning a Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate and provides students with a Master’s in Teaching upon graduation.

The program is geared toward students who wish to teach within the field of social studies at the secondary level. This intensive, three-term program combines rigorous coursework with substantial hands-on teaching experience to give graduates both the theoretical grounding and real-world skill they will need to embark upon their teaching careers.

Our program is focused on research-based best practices that support all children to learn and is committed to fostering practices that further social justice.   

View Program Curriculum >>

Degree Requirements

Internship: During the school year, students complete an internship in a local public school under the supervision of a mentor teacher. In the fall term, MAT students spend approximately 20 hours per week working with their mentor teacher. In the spring and summer terms, students in the MAT program are in their school sites 30 hours per week, culminating in a two-week take-over of their mentor teacher’s full responsibilities. Interns observe, analyze, and practice teaching skills in the grade levels and subjects of their mentor teacher.   

Certifications

The MAT in Social Studies Education satisfies the requirements for a Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate, pending:

  • earning a passing score on the national PRAXIS II Exam;
  • completing the PA Statewide Evaluation Form for Student Professional Knowledge and Practice (PDE 430); and
  • demonstrating satisfactory performance in courses and the student internship

Teaching Interns must pass the Content Knowledge test (PRAXIS II) either the summer before the program or during the first semester of their program in order to obtain their Intern Certificate.

Prerequisites

The MAT in Social Studies Education requires students to have completed coursework in the following areas.

Area 1: Content Prerequisites (15–18 credits) 

This area requires a minimum of 5 three-credit courses. Courses must directly address content in the following topic areas. A single course may satisfy more than one of these required foci. If regional, period, and/or topic specific courses are used to meet these prerequisites, up to 3 additional credits will be required in order to meet content expectations. 

  • U.S. History; 
  • Western European History; 
  • World History (non-Western); 
  • Ancient History; 
  • Geography; and 
  • World Cultures 

Area 2: Civics (3 credits) 

The course must focus on general themes of political science, particularly those related to democracy, civic engagement, American political systems, or related topics. 

Area 3: Economics (3 credits) 

A course in basic or advanced Economics is required 

Area 4: Sociology and Social Foundations (3 credits) 

This prerequisite may be satisfied by a course in either the humanities, social sciences, or education that examines how socially constructed categories create advantages and disadvantages in social or educational institutions. 

Examples include courses that explore the history, nature, or implications of: 

  • classism and capitalism; 
  • heterosexism, homophobia, genderism, and sexism; 
  • racism, xenophobia, and ethnocentrism; 
  • religious oppression; 
  • ableism; and/or  
  • other, interrelated forms of subordination 

All students must also complete Foundations of Special Education (3 credits) before entering the program. 


In addition, applicants to the program are expected to provide documentation of 30 hours of experience working with K–12 children. These hours can be fulfilled by obtaining experiences with children through: 

  • summer camp; 
  • Sunday school; 
  • Hebrew school; 
  • tutoring; or 
  • other volunteer or paid work with children 

Applicants may wish to try the interactive online transcript review feature to track their progress online. Graduate enrollment managers are available to work with you to streamline the admissions process and make sure you have all the courses you need. 

Career Pathways

The majority of our graduates go on to become Social Studies teachers in secondary settings. Many also teach classes in civics, economics, or global studies in their schools.

Some of our graduates ultimately decide to return to school and obtain either their masters or doctorate degree, focused in various areas of educational practice and research.