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Master of Arts in Teaching for Experienced Teachers

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) for Experienced Teachers is a 30-hour, non-thesis, graduate degree program that facilitates the advanced professional needs of each practicing teacher. The MAT can be completed with or without state of Texas principal certification.

Coursework for the Master of Arts in Teaching for Experienced Teachers includes professional education courses, advanced content coursework, and a capstone or principal practicum. Our dedicated faculty offer experienced teachers an exceptional amount of personal contact, coaching, and support through this academic program. Each candidate is offered a unique experience rich in quality, dynamic in pedagogical practice and strong in instructional leadership. Throughout the course of study, candidates are encouraged to explore and reflect on previous experiences and bridge new understandings from course offerings into future practice. The program acknowledges strengths candidates already possess and encourages the development of those strengths toward instructional leadership. The program is purposefully designed to meet the evolving professional needs of experienced teachers as they hone their craft through rigorous study in professional education courses that culminate with a capstone showcasing an important issue in their professional career.

The Rice University Master of Arts in Teaching for experienced teachers offers two different options for educators to choose from:

  • the instructional leadership pathway to hone their pedagogical skills, or
  • the organizational leadership pathway that leads to the state of Texas principal certification.


Experienced teachers who want to expand their knowledge of and role as an educational leader should apply. Whether as a teacher leader in the classroom, on a campus, in a district or beyond, we seek candidates committed to the pursuit, acquisition and implementation of curricular, pedagogical, political and organizational skills that offer a broader perspective. In so doing, the candidate is no longer just an active listener, but a leading voice in the educational conversation.


Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA or higher, and a minimum of two years of teaching experience by the semester of matriculation.

Application forms may be obtained through the Rice University Online Application System.

In support of the application, candidates must have an undergraduate degree and submit:

  • Official transcripts of previous university studies
  • 3.0 or higher GPA
  • Three letters of reference accompanied by the forms provided in the application packet (Two references must be from a supervisor. An academic reference is strongly preferred.)
  • Statement of intent
  • $85.00 application fee

In addition to the above, candidates for the Organizational Leadership (principal certification) path, should also submit the following:

  • Valid classroom teaching certificate
  • Service record from school district(s) (minimum two years of teaching experience)
  • Verification of campus support for practicum year (Principal Mentor Form)


Applicants will be interviewed by members of the program's Admissions Committee.


A member of the program faculty will also conduct a classroom observation of the applicant.

Timed Writing Sample

For the principal certification path, applicants will have 60 minutes to submit a writing sample on the day of the interview.

Application Deadlines

January 15 - Fall semester admission and early admission (classes start in summer)

March 15 - Late fall semester admission (classes start in fall)

October 15 - Spring semester admission

Interested candidates who have missed the application deadline should contact the Education Department at 713-348-4826 for additional options.

Rice University seeks to attract to its faculty, staff and student body qualified persons of diverse backgrounds. In accordance with this policy, Rice does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status.

Rice University is committed to keeping the costs of the Master of Arts in Teaching program for experienced teachers as low as possible. Incentives include significantly reduced tuition for all admitted students, financial aid and program tuition aid.

Tuition for the MAT for experienced teachers program in the 2020-2021 academic year is $2,010 per course (does not include parking, books, other supplies as needed, university required fees,  late fees, State exam fees, or State certificate fees.) This reflects a significantly reduced rate from normal Rice University tuition, and is designed to accommodate part-time students. 

For complete information about Rice University tuition visit


Fees include but are not limited to:

Student activity fee: $52 per semester
Parking fee: $70-$240 per year; varies depending on the parking permit selected
Graduate Student Association fee: $22 per semester (no more than $44 per year)
Additional information regarding tuition and fees can be found on the Cashier's website.


Rice University believes in the importance of developing teacher leaders. The Master of Arts in Teaching Program offers a limited number of merit-based, partial scholarships to highly qualified prospective students. Scholarship opportunities can be discussed during the interview stage of the application process. 

Teaching Fellow

Experienced MAT Teaching Fellows are ready to lead from the classroom as they continue to add content knowledge and pedagogical skills. They are open to new challenges as instructional coaches. We are offering a select number of scholarships for our experienced MAT program that will reduce tuition to a minimum 50 percent of our normal per course tuition rate of $2,850 for each course. Experienced MAT teaching fellow applicants must submit an additional essay (described below), will participate in an additional focused interview and will receive an observation of your teaching through a school day.

To apply for the Fellowship, applicants must complete the following:

1. Essay 
An essay of your specific leadership skills will:
  • Give an example of the way you lead from your classroom
  • Offer examples from your teaching career that show you will be a good teacher-coach
  • Include ways you help to solve problems on campus
  • Describe your vision for an ideal campus and the way you would implement that vision
  • Include any experiences that demonstrate you are a change agent
The essay should be sent to with a cover letter identifying yourself and your intent to apply for a Teaching Fellow scholarship.
2. Letter of Recommendation
Teaching fellow applicants will need a letter of recommendation from his/her current principal that answer the following questions:
(This letter is in addition to the three letters required for admission)
  1. Why you are qualified to lead from the classroom
  2. Why you should work to become an instructional coach
This Letter of Recommendation should be on school stationery and sent to


Principal Fellow

Our Principal Fellows program targets school leaders, preferably those teaching in high-need schools, who are ready to take on the challenges of instructional and organizational leadership in public schools.

We are offering a select number of scholarships for our principal certification program that will reduce tuition to a minimum 50 percent of our normal per course tuition rate of $2850 for each of the five required courses.

If interested in applying for the fellowship, applicants will need a letter of recommendation from his/her current principal.  (This letter is in addition to the three letters of recommendation mentioned in the Admissions section.)

Letter of Recommendation from Current Principal
Please request a letter of recommendation from your current principal that includes the following information. (This letter is in addition to the three letters required for admission):
  1. Ways you are/would be an effective problem solver on your campus
  2. Why your principal would hire you as an administrator on your campus
This letter may be emailed to or mailed to:
Rice University
Education Department - MS 146
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892


Financial Aid

Students in the Master of Liberal Studies program may be eligible to receive federal student loans, Grad PLUS loans and private loans. The enrollment requirement for eligibility is at least half-time or 4.5 hours. Visit for Rice University's Office of Financial Aid more information. 

The Master of Arts in Teaching program is a carefully designed plan of study that fosters students’ professional growth. Experienced teachers who enroll in our MAT program work closely with an education faculty advisor to develop a plan of study. The program allows these teachers to explore the contemporary educational arena and to deepen skills in areas of individual interest. Professional areas of study are negotiated individually and are dependent on course offerings and research opportunities as the students complete their two-semester capstone.

Professional Education Courses

The plan of study consists of 18 hours of required professional education courses. These courses allow teachers to further develop their pedagogical knowledge, learn new strategies for student engagement, and broaden their instructional leadership skills. Professional education courses include extensive study of the historical, political and philosophical backgrounds of American education; the structure, culture and curriculum of secondary schools and their diverse students; and the developmental psychology of children and adolescents. These courses and their related field observations serve as the foundation for the seminars in teaching and curriculum development, which not only offer instructional methods but also close examination of the epistemologies and ways of learning that characterize the subject.

Advanced Electives

Next, students engage in 12 hours of advanced electives. You have two specialization options:

Specialization in Instructional Leadership
In our instructional leadership pathway, emphasis is on pedagogy for diverse learners and the development of teachers as leaders.
Specialization in Organizational Leadership
In our organizational leadership pathway, emphasis is on equipping students with transformational leadership skills required of successful education change makers. This pathway includes a state of Texas Principal Certification.

You may choose to take additional professional education courses or courses to support your academic content specialization.

Master of Arts in Teaching for Experienced Teachers Plan of Study (30 credit hours)

Professional Education Courses (18 credit hours)
  • Race, Class, Gender in Education
  • Assessment
  • Teaching Diverse Learners
  • Literacy Across the Curriculum
Instructional Leadership Specialization (12 credit hours)
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
Capstone I and II (6 credit hours)




Organizational Leadership Specialization* (12 credit hours)
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Practicum for Principals I
  • Practicum for Principals II
Professional Education Electives (6 credit hours)

*Includes State of Texas Principal Certification


Educational Research Opportunities

Required professional education courses for the degree will cover important topics in education such as teaching diverse learners, teaching and learning with inquiry, educational technologies and digital learning, literacy across the curriculum, authentic assessments, and instructional leadership. Additionally, teachers will be able to select several elective courses to either deepen their academic content knowledge or further their knowledge of professional education issues. The plan of study culminates with a two-semester capstone experience.

The capstone, in conjunction with other course offerings, aims to deepen the knowledge and practice of our professional teachers in a particular area and to prepare them to serve as educational leaders in a variety of contexts. This two-semester course is a candidate’s demonstration of particular expertise.

Candidates will select a chairperson to help guide them through the preparation of the capstone. Upon completion, the experienced teacher will defend her/his work before an academic committee.


To ensure success in and accessibility of the program experience, sessions are offered in the fall, spring and summer. All required courses for this degree are offered in the evenings, on Saturdays or in a blended format. As students begin their plans of study, they will work closely with their own academic advisor to chart their movement through the program.

Evening courses are offered once per week for 15 weeks. Saturday classes meet in the fall or spring semesters. Additionally, many of our courses utilize the Canvas platform and Blackboard Collaborate, a web conferencing tool, to enhance the face-to-face instruction – allowing for a blended learning environment and greater flexibility in course instruction and delivery.

Each course earns three credit hours towards the 30-hour MAT. The program can be completed in three years if a student takes 6-9 hours each year.

Download Plan of Study Tool


  • Meets the evolving professional needs of practicing teachers: The MAT for experienced teachers is a carefully designed plan of study that allows teachers to further develop their pedagogical knowledge, learn new strategies for student engagement, and broaden their instructional leadership skills.
  • Affordable: Rice University believes in the importance of developing teacher leaders. We are committed to keeping the costs of the Master of Arts in Teaching program for experienced teachers as low as possible. Financial incentives include significantly reduced tuition for all admitted students. Additionally, we offer a limited number of merit-based, partial scholarships to highly qualified students.
  • Flexible schedules: This program is designed for the practicing teacher. Classes are offered every semester – fall, spring, and summer. All of our courses in the fall and spring are offered in the evenings to accommodate working professionals. We also are introducing Saturday courses.
  • Designed for teacher leaders: We seek to develop instructional leaders who continue to grow in their profession; honing their pedagogical skills, encouraging and mentoring their peers, and contributing to the professional development of their educational communities.

We regularly host information sessions on campus and invite you to join us for one at your convenience. Please view our calendar to find a time that works for your schedule. Also, you may request additional information or schedule an appointment to meet with an academic advisor. We welcome the opportunity to visit with you one-on-one to learn about your professional growth goals and discuss how our program will serve your needs.

Schedule an advising appointment or RSVP for an upcoming information session by completing the form below.