What is the MATS program?

You’ve obtained your bachelor’s degree in an area other than education, but now you have a desire to teach in a secondary school. The MATS program is designed especially for people like you who are seeking an initial teaching license in secondary education. The 30-hour degree can be completed entirely online from virtually anywhere in the state of Mississippi or beyond.

Through the program students will be eligible to receive a:

  • 3 year Class A non-renewable license after admission to the MATS program and successful completion of EDS 8243, EDS 6403, EDX 8173, and testing requirements
  • 5 year Class A renewable license after receiving a 3 year Class A non-renewable license and the successful completion of EDS 8883 and EDS 8893
  • 5 year Class AA renewable license after graduation from the MATS degree program (coursework and comprehensive examination)
What are some potential careers?

This degree is designed for individuals who would like to teach in middle and/or high school settings.

Who should pursue this degree?

Individuals who have bachelor’s degrees in fields other than education but feel a desire to teach should consider this degree.

Good ACT score? A composite score of 21 or higher on the ACT exempts you from having to take the CORE exam. With a 3.0 GPA on your last 60 hours of coursework, the ACT and Core tests are waived.

For more information about available courses, please review our MATS Checklist.

We are no longer able to place students in Georgia for internships. Residents living in Georgia will not be eligible for licensure.

Program Structure

Students completing the MATS degree program will complete these courses:

Core Courses

  • EDS 8103 Adv. Methodologies in Middle and Secondary Education
  • EDS 8623 Principles of Effective Instruction
  • EDS 8613 Middle and Secondary School Curriculum
  • RDG 8653 Teaching Reading in the Secondary Schools
  • EDS XXXX Secondary Methods of Teaching*
  • EDS 8883 Secondary Internship I*
  • EDS 8893 Secondary Internship II*

Initial Licensure Courses

  • EDS 8243 Advanced Planning and Managing Learning
  • EDS 6403 Eval in Sec Schools
  • EDX 8173 Special Education in the Regular Classroom

* A teaching position must be secured for the student before enrolling in these courses.

Admissions Requirements

Steps 1-5 must be completed by:

  • December 1 to be considered for spring admission.
  • May 1 to be considered for summer admission.
  • August 1 to be considered for fall admission.
  1. Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally/nationally-accredited institution of higher learning.
  2. Have a minimum GPA of 2.75 (based on a 4.0 scale) on the last 60 credit hours of baccalaureate work.
  3. Meet the Mississippi score requirements on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests (CORE) or have a composite ACT score of at least 21 or have a 3.0 GPA on the last 60 hours of course work.
  4. Meet the Mississippi score requirements on the Praxis II Specialty Area Examination in Special Education. The Praxis II test code is 5354 (computer-based). The minimum score requirement is 152.

    For more information on the Praxis CORE and Praxis II tests:

    • Have Praxis CORE and Praxis II Special Education: Content Knowledge test scores sent to MSU and to MDE (Mississippi Department of Education). Applicants should also print a copy of Praxis Core and Praxis II scores from the ETS website for their personal records.
  5. Submit an online application to the Office of the Graduate School.
  6. Complete a background check through CastleBranch. Enter Package Code MI43 (send proof of purchase to Susan Steward).

Please note that your application will not be considered until all forms have been submitted and your application fee has been paid.

Domestic/International Classified Admissions

We are not currently able to admit students living in the state of Georgia.

  1. Submit online application. You will choose Master of Arts Teach Secondary/Secondary Teacher Alt Route as your Program of Study and Online Education as your campus.
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Three letters of recommendation
    • You will be asked to submit three names and three email addresses of individuals you are using as references. Once you click submit, these individuals will be sent an email from MSU, which will provide a link to an online form for completing their recommendations.
  4. International Students should contact Stephanie Etheridge.
  5. One official transcript showing bachelor’s degree or progress toward degree.
  6. One official transcript showing ALL work after bachelor’s degree.
    • Electronic transcripts should be sent to: gradapps@grad.msstate.edu Mississippi State University, Graduate School. Only one copy of an electronic transcript is required.
    • Paper Transcripts Address (USPS):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      P.O. Box G
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
    • Physical Street Address (for DHL, Fed Ex, UPS, DHS, etc.):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      175 President Circle
      116 Allen Hall
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
  7. Payment of $60 non-refundable application processing fee for domestic students.
    Payment of $80 non-refundable application processing fee for international students.
  8. Once you are admitted, you will receive an email with complete instructions on registering for classes and contacting your advisor.

*Contact your three references before submitting your application so they will expect an email from the Graduate School.

Please note that your application will not be considered until all forms have been submitted and your application fee has been paid. For additional MATS admission requirements, please see the Admission Checklist.

Important Notes:

  • If you begin an application and forget your login and/or password, do not begin another application. Please contact the Office of the Graduate School at 662.325.7400 for assistance.
  • Complete a background check through CastleBranch. Enter Package Code MI43 (send proof of purchase to Susan Steward).
  • Admission packets are forwarded from the Office of the Graduate School to the department upon completion. The faculty uses a committee review process review applications submitted to the MATS program. Once a decision has been made, applicants are notified of their admission status.
    • Once admitted, it is the responsibility of the student to contact Susan Steward at ssteward@colled.msstate.edu within one week of being admitted to the program for advisement on course enrollment.
  • For students seeking financial assistance, please note that provisionally admitted students may not be eligible for financial aid. Aid may be available after full program admission.
  • All students admitted to the MATS program must complete the department Graduate Student Orientation
  • Graduation from the MATS program requires the successful completion of all coursework and passing scores on the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination is taken during the last 6 hours of coursework or in the terminal semester.

Licensure & Endorsements


Students in the MATS program may apply for the initial license upon completion of the initial licensure coursework and after receiving official passing score reports for the CORE/ACT and Praxis II content area exams.

MATS students may apply for the 5 year renewable license upon completion of Internship I and Internship II.

All students will be emailed directions for applying for licensure when requirements are met.

We are no longer able to place students in Georgia for an internship. Residents living in the state of Georgia will not be eligible to teach in Georgia


It is possible to add other subject areas (called endorsements) to 3 year nonrenewable and 5 year renewable licenses. Most endorsements may be added by either having 18 credit hours in the content area or by passing the Praxis II for that area. For more information on endorsements, contact Susan Steward, ssteward@colled.msstate.edu

Job Applications & Interviews

Most school districts have websites that keep updated lists of teaching vacancies. A listing of the school districts in Mississippi can be found on the Mississippi Department of Education website. You may also visit the MSU Career Center website. The Career Center offers several valuable services including resume writing guides, resume critiques, mock interviews, and job searches. Simply login to the Connections page with your NetID and password, post your resume, and look for jobs in your preferred districts.

Once you submit an application, visit the school and introduce yourself to the principal. This will give you an opportunity to make a great impression before applications are reviewed. If you are asked to an interview, prepare yourself by being able to answer the questions most frequently asked by principals:

  • How will you implement the Common Core Standards in your classroom?
  • Explain your teaching philosophy on
    1. Teaching Strategies
    2. Classroom behavior
    3. Homework
  • If you are certified in a state tested subject area: How will you help improve scores on the state subject area test?
  • What is your classroom management plan?
  • How will you help your students at the different Rtl levels?
  • If the principal walks into your classroom, what will he see?
  • If you are seeking a job in a school in which you are a minority: How will you handle working with students from a different culture and/or race?
  • You look young enough to be a high school student! How will you show your students that you are in authority and are more mature than they are?
  • How will you make sure there is effective communication between yourself, your colleagures, your principal, your students, and your parents?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What will you do if an irate parent walks into your classroom?

Contact Information

Photo of Anusha Rijal

Anusha Rijal

Online Education

  • Coordinator
Susan Steward Headshot

Susan Steward

  • MATS Coordinator