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Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science (MTMS)


About the program

The Master in Teaching Math and Science (MTMS) program at Seattle Pacific University combines a Washington state Residency Certificate with a master’s degree specifically designed for teaching secondary mathematics and science.

Alternative routes

The MTMS program recognizes the alternative routes to certification that have been identified by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB). These routes are for individuals who possess a unique set of qualifications and wish to earn a Washington state Residency Certificate.

Applicants to the MTMS program fit one of these profiles, though all routes require a bachelor’s degree.

  • Route 2: Currently employed staff member (such as para-educators, instructional assistants, or education aides) with a school district or private school and a minimum of one year of career-related experience.
  • Route 3: Individuals not currently employed by a school district or private school (such as those considering a career change).
  • Route 4: Teachers employed in a public school on a Conditional or Emergency Certificate or teachers employed in private schools.

The certification component of the MTMS program is 45 credits. Approximately one-third of these credits are allocated for a full-time, 42-week internship. Completion of certification courses, internship requirements, and passing program assessments qualifies you for a Washington state Residency Certificate. This certificate enables you to teach in public and private schools in Washington. The master’s degree is earned by completing an additional 15 graduate-level credits or five classes.

All credits are offered at the graduate level. Several courses in the MTMS program are specifically aligned with mathematics and science pedagogy while others are adaptations of SPU’s current Master of Arts in Teaching program.

Coursework and internship

Coursework begins in the summer with online and on-campus classes in learning theory, general teaching methods, curriculum design, and literacy strategies.

  • Coursework varies depending on endorsement area to provide discipline-specific emphasis.
  • You typically enroll in classes with peers who are earning the same primary endorsement to promote collegial interdependence.
  • You usually attend on-campus classes one night a week from approximately 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Internships begin in late August as K–12 teachers return to school for in-service training. Candidates intern across the school year, while completing online and on-campus coursework. On-campus and online coursework integrate internship experiences to assist you in applying educational theory and research to planning, instruction, and assessment.

You are paired with a mentor teacher and field supervisor in a supervised school setting. Internship is five days a week, for an entire K–12 school year, approximately 42 weeks, including in-service and end-of-the-year activities.

You and your mentor teacher follow a co-teaching model where responsibility for planning, instruction, management, and assessment is shared. Candidates begin internship with focused observations and progress to independent teaching. Throughout your internship, you will complete assignments designed to maximize field experiences, such as portfolio reflections, unit plans, and program assessments. Your Internship concludes with you returning control of classroom responsibilities to your mentor teacher.

Completion of the MTMS degree

You will earn the MTMS degree by completing five graduate level courses, totaling 15 credits. Classes required for the MTMS degree are not needed for certification. However, most candidates complete degree requirements immediately following certification to increase their base salary.

You may delay completion of degree requirements for five years following the quarter of admission as long as active enrollment status is maintained by completing one class every four quarters. Students admitted to the MTMS program with a master’s degree need only to complete EDU 6085 to receive the MTMS degree.

Admission requirements

Applicants must submit the following items to the Graduate Admissions

  • Application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Official transcript(s) from each college or university attended.
    • If your degree is not from a U.S. college or university, please arrange for your transcript to be evaluated by an accredited transcript evaluation company such as WES. Have the report forwarded directly to Graduate Admissions.
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • Résumé.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or MAT (Miller Analogies Test) scores taken within five years of application.
    • On the former GRE exam, preferred minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 950.
    • On the revised GRE exam, preferred minimum scores of Verbal: 148 and Quantitative: 147.
    • On the MAT, preferred minimum scaled score of 400*.
  • Two to four letters of recommendation.
  • Passing WEST-B scores including 240 on each subtest: reading, writing, and mathematics.
    • Applicants may use a combination of SAT, ACT, and WEST-B scores to meet the WEST-B requirement (reading writing, mathematics). Please contact the Graduate Admissions if you have questions.
    • Minimum SAT scores required - Math: 515, Reading: 500, Writing: 490.
    • Minimum ACT scores required - Math: 22, Reading: 22, Writing: 8.
  • Passing State Endorsement Test.
  • Endorsement Verification form.
    • Endorsements are the content and grade levels a teacher is prepared to teach. The Professional Education Standards Board (PESB) provides a comprehensive list of all endorsements offered at SPU.
    • If your college major matches your intended endorsement, complete the Endorsement Verification form in the application.
    • If your major does not match your intended endorsement, please contact Kristi Kanehen, certification officer. Complete the Endorsement Verification form only after contacting Kristi Kanehen. On the form, indicate that you have been in contact with her and list your “Approved Plan of Study” if one has been developed.
  • Moral Character and Personal Fitness Policy form (found in the online application).

*The GRE or MAT will be waived for students who achieved at least (a) a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA or (b) a 3.0 in the last 45 quarter credits.

Applicants with complete files submitted by the deadline are screened for interviews, held on the SPU campus in March. Invitations to interview are sent by email. Applicants are advised to add these email addresses as contacts to avoid inadvertent delivery of correspondence to spam or junk folders.

Enrollment policy

  • You must be continuously enrolled in required SPU courses to earn this master’s degree, or until you officially withdraw from the program. Exceptions to continuous enrollment must be approved by the program chair.
  • You may be granted a leave of absence for up to four quarters by the program chair. Once the leave of absence has expired, you will either enroll in graduate coursework or be dropped from the program.
  • SPU’s Student Academic Services requires continuous enrollment to remain admitted in a graduate program. After four quarters of non-enrollment, students will be placed in “inactive status” and will need to reapply for admission.
  • If you decide to no longer pursue a master’s degree, you may officially withdraw from the program and SPU by notifying the program chair and the graduate programs manager.


Admissions materials should be directed to Graduate Admissions. If you have questions about graduate education or certification programs: