Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)


The Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Exceptional Student Education is a graduate program in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of South Florida. This program leads to a Master’s Degree and state of Florida teacher certification in Exceptional Student Education (ESE). It also leads to endorsements in both ESOL and Reading, ensuring graduates are highly qualified to enter the teaching field.

This program can be completed in 50 credit hours. However, it requires that program participants complete field experiences in a Pre-K–12 classrooms while enrolled in program core courses. The program is designed for individuals who come to the field of exceptional student education after completing an undergraduate degree in another field.

Typical program participants do not hold a professional teaching certificate, although students who are certified in elementary and secondary education have completed and benefitted from the program. Students are admitted on a rolling admission basis*, but the core course sequence begins in the fall of each year. Visit the Student Academic Services website for information about upcoming MAT information sessions.

*Applications received after posted application deadlines may be considered.

Benefits and Opportunities for MAT Program Participants:

  • Placement in a paid paraprofessional position in local school district (includes benefits and counts as required field experience).
    • A paraprofessional position qualifies the individual for in-state tuition.
  • TEACH Grant funding - up to $8,000
  • Laurie Ann Richardson Scholarship

The MAT in Exceptional Student Education is highlighted by:

  • An Integrated Curriculum: The MAT curriculum will be introduced, taught, and mastered in a series of instructional blocks that integrate content in a spiraling manner.
  • On-Site Mentors: Master teachers within the districts will provide one-on-one mentoring for each program participant.
  • An Accelerated Pace: This program can be completed in four academic semesters and one summer (the core course sequence begins in the fall of each year).
  • Action Research: All students engage in classroom research to improve their classroom practice and develop self-efficacy.

For more information, please contact: 

Elizabeth Doone, Program Coordinator and Instructor
Office: EDU 402
Phone: (813) 974-9929

Deanna Rieke, Academic Advisor
Office: EDU 106
Phone: (813) 974-4898