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Master of Arts in Teaching for New Teachers

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a 30-hour, nonthesis graduate degree program.

The Master of Arts in Teaching for new teachers is designed to prepare the recent college graduate and career changer for the teaching profession. All our students enter the classroom with cutting edge, practiced, teaching skills through an individualized field-based experience.

Training begins in the summer with two courses that introduce lesson planning, delivery and assessment. These skills are practiced in the fall and spring semesters working side-by-side with a cooperating teacher and field supervisor at a partner school.

The school year ends with new teachers ready to use the student-centered approach and proven specific content teaching strategies during the first year of full-time teaching. The support from Rice faculty and field supervisors include classroom observations, individualized advising and guidance for the new teacher’s leadership growth in the classroom and school campus.

One hundred percent of our students receive job offers at the end of the program from public schools and certified private schools. We have recruiting days on campus for school districts and private schools to meet and interview our students. We provide guidance to our students towards schools that match well with their given skill sets to ensure success.

“As one of few Latina teachers, Rice taught me to model to students, and especially students of color, what it takes to navigate the world when they leave school; to equip them with the tools necessary to problem solve, inquire about the world around them, and ultimately find success, no matter what challenges they face.” Natasha Cruz

“Rice helped me to see what student-centered learning is about and the ways it can be used in the classroom and the importance of students driving their own learning. I see so much more participation and interest when students are driving their own learning.” Grace Magnani

“The program provides a lot of support. My field supervisor gave me very valuable feedback to adjust my instructional practices.” Stephanie Teague


The program is designed for students holding bachelor’s degrees who are interested in pursuing graduate study in education while preparing for teacher certification at the secondary level.

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 which reflect a minimum of 24 hours of content area courses in your selected teaching field
  • Three letters of reference accompanied by the forms provided in the application packet (minimum of two references must be academic)
  • Overall 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA in content area
  • Demonstrated content knowledge
    • 24 credit hours in content area, or
    • Minimum 12 credit hours in content area (15 for math and science) and passing scores on the  Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT)
  • $85.00 application fee


In addition to the above-mentioned criteria, applicants will be required to participate in an interview conducted by members of the program faculty and staff.

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.

The Education Program welcomes students transferring from accredited institutions of higher education.

Information for Military Veteran Applicants

You may find information about veteran benefits, credit transfers, and application process here.

Information for Transfer Applicants

Six credit hours may transfer from another Institution of Higher Education (IHE) that specifically correlate with the Rice University Education (EDUC) courses. The transferring courses must demonstrate an alignment to the Teaching Standards in 19 TAC, Chapter 149.  

A candidate transferring from another IHE as an undergraduate student must complete at least 24 credit hours of a 30 credit hour coursework program in the Rice University Education Department.   The Department does not offer an undergraduate degree in Education; therefore, candidates must major in the area they want to teach.  To be admitted to the program, candidates must have completed 12 credit hours in their content area, 15 credit hours for math and science.

Graduate students transferring from another IHE must complete at least 30 credit hours of a 36-hour coursework program and must have 24 credit hours in the content area or 12 credit hours in the content area, 15 for math and science, and passing scores on the Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT).

Candidates transferring into the Rice University Education Department from an alternative certification program must complete 30 credit hours of a 30 credit hour coursework program.  Clock hours from an Alternative Certification Program are not accepted for a graduate degree at Rice University.

If a transfer candidate has a bachelor’s degree and has 12 hours of content in a teaching certificate that the program offers or 15 hours of math or science content, then a passing score on the PACT is required prior to admission into the Rice University Education Department.

If a candidate has taken and passed the content and Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility exams those scores are transferable.  Field-based experience from another educational preparation program is not transferable for the required Education Department’s field-based experience work in the semester or the year prior to the clinical practicum or internship year.

Rice University is committed to keeping the costs of the Master of Arts in Teaching program for new teachers as low as possible to attract the most qualified people to teach in Houston- area public schools. Incentives include significantly reduced tuition for all admitted students, financial aid and program tuition aid. The tuition for full-time graduate students entering in the 2020-21 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.). All students are required to maintain continuous enrollment unless an official leave of absence has been granted.

Fees include but are not limited to:

  • Student services fee: $52 per person
  • Parking fee: $70-$240 per year; varies depending on the parking permit selected
  • Graduate Student Association fee: $22 per session (no more than $42 per year)
  • In addition, all graduate students are required to have health insurance

Additional information regarding tuition and fees can be found on the Cashier's website.

For complete information about Rice University tuition visit


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. Currently, there are two scholarship options available to participants:

  • the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers, and
  • the MAT Teaching Fellow program.
Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers
The Rice teacher preparation program has been recognized by the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation as an exemplar teacher prep program in the state. This honor allows our students (Texas residents) who are pursuing teacher certification to apply for the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers. If selected by the foundation, fellows will receive a scholarship of $8000 per year for up to four years, as well as ongoing training and development opportunities, mentorship from sitting public school educators, and involvement in a statewide aspiring teachers network facilitated by Raise Your Hand.
Teaching Fellow 
New MAT Teaching Fellows plan to enter the classroom with pedagogical skills that help create a culture of learning by engaging diverse learners in inquiry-based learning, They want to develop literacy and assessment skills that meet the need of the students they will teach. These Teaching Fellows see their potential to become instructional leaders.
We are offering a select number of scholarships for our new MAT program that will reduce tuition to a minimum 50 percent of our normal per course tuition rate of $2,800 for each course.
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation that support your qualifications to be an instructional leader
  • A signed letter confirming your intention to work in a high needs school for 3 years
  • A focused interview with the New MAT Leadership Team
  • An essay on your specific leadership skills: Write about ways you have shown leadership in your life. Describe a successful experience that you led with a group. Offer an example that shows you could be a good teacher coach. Include ways you have helped to solve problems in a job, in special activities, in an organization. Finally, describe your vision for an ideal school campus and the way you would help facilitate that vision. Include any experiences that show you are a change agent.
Please submit your Teaching Fellow Letter of Recommendation (on school stationery) and Essay to with a cover letter identifying yourself and your intent to apply for a Teaching Fellow scholarship.

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. 

Living and Housing Costs

Houston has a reasonable cost of living for a major city. The Graduate Apartments, which opened in the summer of 1999, offers housing at moderate cost and is close to campus. Also available as housing options exclusively to Rice graduate students are the Morningside Square Apartments and the Rice Village Apartments. Visit the Graduate Student Association website for information regarding other housing options.


Professional Education Courses

The course 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.

Field-based Experience

Next, students engage in a two-semester, pre-service field-based experience. In the fall semester, students engage in Curriculum Development and Content Specific Theory and Methods. In the spring semester, students complete a field-based practicum in a Houston-area public school. Teacher candidates receive a support team of a field supervisor and a cooperating teacher to guide them through this year-long experience. Students will have extensive opportunities to hone their pedagogy skills during this experience.

Teaching Internship

Finally, the plan of study culminates with the teaching internship in a Houston area school. During the internship year, the student is teaching on a State of Texas probationary certificate as a full-time, salaried teacher (teacher of record) in the area and at the level of the certification being sought. The intern participates in a year-long seminar course at the University and receives extensive support from both a field supervisor and a mentor teacher throughout his/her entire first year of teaching. As part of the Seminar for First Year Teachers, all students are required to create a digital professional portfolio. The portfolio represents the culmination of experiences, chronicles the student’s growth in attaining the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful as a new teacher, and it reflects the students’ understanding of teaching and learning. A teaching internship requires a full school year at an accredited public school or other school approved by Texas Education Agency (TEA). The Education Program will approve the standard certificate after a successful internship experience and written recommendation from the field supervisor and school administrator. 

Certification Requirements for a Texas Secondary Certificate

Our graduate degree requires a teaching internship and eligibility for state certification, both of which are contingent on a student having eligibility to work in the United States. Standard certification can only be recommended after the intern has completed one full year of teaching with students. 

Download Plan of Study Tool

Calendar of Progression from Application to Standard Teacher Certification

Candidates interested in the Education Program will follow the process from application to admission and teacher preparation that will generate questions, develop learning strategies, and foster a similar development in students. 

Learn More

For those seeking a career change and who are interested in pursuing graduate study in education, the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) for New Teachers is the preferred route. This program fulfills all requirements for a Texas Standard Teaching Certificate at the secondary level. Coursework includes professional education courses, advanced content coursework, and extensive field experiences that pave the way for a fulfilling, new career in education. STEM professionals who enter the program will have opportunities for credit courses and professional development through the Rice University K-12 Initiatives. Please schedule an advising appointment to discuss your individualized plan of study.

Schedule Advising Appointment

  • Extensive field experiences: Each professional education course incorporates field-based experiences into its curriculum to facilitate they synthesis of theory and practice.
  • Exceptional support: Teacher candidates receive a support team of a field supervisor, a mentor and a cooperating teacher for multiple semesters of observation and teaching experiences.
  • 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.
  • 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.