Curriculum and Credential

USC students traveling along Trousdale Parkway

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) curriculum meets Credential Program Standards and Teacher Performance Expectations set by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). The MAT program will equip you with relevant learning theories, understanding of how to apply these theories in the classroom, and opportunities to master the skills necessary to improve student outcomes.

As one of the world’s premier centers for the study of educational equity in urban settings, USC Rossier’s emphasis on high needs schools prepares educators to address complex education and social issues in any environment.

Curriculum Overview

  • Gain in-depth knowledge in sociological and psychological theories and their application in the K-12 classroom
  • Learn frameworks for differentiating instruction for all learners, especially those with learning disabilities
  • Understand instructional strategies to teach linguistically and ethnically diverse students
  • Learn language and literacy theories that inform national and global education reform efforts
  • Become familiar with learning theories for designing curriculum, teaching, and assessing learning
  • Understand the role of school, classroom, and community social context in teaching and learning
  • Blend instructional technology into powerful learning experiences for K-12 learners
  • Apply state content standards (including Common Core State Standards if applicable in your state)
  • Utilize language and literacy theories to accommodate language learning styles/needs
  • Master applications of theories and instructional methods in collaboration with experienced guiding teachers in a real classroom
  • Master subject-matter-specific pedagogies
  • Use a video-based practice model and receive feedback from peers and mentors to improve mastery

Credential Concentrations

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program’s rigorous curriculum is fully integrated with preparation for a Preliminary California Teaching Credential . Concentrations in the MAT program are designed to allow you to focus your study on the content area of your choice. Concentration options include:

Multiple Subjects (Elementary) Specialize in elementary school education with foundational coursework across a range of subject areas
Single Subject English (Secondary) Specialize in teaching English in a middle or high school classroom.
Single Subject Math (Secondary) Specialize in teaching Math in a middle or high school classroom.
Single Subject Science (Secondary) Specialize in teaching Science in teaching a middle or high school classroom.
Single Subject Social Science (Secondary) Specialize in teaching Social Science in a middle or high school classroom.

Credential Recommendation1

Upon completion of the program and credential requirements, USC Rossier recommends qualified candidates to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for a teaching credential. If you plan to pursue a credential in another state, become familiar with the specific requirements in your state of interest.

Supplemental Certifications

You may optionally pursue the California Education Specialist Credential, California Bilingual Authorization for Spanish, or Gifted Education Certificate as part of your MAT course of study. Learn more about our Supplemental Certifications.

1 The MAT degree is an academic credential and does not in itself constitute a teaching license. Graduates of the MAT program are eligible to take the California teacher licensing examination and will receive a California Level I Preliminary Credential upon passing the examination. Regardless of the state in which students are seeking their credential, students are required to satisfy the California-based program requirements of the USC MAT Program by successfully passing the EdTPA during the student teaching course.