Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree program is designed for the purpose of initial teacher licensure.


Liberty University strives to produce educators who model high academic, moral, and spiritual standards before their peers, and who have dedicated their lives to educational leadership. Concurrent with this goal, the graduate programs offered by the School of Education are designed to prepare candidates for effective educational leadership in Christian, public, and private schools.

Program Learning Outcomes

A graduate of the Initial Licensure Master of Arts in Teaching program:

  1. Knows Biblical values, moral dimensions, and ethical implications synthesized with academic knowledge
  2. Implements skills as a gift from God, because teaching/leadership is a calling from God
  3. Believes and practices personal integrity, social responsibility, sensitivity to the needs of others, and the betterment of humanity
  • 1a. The candidate formulates knowledge of learner development, learning differences, and learning environments. (InTASC Domain 1 The learner and learning)
  • 1b. The candidate demonstrates knowledge of the literature of the discipline area and the application of content to connect concepts and engage learners. (InTASC Domain 2 Content)
  • 2a. The candidate plans instruction using multiple methods of assessment and instructional strategies to develop a deep understanding of the content for all learners. (InTASC Domain 3 Instructional practice)
  • 3a. The candidate develops a Biblical worldview and professional responsibility through ongoing reflection and professional development experiences where opportunities are provided for leadership and collaboration with stakeholders. (InTASC Domain 4 Professional responsibility)
  • 4a. The candidate uses evidence-based practices and knowledge of pedagogical theory in all content areas to assess, plan, and teach K-12 students.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

Programs that Lead to Initial Licensure

In addition to the general admission procedures, specific admission requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program are:

  1. Earned baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (e.g., SACSCOC, TRACS, ABHE, etc.).
  2. GPA of at least a 2.50 on a 4.00 scale (cautionary admission is an option if the candidate has at least a 2.00).
  3. TOEFL Scores for candidates who speak English as a second language (score of 600 paper–based test; 250 computer-based test, 80 internet-based test).

Transfer of Credit

All graduate transfer credits are subject to the approval of the School of Education (SOE) Graduate Committee. Such courses must carry a grade of at least a B- and be comparable to Liberty University graduate courses. Transfer credit will only be considered from institutions or schools accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. With approval, up to 18 hours may be transferred into the M.A.T. programs. It is the responsibility of each applicant to supply official transcripts along with a written request to have credit applied to the degree program. Transfer credits must have been completed within the previous ten (10) years.

Credits from a prior degree on the same academic level earned through Liberty University are considered transfer credits.

Licensure Guidelines

The Educator Preparation Program is designed to meet licensure requirements of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the candidate’s approved specialization.  In addition, candidates who complete the Educator Preparation Program are eligible for the Association of Christian Schools International certificate.

The Educator Preparation Program has been officially approved by the Virginia Department of Education and is accredited under NCATE standards through the CAEP Accreditation System. Approved programs include all initial licensure M.A.T. programs in Elementary, Middle, Secondary, or Special Education. Candidates entering the M.A.T. program must indicate their intention to pursue Virginia licensure when they apply for candidacy in the graduate program. Each concentration has licensure requirements beyond the master’s degree. Upon completion of all requirements, the candidate must submit the licensure application and fee to Liberty’s Teacher Licensure Office. Liberty’s Coordinator of Teacher Licensure Records will submit the candidate’s application packet to the Virginia Department of Education.

Graduates who have successfully completed Liberty’s Educator Preparation Program are eligible for a standard Collegiate Professional License from the Virginia Department of Education. Though candidates must pass a background check for entrance into the Liberty University School of Education EPP (Educator Preparation Program), the VDOE (Virginia Department of Education) also makes determinations concerning the eligibility of candidates.

Please see the VDOE website to see the list of questions that will be asked of each applicant.

The Liberty University School of Education utilizes a gate system to ensure the successful progression of its candidates through the EPP (Education Preparation Provider) program. The following gates are described below:

  • Gate 1:  University Admission and Declaration of Major
  • Gate 2:  Program Status Check
  • Gate 3:  Program Admission/Student Teaching Application
  • Gate 4:  Program Exit/ Licensure Application

Please visit for specific requirements at each gate.

Please see the VDOE website to see the list of questions that will be asked of each applicant.

Initial Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education

The candidate must:

  1. Hold a bachelor’s degree in a liberal arts area (or equivalent) from an institution that is accredited by an agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Secondary licensure requires a major (or equivalent) in the endorsement area and the successful completion of the Praxis Subject Assessment content exam for the area of endorsement;
  2. Successfully complete Liberty’s M.A.T. in Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, Secondary Education, or Special Education;
  3. Obtain passing scores on all tests required for Virginia licensure; and
  4. Complete a student teaching experience in the endorsement area.

Time Limit for School Licensure

  1. Candidates must have completed all requirements necessary for school licensure within 5 years after completion of the graduate degree;
  2. Candidates who have completed Liberty’s M.A.T. and wish to return to Liberty University to complete the student teaching or internship required for licensure will be subject to the same five-year timeframe; and
  3. Each case will be evaluated on an individual basis according to transcripts, program changes, time elapsed from completion of coursework, and recent experiences in the field of education.

Licensure in Other States

Candidates who have completed Liberty’s M.A.T. may be eligible for licensure in other states by interstate agreement. Verification that the candidate has completed a state-approved program may be required for reciprocity with other states; therefore, it may be necessary for the candidate to complete the additional requirements listed above for Virginia licensure in order to qualify for reciprocity. Liberty’s Teacher Licensure Office has addresses for the licensing agencies in other states and will assist in completing the appropriate forms. Some states require a state-specific course or test but will grant a provisional license so that the applicant can be employed while completing the additional requirements. It is the candidate’s responsibility to obtain the appropriate forms from other states to submit to LU’s Licensure Office.

For further licensure information e-mail:; fax (434) 582-2468.

As a condition of Liberty’s Certificate of Approval from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, the following disclaimer pertains to Liberty’s online programs in Teacher Education:

Teacher Education: State Authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P-12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama certificate. Applicants for an Alabama certificate based on reciprocity must meet Alabama’s test requirements and submit a valid, renewable professional educator certificate/license issued by another state at the degree level, grade level, and in the teaching field or area of instructional support for which an Alabama certificate is sought and for which Alabama issues a certificate. Applicants for Alabama certification in an area of administration must also document at least three years of full-time employment as an administrator in a P-12 school system(s).

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Cognates

  • Elementary Education
  • Middle Grades Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Special Education
Core Courses12
Cognate Courses12
Professional Courses 112
Total Hours36

Additional hours may be required for Virginia Licensure

30 hours for the MAT in Secondary Education 5th year option

Note: Candidates seeking licensure as secondary teachers should have completed a bachelor’s degree with a major in the intended endorsement area, or a degree in a related field with courses similar to that required for a bachelor’s degree in the field of study. Any deficiencies in course requirements must be addressed prior to student teaching. See Content Competencies for subject area. In addition, candidates must successfully complete the appropriate Subject Assessment content exam in the area of endorsement prior to student teaching.

Candidates seeking licensure at the middle school level should have completed a bachelor’s degree with a strong background in one or more of the following four subject areas: English, History/Social Science, Mathematics, or Science. Any deficiencies in course requirements must be addressed prior to student teaching. [See Content Competencies for elementary/middle education.] In addition, candidates must successfully complete the appropriate Praxis Subject Assessment middle school content exam in the area(s) of endorsement prior to student teaching.

  • Elementary Teacher
  • Middle School Teacher
  • High School Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher
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