Accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT)




About the program

The Accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT) program at SPU integrates Washington Residency Teacher Certification with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Candidates in the AMAT program become effective teachers by:

  • Demonstrating effective and equitable teaching practices
  • Centering instruction on high expectations for student achievement, including culturally responsive teaching practices
  • Recognizing and responding to individual student learning needs
  • Providing clear and intentional focus on subject matter content and curriculum
  • Fostering and managing a safe, positive, and inclusive learning environment
  • Using multiple student data elements to modify instruction and improve student learning
  • Communicating and collaborating with parents and the school community
  • Exhibiting collaborative and collegial practices focused on improving instruction and learning
  • Developing professional wellness habits in order to persist and thrive in the teaching profession.

Alternate routes

The AMAT 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. SPU is approved to offer Routes 2, 3, and 4. Students should refer to the PESB Alternative Routes site for more information. 

Certification is earned in four academic quarters, from summer to spring. The MAT degree is earned through additional coursework, which you may complete concurrently with certification requirements or in subsequent quarters.

The certification component of the AMAT program is 45 credits. Approximately one-third of these credits are allocated for student teaching, which is full-time and supervised, for the academic year.

Completion of certification courses and internship requirements and passing program assessments qualifies you for a Washington Residency Certificate. This certificate enables you to teach in public and private schools in Washington state. You earn the master’s degree by completing an additional 15 graduate level credits or five classes.

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. Your coursework varies depending on endorsement area to provide discipline-specific emphasis.

The AMAT hybrid program uses a blend of online and on-campus coursework. The AMAT-Online program uses entirely online coursework, though it still requires some scheduled/synchronous online course participation. The courses are not self-paced but generally follow one learning topic/module per week to maximize cohort interaction.

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 integrates internship experiences to assist you in applying educational theory and research to planning, instruction, and assessment.

Candidates and mentor teachers follow a co-teaching model, where responsibility for planning, instruction, management, and assessment is shared. You begin your internship with focused observations and progress to independent teaching. Across internship, you will complete assignments designed to maximize learning from field experiences, such as a classroom management plan, internship reflections, lesson plans, a family engagement plan, and program assessments. The internship concludes with you returning control of classroom responsibilities to your mentor teacher.

Completion of the MAT degree

Candidates earn the MAT degree by completing five graduate-level courses, totaling 15 credits. These classes are taken at the regular graduate tuition rate. Classes required for the MAT degree are not needed for certification. However, most candidates complete degree requirements immediately following certification to increase their base salary.

Candidates 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 AMAT program with a master’s degree may petition to earn a second master's by completing EDU 6085 Moral and Theological Issues in Education.

Students are required to earn their Residency Teaching Certificate in order to be eligible to earn the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. 

Admission requirements

Applicants must submit the following items to Graduate Admissions:

  • Online application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Official transcript(s) from each college and/or university attended.
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • Résumé
  • Two to four letters of recommendation
  • Preferred WEST-B scores including 240 on each sub-test: 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 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.
  • Taking the State Endorsement Test.
    • You must take the endorsement test(s) for your intended endorsement area(s). Tests should be passed prior to the start of the graduate teacher education program.
    • Those endorsing in designated world languages or bilingual education must also pass oral and writing proficiency tests (OPI and WPT) in their language area.
    • Several NES study guides are located on the main floor Reference section of SPU’s Ames Library. If you are admitted, you may use your SPU account to check out online study guides from the library.
  • Verify endorsement readiness.
    • Endorsements are the content and grade levels a teacher is prepared to teach. The Professional Education Standards Board (PESB provides a comprehensive list of endorsements and the required content competencies and assessments.
    • 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 our Certification Office. Complete the Endorsement Verification form only after contacting the Certification Office. On the form, indicate that you have been in contact with the Certification Officer and list your “Approved Plan of Study” if one has been developed.
  • Shortage area requirement.
    • Students enrolled in an alternative routes to certification program must be pursuing at least one endorsement in a subject and/or geographic area as defined by PESB including but not limited to special education, elementary, English language arts, Spanish, social studies, and English language learners. Students with a local shortage area (district wide) are eligible as long as the district is able to verify there is a local shortage. The current shortage areas can be found on the PESB website. If you do not meet the shortage area requirement and would like to participate in the accelerated version of our MAT program, please contact the School of Education for additional options for students in this situation. 
  • Moral Character and Personal Fitness Policy form (found in the online application).

Applicants with complete files submitted by the deadline are screened for interviews, held in March. Invitations to interview are sent by email.

Enrollment policy

  • Students must be continuously enrolled in required SPU courses to earn this master’s degree, or until officially withdrawing from the program. Exceptions to continuous enrollment must be approved by the program director.
  • Students may be granted a leave of absence for up to four quarters by the program director. Once the leave of absence has expired, the student will either enroll in graduate coursework or be dropped from the program.
  • University academic policy 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 a student decides to no longer pursue a master’s degree, the student may officially withdraw from the program and SPU by notifying the program director and the associate director of graduate programs.


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