Master of Arts in Teaching | Cumberland University

Master of Arts in Teaching

Master of Arts in Teaching

The Master of Arts in Teaching program is designed for those seeking an initial teaching license in Tennessee. The programs of study are comprised of 36-semester credit hours of coursework focused on teaching skills and knowledge of current education environments, field experiences in schools, and a student teaching experience (traditional pathway) or a job-embedded clinical experience (alternate pathway) in partner schools.

General Information
Regulations & Requirements
Tuition & Financial Aid
Program History

General Information About the Masters of Arts in Teaching Program

Cumberland University's masters' degrees are priced competitively and are more affordable than most of our competitors. Our tuition is priced by educators for those who want to be educators. Do your homework and you'll find that CU's master's programs deliver solid outcomes from qualified practitioner faculty at an affordable rate.

The Cumberland University Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) initial licensure program is an innovative program designed to accommodate a non-traditional route to licensure while concurrently obtaining a graduate degree in education. This program is ideal for working adults who want to enter a meaningful profession, or for students who have completed a baccalaureate degree and have decided they want to teach in the K-12 school system. The MAT@CU is specifically tailored for individuals with no prior educational experience who are interested in one of the following programs of study: Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Secondary Education.

Our Students and Graduates:

Our students are responsible for the quality of our programs - Half of your courses include licensed teachers who learn along side you and share their knowledge and experience in their classrooms. Whether you are a career switching adult or a recent college graduate, you will find our program is designed to meet your needs.

Cumberland University teacher graduates consistently rank among the top institutions in the state for teacher retention over three and five years.*

* TN SCORE report, 2010, 2011, 2012.

Why choose the Cumberland University MAT Program?

The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts at Cumberland University is committed to creating competent, caring, qualified professionals and reflective practitioners. Cumberland has long been a leader in teacher preparation in Tennessee and is known for its exceptional academic reputation, high quality programs taught by experienced, passionate teachers, and an overall commitment to excellence. Cumberland offers an interactive, engaging, authentic, and personalized educational experience at a small, private, liberal arts university.

The MAT@CU combines the most cutting-edge immersive online technologies with a customized on-ground curriculum that blends coursework and self-directed field experiences, with evening and weekend classes that provide the security and mentoring needed for aspiring teachers. Our practitioner-focused curriculum is designed to equip pre-service teachers with the skills needed not only to succeed in the profession, but to transform education for tomorrow’s classrooms. Relevant coursework, field experiences, and a rigorous Teacher Education Progression will prepare you for the classroom.

The School of Humanities, Education and the Arts remains practitioner-focused and involved with schools and students by way of close partnerships with school districts and a strong teacher advisory committee.  We are aware of what emerging teachers need to be successful in reaching and teaching every child. Teachers serve a critical function in building intellectual capacity and career-ready skills that strengthens individuals who in turn improve their communities, their states, and the nation.

The MAT degree requires thirty-six units of graduate credit, including field-based experiences and Student Teaching. Candidates may begin course work in either the Fall, Spring, or Summer semester. Coursework and student teaching may be completed in as few as 5 semesters. *

*The Licensure Office may require prerequisite courses for candidate’s from a non-education baccalaureate program.

Regulations & Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements for graduate students MAT candidates must submit the following prior to enrollment in any MAT coursework:

  • Grade point average of at least 2.75 in a Bachelor's degree, or 3.00 in Master’s program;
  • A combined GRE score of 290 or better with a 3.7 on the writing assessment, or a minimum Miller's Analogies Test score of 380.
  • To be eligible for the job-embedded clinical experience (alternate pathway), candidates must present proof of content knowledge for the endorsement sought through completion of a degree in the content area or submission of a passing score on the PRAXIS II specialty area content or core knowledge exam for the Tennessee teaching endorsement sought.

Candidates completing the job-embedded clinical experience (alternate pathway):

  • must meet all eligibility requirements for the Tennessee Practitioner's License (as outlined by the TN State Department of Education)
  • must enroll in and complete designated Cumberland University courses related to the job-embedded clinical experience during the first year of employment
  • must successfully participate in the TEP I and TEP II Interview process.





Educator Preparation progression required for initial licensure candidates (traditional pathway):

  • All coursework must be completed prior to the final student teaching semester.
  • Candidates must successfully pass content-knowledge related praxis exams, and passing scores must be on file with the EPP, prior to the final student teaching semester. Candidates may take the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching exam during the student teaching semester. NOTE: Starting in Fall 2019 candidates must pass all sections of the relevant edTPA exam to qualify for a teaching license in the State of Tennessee; the Principles of Learning and Teaching will not be an option.
  • The candidate must successfully participate in the TEP II Interview process and receive approval for participation in the final student teaching semester.

Early Childhood Education

Individuals with a valid and current Tennessee elementary teacher's license may complete a subset of the courses below for an add-on endorsement in the following:


Early Childhood Ed PreK-3 (Endorsement code 467)

Early Dev/Learning PreK-K (Endorsement code 468)

Please contact an education faculty member or the Licensure Officer for information.


Tuition and Financial Aid


  • $585 per credit hour.
  • Graduate Program Service Fee $30 per course.
  • Financial aid.
  • Employer tuition assistance accepted.