Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Please check our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). When we notice patterns of inquiry, we do our best to address the issue in our FAQ

What is the nature of your question?


I’m not sure if my undergraduate coursework meets the necessary requirements for admission. Can someone review my transcript?

Yes, you can email your transcript to and it will be forwarded to the appropriate faculty director of your discipline for review.
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Do all three of my recommendations need to come from professors?

At least one recommendation from a professor is required. Others can be written by an education‐related supervisor, an employer or someone who can speak to your experience working with children or adolescents.

Do you require a minimum score on the GREs?

Required GRE scores are 152 Verbal, 152 Quantitative, 3.5 Analytical. Applicants who do not meet the minimum scores will be evaluated on the strengths of their overall academic record.

What is the average GPA?

Applicants are admitted into the program with a range of GPAs, but typically have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

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How competitive is admission to the MAT program?

The program is intentionally small and the number of candidates who apply to our program varies from year to year.

Do I need to have an interview?

Once applicants have submitted an application, selected applicants will be invited to interview with the appropriate faculty director. While in-person interviews are preferred, it is possible to arrange Skype or phone interviews. Interviews are generally held in January following the application deadline.

How long should my personal statement be?

Your personal statement should not exceed 2 single-spaced typewritten pages.
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Do I need to submit a writing sample?

If you are applying to the English MAT program, a writing sample is required. It should be an academic paper or section of a paper and should not exceed 5 double-spaced typewritten pages.

Do I need to have prior teaching experience?

While no prior teaching experience is required for admission, experience working with students is strongly encouraged.

What if I have taught before? Is this program suitable for me? Can I be exempt from student teaching?

Applicants with prior teaching experience offer a welcomed perspective. Several candidates have entered our program with teaching experience ranging from one to several years. However, due to the design of our unique program, no one can be exempt from student teaching as it relates to the methods courses and other coursework integral to the program.
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Do I need to have completed undergraduate coursework in education?

For admission to the elementary program, applicants must complete one course in child development and one course in multicultural perspectives as related to education (or demonstrated equivalent experience). You can complete these courses up until the start of the program in June.
For admission to the secondary program, no prior coursework in education is necessary.

Can I expect to receive financial aid?

Financial aid is awarded on the basis of past performance, evidence of potential success in the program, and financial need. Any applicant requesting aid must complete a FAFSA and a Brown MAT Financial Aid application.

Brown assistance can come in the form of tuition scholarship funding which may cover the cost of one to several courses and/or federal loans. For specific information about Brown graduate assistance, please visit the "support" section of the Graduate School website. For Federal loan application and eligibility, please visit the Graduate Student link off the Brown University Office of Financial Aid website.
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Can I contact current or former MAT students?

Please contact and someone will be able to put you in contact with current MATs or graduates.

Is it possible to obtain teacher certification and not a Master's degree?

Due to the intentional design of our program, candidates concurrently earn teacher certification and a Master’s degree. It is not possible only to obtain teacher certification.
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Admissions (Elementary Only)

What is the purpose of the child development requirement?

The purpose of this prerequisite is to make sure that you have some understanding of developmental issues in children’s thinking, emotional development and learning.

Child Development: A psychology course that includes the study of development and children’s learning is sufficient for this requirement. If you have not completed such a course, one option is to complete an online course through Universal Class that will fulfill this requirement.

What is the purpose of the multicultural requirement?

The purpose of this prerequisite is to make sure you are prepared for the exploration of teaching students from a variety of diverse ethnic, racial, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. We will spend time on these issues throughout the MAT year but we want to ensure a modest background in diversity issues before you get here. Courses that you might look for to cover this area might be in education, psychology, urban studies, comparative literature or sociology as long as they look at the topics through a cultural lens. How do various groups of people describe their experience of US society? What values do different groups bring with them to the school door? How might they be different from yours or from the mainstream set of values that suffuse our public institutions?
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How can I find out if I have completed the child development and/or multicultural requirements?

Child Development and Multicultural Requirements: You can email a copy of your transcript to to determine whether or not your course background and experiences meet these requirements.

What kinds of experience fulfill the multicultural requirement?

Relevant experience in this area might include having worked with a different population in their country of origin, or engaged in multicultural awareness activities as part of some other work or study experience you had. Speaking another language and having lived in a foreign culture is also a good foundation experience. Clearly, it is impossible to know everything about every individual student or group of students you will encounter, so we are more concerned that the awareness of difference is in place and that you have some elementary tools to begin to explore differences non-judgmentally.
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If I haven’t fulfilled the child development and/or multicultural requirements, what do I need to do?

You can take course(s) at a college or university, a community college, or an on-line course. They can each be less than a full credit course and need to be completed prior to the start of the MAT program in June. Before you sign up for a course, you may contact the Director of Elementary Education to determine if it will satisfy the requirement.

The Program

How long is the program? Can I begin in the fall?

Our one-year Master’s degree program begins in mid-June and ends in May. All candidates must complete the 12-month sequence; therefore, it is not possible to begin the program in the fall or at any other time during the year.

How many students are in the program?

While the number of students varies from year to year, the average total is approximately 45 students. Each discipline (elementary, English, history/social studies, science) generally has 12-15 students, with science typically having fewer.
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Can I work while I am a student in the MAT program?

Since our program is a full-time one-year Master’s program, it is not possible for you to hold a full-time job while you are enrolled as a student. Part-time work is not feasible for elementary candidates due to the intensity of the program. For secondary candidates, a few individuals have held part-time positions during their academic semester; however, it is not possible to work part-time during your student teaching semester.

Where do students live while in the program?

Most students tend to live in off-campus apartments near the university. Some even share apartments with other MATs or graduate students. Another option is for students to live on campus in graduate housing. Commuting from the surrounding area is also a possibility.
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Student Teaching

Where does the MAT program place its student teachers?

Student teachers are placed in a wide range of settings including urban, suburban, public, private, charter and alternative schools. The majority of student teachers are placed in Providence Public Schools.

For the elementary program, how is the decision made as to where I will be placed?

While your input is taken into consideration, you ultimately will be placed in a variety of settings during the course of the year. This is to offer you a wide range of experiences, in different grade levels since you ultimately will get certified in grades 1-6.

For the secondary program, how is the decision made as to which semester I will student teach?

Approximately half of the MATs student teach in the fall semester and the other half in the spring semester. Factors such as prior teaching experience, required course availability, and the pairing of MATs and mentor teachers may influence this decision.
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Who supervises student teachers?

The Teacher Education faculty supervises all student teachers. Both the director of elementary education and the elementary program coordinator supervise elementary MATs. Secondary MATs are supervised by their respective faculty directors.


Will I be eligible to teach in other states than Rhode Island following graduation?

Yes. Graduates are eligible for certification in other states through reciprocity based upon agreements in the Interstate Certification Agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). Graduates of the program may be eligible for teacher certification by transcript evaluation in the states that are not part of the Interstate Certification Agreement. View the list of states that are part of this agreement.

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