Master of Arts in Teaching/MS Alternate Certification

Belhaven offers a challenging educational experience for aspiring teachers who desire to enhance their knowledge and skills. Our faculty and staff are committed to preparing professional educators who can provide distinctive Christian leadership and service in the classroom, the school, and the community. The goal of graduate teacher education is to prepare competent teachers who demonstrate both academic excellence and professional knowledge while providing distinctive Christian leadership and service to candidates, parents, and communities. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is designed for candidates who have a non-education undergraduate degree.

Master of Arts in Teaching/ Licensure degree (MAT/ LICENSURE)
The State of Mississippi requires unlicensed degree holders who wish to be licensed teachers to enroll in an M.A.T. Alternate Route program after passing PRAXIS CORE and PRAXIS II.  The Mississippi Foundations of Reading Test (FOR) is also required for licensure in grades 4-6. A qualified candidate must take EDU 501 (Measurements and Evaluation) and 506 (Classroom Management) to apply for a Mississippi three-year provisional Class A license. After completing 1 year of teaching and while enrolled in two semesters of Internship/Mentor courses (EDU 502 and EDU 503), a candidate may apply for a Class A standard (5 year) license. EDU502 and EDU503 are part of a candidate’s first year of teaching and include eight (8) online sessions every other week for 16 weeks during each of two semesters plus mentor-faculty observations. If a candidate completes the MAT program, application for a Class AA standard license can be made.

The Master of Arts in Teaching/Non-Licensure degree (MAT/NON-LICENSURE) is for individuals who have a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree in a content area other than Education and who would like to acquire the knowledge base of teaching and learning and want to gain the skills and competencies they need to become a teacher.  Candidates completing this degree understand that the degree does NOT meet the requirement to apply for state teacher certification.

While candidates completing this degree understand that the degree does NOT meet the requirement to apply for state teacher certification, the Belhaven staff will work with participants to complete the required tests during their program in order to give the student the option of switching to a licensed degree upon completion of the praxis exams.

Candidates admitted to the MAT/NON-LICENSURE degree program are eligible for Federal financial aid.


Course Delivery Formats

All courses in the degree program are presented in an online learning delivery format. For more information regarding the admission process, please call the Adult and Graduate Admission Office at 601-968-8880. For licensure questions, call the School of Education at 601-968-8703.

Curriculum Summary

Admission Information

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree is for candidates who hold non-educational undergraduate degrees and want to pursue the alternate route license at the graduate level (see steps to alternative teacher certification), or who currently hold an alternate license and desire a master's degree and standard certification. MAT graduates can teach in the elementary setting, grades 4 through 6, or in the secondary setting, grades 7 through 12. Candidates must submit test scores (CORE/ACT and Praxis II) that meet the minimum requirement and have a GPA of 2.75 or higher on one of the following:

  • Cumulative from undergraduate/graduate degree granting institution or
  • Cumulative on last 60 hours of undergraduate work
  • Passing score on the Foundation of Reading test if seeking grades 4-6 certification

All required state tests must be passed prior to admission to the MAT-Licensure Alternate Route program.

Those seeking the MAT/Non-License have the same requirements as above but are not required to submit test scores prior to enrollment. Applicants admitted to the Master of Arts in Teaching/Non-Licensure program will be required to sign and submit a Memo of Understanding acknowledging that they understand the conditions and terms of the MAT/Non-Licensure degree.  Once all state tests have been passed the candidate may transfer to the MAT/Alt Cert degree for alternate route teaching certification.