Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with an Emphasis in Elementary Education

Volume 1: 2020.2021

Effective 1 June 2020 through 31 May 2021

Please see the Temporary Adjustments to Policy on Grading for Graduate Courses for Spring 2020

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program is offered by the School of Education and is only available at the St. Louis home campus.

Program Description

The master of arts in teaching (MAT) program provides candidates with a strong knowledge base of content, child and adolescent development and current research that supports best practices in education. This program is centered around contemporary design-based research principles with a focus on how students learn within inquiry-based environments.

This graduate degree program is designed to provide the foundation for teacher preparation leading to initial Missouri teacher certification in the following emphasis areas: elementary education, middle school education, secondary school education, or special education.

Learning Outcomes

The goals of the MAT with an emphasis in elementary education are to cultivate graduates who are:

  • Knowledgeable of the history of primary and intermediate education, characteristics of students in this age range and principles and foundations underlying best practices.
  • Proficient in designing, adapting and modifying effective assessment plans, instructional strategies and curricula and/or intervention plans based on current research regarding cognitive, social and emotional development in elementary school children.
  • Reflective about their roles as educators to improve learning outcomes, and who collaborate with families and other members of the community to advocate for inclusive and equitable educational opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Capable of recognizing, valuing and responding to the unique individual abilities and differences of elementary age students.

Emphasis in Elementary Education

Required Courses

The following 31 hours of courses and 14 hours of field experiences are required to earn the MAT with an emphasis in elementary education. Students are advised that Missouri initial teacher certification may require more hours than are listed for the MAT degree. Students must consult an advisor in order to obtain a personalized program of study.


  • CMAT 5000 Teaching in a Diverse Society (3 hours)
  • CMAT 5015 Differentiated Instruction and Assessment (3 hours)
  • CMAT 5170 Classroom and Behavioral Management (3 hours)
  • Appropriate Educational Technology course (1 hour)


  • COMM 5820 Foundations in Reading Instruction (3 hours)
  • COMM 5840 Reading and Writing as Cognitive Processes (3 hours)
  • COMM 5440 Integrated Language Arts (3 hours)
  • COMM 5960 Differentiated Reading Instruction (3 hours)
  • MTHT 4310 Elementary-School Mathematics Methods (3 hours)
  • SPED 5010 Differentiated Math Instruction (3 hours)
  • CMAT 5020 Inquiry Methods for STEM and Social Sciences (3 hours)

Clinical Experiences

  • CMAT 5001 Introductory Teaching Practicum (1 hour)
  • CMAT 5090 Practicum: Elementary (3 hours)
  • CMAT 5091 Apprentice Teaching: Elementary School (9 hours)
  • CMAT 5096 Apprentice Teaching Seminar (1 hour)

Total: 45 credit hours

Other Certification Requirements

  • CMAT 5505 Psychological Foundations of Education (3 hours)
  • SPED 5860 Psychology of the Exceptional Student (3 hours)
  • SPED 5050 Language Development (3 hours)
  • COMM 5000 Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry for Children (3 hours)
  • Content courses in Science, Math, and Social Studies as determined in consultation with the advisor

The above courses are required to complete the requirements for Missouri initial teacher certification in elementary education (grades 1-6).

Additional Special Education Content

To gain additional expertise in providing effective instruction to students with disabilities, students must complete the requirements for the emphasis in elementary education (45 hours) plus the following 18 hours of special education content coursework:

  • SPED 5030 Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (3 hours)
  • SPED 5240 Psychoeducational Assessment (3 hours)
  • SPED 5245 Counseling for Life's Transition (3 hours)
  • SPED 5380 Methods for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities I (3 hours)
  • SPED 5381 Methods for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities II (3 hours)
  • EDUC 5080 Planning for the Inclusive Classroom (3 hours)


Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should also see the Admission section of this catalog for general requirements.

Admission Requirements

  • Receipt of official transcripts from the baccalaureate granting institution.
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75.
  • Grade of B- or better in college-level mathematics.
  • Grade of B- or better in college-level composition.

Send all admissions materials to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 East Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) represents a significant milestone in a candidate's academic career. Candidates who successfully advance to candidacy have demonstrated mastery of program standards and may continue enrolling in courses to complete their major. In the case of the MAT, ATC means that a student is formally enrolled in the initial teacher certification program.

Advancement to Candidacy occurs provided that a student:

  1. Completes 15 hours of graduate credit with grades of B or better (including CMAT 5000).
  2. Completes Passport 1.
  3. Is accepted into the Teacher Certification program (contact the School of Education Teacher Certification Office for more information).
  4. Remains in good academic standing and maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

After 15 hours of graduate credit, candidates will be restricted from registering in further coursework until advanced to candidacy.

Requirements for Missouri Initial Teacher Certification

Students must make available official academic transcripts to the Coordinator of Teacher Certification in the School of Education in order to complete an evaluation of coursework. Based on this transcript evaluation, the Coordinator of Teacher Certification will identify the exact number of credit hours that an MAT candidate will require to complete initial teacher certification with respect to Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements. Prior coursework, such as transfer courses and content area courses, will be identified from the students' transcripts. Using this evaluation, an academic advisor, in conjunction with the Coordinator of Teacher Certification, will prepare a personalized program of study for the student. Students may be required to take more than the required coursework listed for the emphasis area.

Background Checks

Students are required to obtain various annual background checks prior to field experiences. The state requires current fingerprint clearance prior to issuing the teaching certificate.

State Assessments

To obtain a teaching licensure in Missouri, students are required to complete a number of state assessments. State required assessments are administered by designated agencies, and students are required to pay all associated fees. All state assessments are administered in a digital format. Students must pass the state-required Missouri Content Assessment before Apprentice Teaching Orientation.

Application and Eligibility to Practicum

Application and registration in Practicum must be approved by the student's advisor by September 15 for Spring placement and by February 15 for Fall placement. No late applications will be accepted. A grade of B or higher is required for successful completion of the practicum.

Application to Apprentice Teaching

Successful completion of Apprentice Teaching is required to meet the graduation requirements of the emphasis area. Application and registration in Apprentice Teaching and CMAT 5096 Apprentice Teaching Seminar must be approved by the student's advisor and the Office of Field Experience by September 15 for Spring placement and by February 15 for Fall placement. No late applications will be accepted. Students who are full time paraprofessionals or teachers in an approved educational setting may be eligible to earn credit for Apprentice Teaching through an assessment process.

Eligibility requirements for acceptance to Apprentice Teaching:

  1. Students must have successfully completed all required courses for Missouri initial teacher certification in their chosen emphasis and content area.
  2. Students must have successfully completed Practicum with a grade of B or higher.
  3. Students must have passed the state required content area exam with a score equal to or greater than the Missouri qualifying score prior to registration in Apprentice Teaching. Students should talk to their advisor or the teacher certification professionals at Webster University in order to understand how DESE changes are accommodated in their personalized program of study.