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


Effective 1 June 2024 through 31 May 2025

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 main 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 and is approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the following emphasis areas: elementary education, middle school education, secondary school education, or special education. 

The Master of Arts in Teaching is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

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 30 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 Inclusive Practices and Methods for Teaching English Learners (3 hours)
  • CMAT 5170 Classroom and Behavioral Management (3 hours)
  • CMAT 5140 Digital Pedagogy and Assistive Learning Technologies (3 hours)


  • CMAT 5270 Methods of Teaching Elementary Reading (3 hours) 
  • CMAT 5280 ELEM/SPED Teaching Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (3 hours)
  • CMAT 5290 ELEM/SPED Differentiated Reading Assessment and Intervention (3 hours)
  • SPED 5010 Differentiated Math Instruction (3 hours) 
  • CMAT 5180 Elementary Arts and Humanities Methods (3 hours)
  • CMAT 5190 Elementary STEM Methods (3 hours)

Clinical Experiences

  • CMAT 5001 Introductory Teaching Practicum (1 hour)
  • CMAT 5090 Practicum: Elementary School (2 hours)
  • CMAT 5199 Practicum Seminar (1 hour)
  • CMAT 5091 Apprentice Teaching Elementary School (9 hours)
  • CMAT 5096 Apprentice Teaching Seminar (1 hour)

Total: 44 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)
  • Content courses in Science, Math, and Social Science 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 (44 hours) plus the following 12 hours of special education content coursework. 

  • 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 Midl/Moderate Disabilities II (3 hours)


See the Admission section of this catalog for general admission requirements. Students interested in applying must submit their application online at Transcripts should be sent from your institution electronically to If this service is not available, send transcripts to:

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

Additional Requirements

Requirements for admission to the master of arts in teaching (MAT) with an emphasis in elementary education program include:

  • Receipt of all official transcripts.
  • Final degree conferred GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Grade of B- or better in college-level composition.
  • Grade of B- or better in college-level mathematics.

Admission to Teacher Certification

Admission to teacher certification is a significant milestone in a candidate's academic career. This means that a candidate is formally accepted in the initial teacher certification program and on track to meet the requirements of both the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Webster University.  

Candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion 15 hours of graduate credit, including CMAT 5000 and 5001, with grades of B or better.
  • Successful completion of Passport Tasks 1-5.
  • Minimum professional GPA of 3.0 and Content GPA (if applicable) of 3.0. This must be maintained throughout the program.

After 15 hours of graduate credit, candidates will be restricted from registering in further coursework until admitted to teacher certification status. 

Candidates must be admitted to teacher certification in order to take specified EDUC or CMAT methods courses.  

Requirements for Missouri Initial Teacher Certification

Prior to or upon Admission, students must make available official academic transcripts to the Coordinator of Educator Certification in the School of Education to complete an evaluation of coursework. Based on this transcript evaluation, the Coordinator of Educator 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 areas courses, will be identified from the student's transcripts. Using this evaluation, an academic advisor in conjunction with the Coordinator of Educator 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. Students should talk to their advisor and the teacher certification professionals at Webster University throughout their program to understand how any changes to DESE requirements are accommodated in their personalized program of study.  

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 content assessment examinations prior to apprentice teaching.  


Students must complete a 5000-level practicum and accompanying practicum seminar with a grade of B or better. To enroll in a practicum, students must submit an application by September 15 for a spring placement and by February 15 for a fall placement.  No late applications will be accepted. Candidates must meet with the Coordinator of Field Placement prior to applying for practicum.  

Apprentice Teaching

Apprentice teaching and the accompanying apprentice teaching seminar are required for all initial certifications. To enroll in apprentice teaching, students must submit an application by September 15 for a spring placement and by February 15 for a fall placement. No late applications will be accepted. 

Prior to apprentice teaching students must have:

  • met all course and departmental assessments requirements, including formal acceptance to teacher certification status.
  • successfully completed practicum and practicum seminar with a grade of B or better.
  • passed the state-required content assessment examinations.

Apprentice teaching placements are made by the Field Experience Office. Placements will be arranged with the St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, and Jefferson County School Districts along with private and independent schools. All candidates for certification must complete either their practicum or apprentice teaching in a diverse setting.