Elementary Education M.A.T.

The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree with a major in Elementary Education provides a 100% online initial teacher preparation (except field experiences) at the master's degree level for qualified candidates who hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. The core program is designed for college graduates whose undergraduate degrees did not include professional education preparation. The program is comprised of a minimum of 39 semester hours of graduate course work in professional education*. Successful completion of the M.A.T. with a major in Elementary Education (grades Pre-K - 5) leads to a T-5 Georgia Certification in Elementary Education.

The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree in Elementary Education is a 5-semester program with a summer (June) start. The course load for fall and spring semesters supports candidates who may be employed full time in the classroom or in non-teaching positions. The summer start allows candidates to begin building a foundation in theory, content, and pedagogy before moving into more intense field related experiences. The Program of Study for the M.A.T. degree in Elementary Education consists of 39 credits hours, 3 of which are the Georgia requirement for a course related to the Exceptional Child. A technology course which aligns with the use of technology in the classroom to support teaching and learning is required as a pre- requisite; however, it may be taken in the first summer upon entering the program. Synchronous online meeting times will be incorporated for each course.

Candidates who hold a provisional certificate and are the teacher-of-record in a teaching position that aligns with prekindergarten through 5th grade certification may complete a portion of their fieldwork in their own classrooms. However, to satisfy state requirements, all candidates will be required to complete field experiences in the three required grade bands: prekindergarten or kindergarten; first, second or third grade; and fourth or fifth grade. 

* An Educational Technology course is a pre-requisite, but the course could be taken Summer 1. 


  • All GCSU application for graduate admissions
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum GPA 2.75 or higher
  • Two professional recommendations (PDF) using College of Education format
  • Verification of Immunization (PDF) for students seeking admission to face-to-face program
  • Resume
  • Legal Presence Verification (e.g., driver’s license)
  • Pass Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE 360 Ethics) which will require you to open a Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) account (if you don’t already have one)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended

If you do not currently hold a GaPSC Provisional Certificate, Waiver, Permit, etc., you will be required to obtain a GaPSC Pre-Service Certificate once admitted to the Elementary Education MAT Program. Clearance Certificates and Paraprofessional Certificates do not meet this standard. 

Obtaining a GaPSC Pre-Service Certificate

To obtain a GaPSC Pre-Service Certificate, you will need to do the following:

  • First, “claim your program” through your GaPSC account. The College of Education Certification Officer will notify you by email (with instructions) when it’s time to claim your program and apply for the certificate.
  • Second, apply for the Pre-Service Certificate online*. This process includes:
    • Submitting to a background check and receiving acceptable results
    • Answering Personal Affirmation Questions 
    • Verifying your lawful presence using the PSC-required form, an affidavit, and a non-expired driver’s license

*There is no fee for applying for a Pre-Service Certificate.

Your admission to the Elementary Education MAT Program is conditional upon your ability to receive the Pre-Service Certificate in a timely manner. Processing time is typically two weeks but may be longer. 

  • All students must attend a program orientation that is held at the beginning of the program (required attendance).

For the Elementary Education MAT

  • Candidates must hold an IN4T or Pre-Service certification in the area in which they are seeking certification.
  • All candidates, including those who are teacher-of-record, must complete learning experiences in the three required grade bands for specified periods of time.

Note: After the priority deadline of April 1, application decisions will be made between April 2 and April 15. For completed applications received after April 1, decisions will be made by May 1, if space is available.


Elementary Education M.A.T.

Stacy Schwartz

Dr. Stacy Waller

Program Co-Coordinator
Room 228F

 PhD, University of Georgia; MEd, University of Georgia; BSEd, University of Georgia


Professional Development Schools Partnerships, Family-Schools Community Partnerships, Wellness in Teacher Preparation

Professional Service

Vice President, Georgia Association for the Education of Young Children; Board President, Montessori of Macon; Member, School Governance Team at Lakeview Academy

SBrand headshot

Ms. Shanda Brand

Graduate Director
217A Kilpatrick Education Center