Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the program online?

Yes! The MAT program is fully online. While the program is fully online, different instructors may decide to require synchronous online meetings. Dates for these meetings will be outlined in their course syllabus.

How do I apply? What are the requirements for acceptance into the program?

Please visit the MAT Admission Requirements page on our website. If you are interested in the MAT in Special Education, please go to MAT Sped page.

Is there an application deadline?

Yes. There are firm deadlines for applications, which are also listed on the MAT Admission pages.

General Track Program (Elementary, Middle, or Secondary) admits for Summer I, Fall, or Spring semesters. General Track Admission Page

Special Education Program admits for Summer (I or II) or Spring only (no Fall admission). Special Education Track Admission Page

You can see semester start dates by visiting the UCA Academic Calendar webpage.

Is there a minimum GPA to be accepted into the MAT program?

Yes. The MAT program requires a 2.7 cumulative undergraduate GPA for acceptance into the program. You must have a 3.0 GPA in any graduate work you may have completed. The UCA Graduate School must receive official transcripts from all of your prior institutions, and they will complete an official evaluation and calculation of your GPA.

What classes do I take?

All of the classes you are required to take in the MAT program are listed on the MAT Program of Study. Graduate school considers 9 hours to be full time. Most candidates in the program take 6 hours per semester.

What options do I have for licensure in the program?

You may choose one of the following options for licensure:

  1. Elementary (grades K-6)
  2. Middle Childhood (grades 4-8) – It is possible to license in up to 4 content areas (Math, Science, English, and Social Studies). The new licensing laws now allow you to select only ONE content area for your middle level license. However, if you take a position that requires you to teach more than one content area, you MUST have passing scores for all areas you will be teaching. You can only teach the subjects for which you pass the exam, so it is not possible to be hired in an “all inclusive” classroom if you do not pass all 4 tests.
  3. Secondary (grades K-12, 4-12, & 7-12) – The options for secondary licensure include areas like English, Business, Social Studies, Math, Life Science, Physical Science and so forth. For a complete listing of secondary areas, please refer to the ADE listing.
  4. Special Education (K-12)-Course requirements are different from the general tracks listed above.

Do I have to take the GRE? What about Praxis vs. GRE?

No. The Arkansas Department of Education and the MAT Program no longer require the Core or GRE at any point.

What other Praxis exams or licensure exams are required?

If you are in K-6 (Elementary) or Special Education, you are also required to take the Foundations of Reading assessment. The timeline for this test is during your internship semester OR AFTER you have taken all of the literacy courses and elementary courses (MAT 6320, MAT 6314, MAT 6374, and MAT 6338). Those in the Special Education program need to attempt the FoR prior to entering internship.  Anyone on the Elementary or Special Education track not passing the FoR prior to graduation will not have their standard license issued.
The progression is as follows:
1. Praxis Subject Area Assessment (ASAP, or at the 12-15 hour mark, or for your provisional, but required before eligible for internship–no exceptions)
2. Pedagogy Assessment: The state recently removed the PLT exam as a requirement for licensure. Instead, they are allowing preparation programs to use their own assessments to show pedagogical knowledge. We are currently allowing candidates to use passing scores for the Summative Assessment during your Internship as your Pedagogy Exam. Please keep in mind that you may still want to take the PLT, IF you think you may want to eventually pursue an administrative position or district specialist/interventionist position. If you choose to go ahead and take the PLT, we will submit that to ADE, so they have proof of completion. IF you are K-6 Elementary Education or Special Education, you will be required to pass the Foundations of Reading exam, before your license will be issued.

What is a provisional license?

A provisional license is a teaching license that allows you to be hired as and work as a teacher in Arkansas while you are still in the MAT program and completing the MAT program requirements. You may apply for a provisional license for up to two years by which time you need to have completed all of the MAT program requirements. For information on the Provisional license, visit the Provisional License web page.

MAT candidates teaching under a provisional license MUST maintain enrollment in the MAT program and must have required passing Praxis exams on file.

MAT candidates who move schools from year 1 to year 2 of their provisional license must notify the MAT program office by having their new district complete the Provisional License Recommendation letter.

Is Internship required?

Yes. The state of Arkansas requires all teacher candidates to complete a full semester of internship (student teaching) to be eligible for a standard teaching license. This is a full-time, 16-week commitment that must take place in either the Fall or Spring semester. We strongly encourage all of our candidates to find a position teaching in their own classroom, prior to their internship semester. However, this isn’t always an option. Note: IF you need to be placed for your final internship, we can place you in a mentor teacher’s classroom (this will be an unpaid, full semester). You may start teaching on a provisional at any point in the program, if you have met all of the requirements. Some schools will hire you without a provisional, but most will want to verify that you are at least pursuing a program that will lead to licensure. Teaching positions in a public school, accredited charter school, or an accredited private school can all count, as long as you are teaching in your intended licensure area and grade level and it matches your program track. Having your own classroom gives you the freedom to create your own lessons, units of study, and gather data on your own students for the required internship key assessments. Having your own classroom also allows you to earn a salary, while taking courses!

How much will the MAT program cost?

For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Student Accounts website. Currently the MAT program has a flat-rate tuition of $336/credit hour (includes tuition and fees).

Are there grants or scholarships available to me?

Generally, it is harder to find funding for graduate level studies. You should talk to the Office of Financial Aid for assistance in this regard. There is also a link on the COE webpage to any graduate scholarships available in the UCA College of Education.

 Teacher education candidates in the following licensure areas can now receive the federal TEACH grant to help pay for their college expenses.  Those who receive funds must agree to a four year service agreement to teach in one of these high need content areas. You may also look at the STEP options for repayment: State Teacher Education Program (STEP) Additional eligibility requirements are described on the website below.
High need areas change each year.
The UCA Office of Student Financial Aid has added information about the TEACH grant to their website
You may also want to check out the state’s TOP scholarship:

How long will it take to get through the program?

While you have 6 years to complete the program, most candidates take 5-6 semesters to finish all the required coursework. Please note that if you elect to work on a provisional license (see above), you must complete the program within 2 years of securing that license.

Will this program license me in states other than Arkansas?

No. Every state controls their own licensing requirements. However, once you have a license in Arkansas, you can apply for reciprocity to other states for a transfer of your license.

How do I add areas to my license?

Once you have a standard teaching license, you may add additional content areas by passing the appropriate Praxis content test(s). If you are seeking to add areas such as Special Education, Administration, Gifted, ELL, Counseling, Coaching, etc., then that will require taking additional coursework in an approved program of study (not the MAT program) and meeting the ADE guidelines for those areas.

Who should not enter the program?

If you currently hold a teaching license (provisional or standard) and/or have completed a student teaching internship at this or any other institution, you are ineligible for admission into the UCA MAT program.

Background Check Requirements-All Candidates

You will need a full Arkansas State Police background check, as well as a child maltreatment check, before you can be admitted into the program. We now offer this service at UCA through the Office of Candidate Services, or you can have this completed at your local education cooperative.