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Frequently Asked Questions

MAT Elementary Education and
Secondary Education

Who should consider this MAT?

This program is designed for educators who are interested in learning about inquiry education. The focus is how to create educational programs in which teachers and students become independent learners and examine educational issues. The degree is for those interested in elementary or secondary education.

This degree program is designed for busy professionals. This fully online course of study requires that students are independent learners and organized.

How many courses are required for the degree and when will I take these courses?

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is for most teachers a 24-unit program which consists of 8 courses. Though the MAT is technically a 30-unit program, six units of credit are given to educators who have earned graduate credits through their credential program. There are teachers who may need to take 2 additional classes if their credential units are over 7-years old when they finish the MAT or do not have a credential or have not earned graduate credit in their credential program.

This is NOT a credential program; this is a Masters/graduate program only.

Who are the program faculty?

The faculty are internationally and nationally known professors who have published in journals such as Curriculum Studies, Harvard Educational Review, Science and Children, The Social Studies, The Kappan, and many other highly respected academic publications. They have extensive experience in urban, rural, and suburban schools. They have expertise in areas such as Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Philosophy, Disability Studies, Mathematics Education, Language Acquisition, and Multicultural Education. The faculty include Luke Duesbery, Ronald Evans, Scot Danforth, and Valerie Ooka Pang.

I am a full-time teacher. Will I be able to complete this program?

The program is geared toward full-time teachers looking for a high-quality experience. The flexibility of the learning environment, pace of the courses, and length of the program are all constructed to optimize your time to completion.

Do I have to take the GRE?

Yes, the GRE is a system-wide requirement. You need to take the test before you can be admitted to the university and begin the program. Scores from previous years are acceptable. You will need to provide a copy of the scores sent to you by the Educational Testing Service ( or request that they send official GRE scores directly to San Diego State University. The institution number for San Diego State University is 4682. The GRE is now offered on the computer, and there are test administrations regularly. You can take the exam on campus (619-594-0968) or at the Prometric Test Center at 5075 Shoreham Place, Suite 180, San Diego, CA 92122 (858-866-2120). If you took the exam in past years, you may also mail a copy of the scores to the Graduate Admissions Office. To get additional information, you can call 1-800-GRE-CALL or go to their web site at

Are there easier or faster ways to complete my Master of Arts degree in Education?

This is a high quality program and takes 3 semesters to finish, therefore the MAT takes a year to complete. Four courses are offered in the summer when teachers have more time. Two courses are taught in the fall and another two classes are given in the spring. In 3 semesters most teachers will have completed the MAT. We believe that quality takes time.

I am also considering pursuing a MA degree. What are the differences?

The MAT is an applied degree and so does not require the creation of a thesis or large project.

What are tuition costs?

The tuition and fees for instate California residents during the year of 2015-2016 are approximately $10,000 for those who are admitted to the 24-unit program. However, if you need to take the additional 6 units, then your cost will be about $13,000. This does not include the cost of applying to CSU Mentor or the fee for taking the GRE. For more information about cost go to the San Diego State University website at

Am I eligible for financial aid or scholarships?

There are few scholarships for graduate education. We suggest that you contact the College of Education’s Students Services Office at to inquire about opportunities.

What are the major components that are required to graduate from this program?

Students must have access to a computer. They must also complete all assignments. Students must also complete the Comprehensive Examination which is usually given during the last semester of the program.

How do I apply for the program?

Visit the Masters Admissions webpage.