MAT Admission Requirements

Thank you for your interest in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at the University of Central Arkansas.  Since its founding in 1907 as Arkansas State Normal School, UCA has been Arkansas’ premier institution for teacher education.

The MAT program takes new applications continuously, allowing you to begin taking courses at the start of the next available full-term, after you have met the Graduate School and MAT program entrance criteria. For full term start dates (Fall, Spring, Summer I, Summer II), check UCA’s academic calendar.

Deadlines for Application

While the MAT program accepts applications continuously, it is critical that we receive documentation in a timely fashion. This ensures that you have a positive start to the program and that you have ample time to complete the Mandatory MAT Online Orientation.

For Fall applicants, all documentation for both the Graduate School and the MAT program must be received no later than the Friday before classes begin in August. (Please Note: The MAT Special Education program will NOT admit for the Fall, only the Spring and Summer semesters–See MAT SPED page for details.)

For Spring applicants, all documentation for both the Graduate School and the MAT program must be received no later than December 15th (if this date falls on a weekend, the deadline will be the next business day).

For Summer applicants, all documentation for both the Graduate School and the MAT program must be received no later than the Friday before Memorial Day. If you miss the deadline for Summer, you will need to move your application to Fall. **You must be able to start Summer I (June) if you wish to begin in the Summer.

Follow the requirements below for admission to the MAT Program:

Note: 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. If you are switching to UCA’s program from another teaching licensure program, you will need to disclose that information and provide a letter of good standing to the UCA MAT office.

Out of State Candidates: While we welcome any out of state candidates, there are some restrictions that apply. If you live out of state, you must have a job as the teacher of record in your intended area of licensure for the duration of your program. The state of Arkansas will not issue a provisional license out of state and we will not place you out of state for any field requirements. You may hold a teaching position in any public school or in an accredited charter or private school. Upon completion of the program, you will hold an Arkansas teaching license, which will then need to be converted to your state of residence. It is your responsibility to check with your state’s department of education to ensure reciprocity applies to an Arkansas teaching license. If you are a potential out of state candidate, please contact the program coordinator directly. The site below provides the contact information for the Departments of Education in each U.S. state and territory.  Contact your state’s department of education for specific licensing requirements for your state.

Non-U.S. Citizens: If you are a non-U.S. citizen residing out of country, you are not eligible for the MAT program. If you are living in the U.S., you must meet the qualifications found on the ADE site, in order to be eligible for licensure in the state of AR. These items can be found at this link:

Please Note: The MAT Program does NOT require any Praxis exams for admission into the program. You will, however, be expected to have your content exam(s) passed before entering internship or before a provisional will be issued. See GATES for more details.

Step 1: Apply to UCA’s Graduate School

Requirements for Graduate School Admission:

  1. Start the Graduate School application available here. A $45 application fee is required.
  2. Submit original, sealed transcripts to the UCA Graduate School from all previous schools attended. (Not necessary for UCA transcripts). The required minimum undergraduate GPA for admission is 2.7. (If you fall below the 2.7 GPA, we suggest taking post-baccalaureate courses to help bring your GPA to the 2.7 minimum. Post-bacc courses can be from any institution, but need to be 3000 or 4000 level courses. We recommend those be in the content area where you wish to teach. We will not review applications that do not meet the minimum GPA requirement).
  3. Once prompted by the Graduate School, you will submit a Statement of Purpose. The guidelines and a submission link will be sent to you by the Graduate School via email, but can also be found at this link: Statement of Purpose Guidelines.
  4. Upload all other required information (including proof of your MAT application AND proof of your cleared AELS background check (see below)–Directions for AELS Background/Child Maltreatment) into the Graduate School system. Once your Graduate School file is complete, it will be sent to the program coordinator for review.

Step 2: Apply to the MAT Program (General Tracks ONLY: K-6, Middle, Secondary)

Special Education Candidates, please see this page for specific application information.

You must complete the MAT application, before your graduate application will be reviewed by the program. Make sure you take a screenshot of the final page, indicating that you have completed the MAT app. You will then upload that proof to the Graduate school system. This application requires general track to evaluate their prior knowledge and transcripts, to help you select the right track for you.
1. Complete and submit the on-line MAT application available here

Application must be submitted on-line, using this form. Paper copies are not accepted.  [PLEASE NOTE:  If using a PC with the Firefox browser, you will have to download the file to your computer and open with Adobe Reader directly.  IE10 and Chrome browsers on PC will display correctly. If using a Mac, only use Safari to open the form. —– Be sure to save the form to your computer as a backup after filling it out.]

  • General track may only select ONE (1) licensure area on Page 2 of the application (Elementary, Middle, or Secondary). Middle Level now only requires one content area!
  • Special Notice: We strongly encourage all of our candidates to find a position teaching in their own classroom, prior to their internship 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 and that you have passing Praxis exams for your intended licensure area. 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.

All MAT Candidates

You MUST have a full background and child maltreatment on file with Arkansas Educator Licensure System. If you start the program on a provisional, or if you are already working as the teacher of record, paraprofessional, or substitute in a public or charter school, you should have one on file. This is an Arkansas state law and required for anyone enrolled in a teacher preparation program. For details regarding background checks, you may go to the OCS site: Keep in mind that the Child Maltreatment check can take a few weeks, so please don’t delay in getting this completed. Please make sure you follow the steps just as they are outlined on the OCS page. If you do not provide proof of these CLEARED checks with your Graduate School Application, your application will not be reviewed.

You may go to this site to see if you have a cleared background check on file: Arkansas Educator Licensure System. Just enter your information. You will upload a screenshot of your AELS page in your graduate school application (directions can be found in the graduate school application system. *These checks are also required, before you can have access to any Arkansas IDEAS training or professional development courses.

If you plan on teaching in your own classroom on a provisional license, while completing the MAT program, you must meet the requirements for a provisional license. Those requirements can be found at this link: A provisional license will not be awarded until you have met all of those requirements.

Please Note: Applications will not be processed until all documentation is received and files are complete. If you are unsure about the status of your application, you need to contact Ms. Taylor Ingram in the graduate school,; Special Education applicants, please contact Ms. Colleen Elliott,

For detailed information on the general track program, see the Master of Arts in Teaching program description in the graduate bulletin. You may explore the current Program of Study, but keep in mind that you will want to refer to your DegreeWorks for your most up-to-date courses and your progress in the program. Special Education applicants, please follow this link for information on your graduate bulletin and admission information.

Program Requirements and FAQs

The program requirements can be found under the Admissions tab. For more information, please browse the “Helpful Hints” tab listed above.