2020-2021 University Catalog 
    Sep 26, 2023  
2020-2021 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Program

Master of Arts in Teaching

Colgate University offers the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree with certification in the fields of English, mathematics, history, and natural science (biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics). This program is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for a period of seven years from May 7, 2014 to May 7, 2021.


Liberal arts graduates of recognized colleges and universities are eligible to apply for admission to the MAT program. For information and application forms, prospective candidates for the MAT program should write or call the Department of Educational Studies, Persson Hall, 315-228-7256. Applicants should submit materials to the chair of the department.

The application deadline is February 15. Applicants are required to take the aptitude section of the Graduate Record Examination. Unless geographic distance prohibits, an interview is usually required.

All persons admitted to graduate studies at Colgate must present health and immunization records to the director of Student Health Services before beginning coursework.

Program Completion

Requirements for the MAT degree at Colgate must be completed within five years of matriculating in the program of study. Students who do not complete the program within the five-year time limit must submit a petition for readmission to the chair of the educational studies department.

Students will be readmitted only if resources are available to accommodate their program interests. Tuition charges which are current at the time of readmission will apply to all readmitted students.

Further details regarding program completion are outlined in the Graduate Studies Manual available from the educational studies department or from the office of the associate dean of the faculty.

Special Graduate Student Status

Any person with a bachelor’s degree may apply for special graduate student status in order to take additional undergraduate or graduate courses. This status does not lead directly to a degree from Colgate. Admission is authorized by the associate dean of the faculty.

Graduate Student Conduct

Except as specified to the contrary or as context may require otherwise, Colgate University graduate students are subject to all University policies and procedures pertaining to student conduct, including without limitation those listed below, as well as the substantive and procedural provisions of the System of University Standards and Student Conduct.

  • Academic Honor Code
  • Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • Policy on Public Order
  • Policy on Hazing
  • Policy on Alcohol and Drugs
  • Policy on Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Other Forms of Harassment
  • Policy on Unrecognized Organizations
  • Policy on Medical Leave of Absence
  • Policy for Student Presence on Campus While Separated from Colgate
  • Policy Governing the Scheduling of Parties
  • Policy on Campus Solicitation and Concessions
  • Policy on Use of Colgate Vehicles
  • Policy on Smoking
  • Policy on Advertising
  • Computing Policy
  • Guest Policy
  • Fire Safety Regulations

Information on these and other applicable policies and procedures can be found in the Colgate University Student Handbook.

Tuition and Fees

All graduate students will be charged one-ninth of the current annual tuition per course taken.

There is an annual student activity fee for matriculated students enrolled in two or more courses. Health and accident insurance is required. See Charges  and Insurance .

For information about interruptions in the standard enrollment pattern, see Leave of Absence Fees and Deposits .

Payment of Bills

See Billing Schedule  and Payment of Bills .

Refunds of Tuition and Fees

See Refund Policy .

Financial Assistance

Financial aid is available for students accepted into the MAT program. See the Financial Aid  page for details.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of two courses of graduate credit may be transferred from another institution. These credits will be applied toward the satisfaction of the degree requirements only if relevant to the approved plan of study and the grade is B or better. Requests for transfer credit should be made to the department chair at the time of application to a program.

Additional Opportunities for Graduate Students

Graduate students are sometimes able to assist in science laboratories or assist with Colgate’s athletic teams.

Any graduate student who is able to live on campus during the fall and spring terms is eligible to be considered as a community leader. Interviews for community leaders are held in February for the following fall term.

Some of these opportunities require an extension of the program length and others require special scheduling. Applicants who wish to pursue any of these options should indicate interest at the time of application.

Employment Service for Graduates

Colgate University maintains a career planning and placement service for all of its graduates. (See Career Services and Postgraduate Planning  for a full description.) In addition, the educational studies department maintains close contact with local and regional schools for job opportunities. Employment prospects for students who complete the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program continue to be strong.

MAT Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The MAT program provides advanced coursework in a selected discipline and in education, leading to secondary school teaching certification. In keeping with the character of our educational studies department, this program emphasizes that what and how we teach in public schools is connected with the struggle for global peace and social and environmental sustainability and justice. Subject areas in which certification is offered include English, mathematics, history, and natural science (biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics). The program is based on the premise that a prospective teacher should have a liberal education, thorough knowledge of his or her chosen discipline, a mastery of educational theory and practice, and a complex understanding of social institutions. A prospective teacher also needs habits of mind that include a willingness to move beyond personal comfort, and a desire to be challenged in all aspects of learning. MAT students work closely with departments to integrate increased knowledge in their disciplines with field experience in education which includes significant observation time and a full term of student teaching.

To receive the MAT degree, students complete between four and eight courses in educational studies, and at least three courses in their major depending on previous experience and coursework, a special project or thesis, and workshops on child abuse and violence prevention. Fingerprinting is also required by the State of New York. Students who are already certified at the secondary level may substitute two other education courses.

MAT students should enroll in educational studies courses at the 500 level. (See Educational Studies .) Courses taken by MAT students for degree credit in their disciplines of specialization will be assigned 500-level numbers consecutively beginning with 591.

For each undergraduate course taken toward the MAT degree, a student must submit a Graduate Credit Agreement form prior to registration. This form is available online or from the registrar’s office.

To be admitted to the program, a student must have a strong academic background in at least one area of certification, usually the equivalent of an undergraduate major. A background in the social, cultural, and developmental foundations of education is also desirable, but this background can be acquired in the program. In addition, two semesters of a foreign language or the equivalent is required. These courses may be transferred from another institution and must be approved by the educational studies department. Alternatively, the prerequisite courses may be part of the degree program.

Academic Standards

Students must maintain a grade point average of B– to continue in good standing as master’s degree candidates. To qualify for a degree, a student must earn an overall B– average in courses. In the various teaching degree programs, one-half of the work is typically done in an area of specialization, and a student must receive a grade of B– or higher in the courses in the area of specialization and in education courses.

Degrees “with distinction” are awarded to students who maintain an A– average in both the areas of specialization and education courses, and whose special projects or theses are considered by the thesis and special project supervisor to be of high quality.

MAT Requirements in Academic Fields

Each MAT candidate is normally required to take a minimum of three classes in his or her chosen academic field, consulting with his or her advisers both in the educational studies department and in the field of specialization to select appropriate courses that meet State of New York certification requirements.

Masters of Arts in an Academic Subject

Programs leading to the Master of Arts (MA) degree can occasionally be arranged in English, geology, philosophy, psychology, and religion. Candidates for the MA degree typically register for advanced undergraduate courses and seminars, with extra assignments for graduate credit. Graduate-level independent study courses are arranged with faculty in appropriate departments.

Except as noted below, all requirements and policies for MA candidates are identical to those for MAT candidates. Please refer to the MAT policies described above.


Candidates for admission to MA programs should write directly to the department of interest and should submit applications to the chair of the appropriate department.

Degree Requirements

To earn the MA degree, a candidate must successfully complete a minimum of seven courses approved for graduate credit, write a thesis, and pass an oral examination on the thesis.

Program Completion

Requirements for the MA degree must be completed within five years of matriculating in the program of study. Students who do not complete the program within the five-year limit must submit a petition for readmission to the associate dean of the faculty.

Financial Assistance

Is available for US citizens or permanent residents through the Federal Direct loan program. Financial aid applicants must submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). No institutional grant aid is available.