FAQs for New Students

For those students interested in pursuing the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program we hope these FAQs will help.

Non-degree programs are designed primarily for currently certified teachers to add areas of expertise to their certificates. At the moment, MSE (Middle and Secondary Education) offers two Endorsements: TESOL and Reading.

Certification only in MSE is a misnomer. The requirements, courses, and expectations are identical to the Master's program. The only difference is that the certification requirements are completed in the Spring semester. Students do choose to leave the program at that time and apply for certification, but it is not advised.

The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) completion is one summer semester – about three classes – after the Spring practicum. It is the fourth and final semester of the program, consisting of a research course and additional content area courses that culminate in the Master's degree.

The M.A.T. is both initial certification and a Master's degree. This accomplishes a few things. First, you will be exceptionally well-prepared to take on the classroom from your first day. You will have good experiences in both theory and in practice. You will have had opportunities to reflect and define yourself as a teacher.

Secondly, you'll be in a better position in terms of marketability competing against teachers who are certified but do not have that additional degree.

Thirdly, you'll make more money. Certified teachers being on the T4 level; certified teachers with Master's degrees start at T5 and move up from there.

Fourthly, you will be in a position to pursue higher education should you so desire in the future. A Doctor of Education (EdD) degree will afford opportunities in leadership, administration, curriculum design, and a number of other positions for which you will be uniquely qualified. A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) will take you into research, teaching teachers, and publication. Either program requires a Master's degree first.

The undergraduate degree requirement is based on the subject area you want to teach. You are expected to be a specialist in your field, and there may be a need to take graduate level courses at a post-baccalaureate student before acceptance into the program. Some subject areas include extra subject area courses as part of the program.

Details about individual programs may be found on the TEEMS Teacher Preparation page of the GSU website: http://mse.education.gsu.edu/academics-admissions/teems-teacher-preparation/. You may download a Word document of specific program entrance requirements there.

There are no shortcuts to excellence. Our program is designed to be four semesters: Summer, Fall, Spring, and Summer. It comprises only one full school year, meaning you'll be ready to teach in 16 months, less time than you think.
Most practical element information can be found in the student handbook: http://studenthandbook.gsu.edu/  or by using the search tool on the top right side of each GSU site page.

Getting settled? http://graduate.gsu.edu/

Panther cards? http://panthercard.gsu.edu/panthercard/

Parking? http://parking.gsu.edu/

Registration? http://registrar.gsu.edu/

Enrollment & Registration Services Call Center: 404-413-2900
TTY: 404-413-2281 (Hearing Impaired Students Only)
In-Person: 227 Sparks Hall or 292 Kell Hall
In-Person hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Monday – Friday
Call Center hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday

Application in process? http://education.gsu.edu/admissions/graduate-admissions/.

The course about working with exceptional children (EXC 4020) is required for both graduates and undergraduates in several departments.
OAA (Office of Academic Assistance) and Content Advisers work to have all acceptance notifications sent 4-6 weeks after the application deadline.
The GACE (http://gace.ets.org/)Program Admissions Assessment exam is part of the initial application program. It may be exempted with a GRE score above 297, a 1000 on the SAT, or 43 on the ACT.  The content area GACE is taken near the end of Practicum and must be passed in order to successfully complete the program.
There are several Notaries Public in the Office of Legal Affairs(? http://universityattorney.gsu.edu/legal-questions/other-topics/). If you need to sign a document and have it notarized, please bring the document and a valid photo identification with you in person to the Office of Legal Affairs.  There are also a few other notaries in various departments and offices on campus.

The edTPA portfolio is a state mandated assessment of pre-service teacher performance (http://education.gsu.edu/teacher-preparation-program-effectiveness/). Teacher candidates must demonstrate both skills and knowledge in all aspects of teaching: subject expertise, lesson planning, lesson implementation, as well as assessing student learning.

The cost varies with the number of credit hours taken.  University fees vary as well. This cost calculator may be helpful: http://graduate.gsu.edu/graduate-cost-calculator/.

Master of Arts in Teaching with Initial Certification.

Teacher candidates who successfully complete their program, including passing edTPA, are submitted to the GAPSC by the College of Education and Office of Academic Assistance as eligible candidates. Induction certificates (T5) are awarded by the PSC, usually within two to four weeks of successful program completion.


If you have more general questions, send an email to our TEEMS Information Specialist at [email protected]. If we don’t know the answer, we will help you find it.

Initial Teacher Preparation Program Coordinators & Contact Information

Department Administrators

Director of Initial Teacher Preparation Programs

Dr. Caroline Sullivan

[email protected] / 404-413-8404

Department Chair

Dr. Gertrude Tinker Sachs

[email protected]   / 404-413-8384