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Frequently Asked Questions

Summer MAT in for K-12 Language Arts Concentration

Who Should Apply for the Summer MAT in Language Arts?

If you are interested in completing a Master’s degree but can’t imagine how you can do this while teaching full time, this is the program for you. The Masters of Arts in Teaching
K- 12 Language Arts Concentration which can be completed in three summers is designed to accommodate busy elementary, middle, and secondary teachers wanting to spend a few weeks each summer learning new ideas to take back to the classroom.

What Makes This Program Different From Others?

In addition to a summer-only schedule, which is friendly for busy teachers, the weeklong Reading and Language Arts conference is unique! For more than 35 years, this conference has drawn national speakers to discuss current issues in children's and adolescent literacy. The conference is a course and runs from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. for one week in late June. Other courses do not meet during this week. 

What Are the Specifics I Should Know?

This two summer, 30 unit degree program includes attending a conference at SDSU each summer. The speakers at the conference are international experts in literacy who discuss state of the art instructional strategies in literacy. Each summer you will take 3 additional courses in literacy theory, research and practice that result in effective instruction. This summer program is designed to meet the schedules of traditional and year round teachers because the courses meet in the afternoon during the months of late May and June.

Is this a MAT program for K-12 teachers?

Yes, the courses in this program address instructional issues that occur in grades K-12.

What is the focus of this MAT program?
This MAT program focuses on instructional issues in all of the curriculum areas. A special emphasis relates to literacy issues in each of the disciplines.


I am a secondary teacher. Is this program also for me?

Yes! While many participants are in elementary school, the degree is for either elementary or secondary curriculum and instruction. Each year, your instructors make sure that your needs as an adolescent educator are addressed.

Can I transfer in units from my credential program or another university?

If you have completed a post-baccalaureate credential program within the past 4 years (at the time you plan to start the Summer-only MAT) then we may be able to use up to 6 units of your credential work towards your Master’s.  If you completed your credential program at an undergraduate level or more than 4 years ago then you will have to take 6 additional graduate level units to complete the MAT. These courses are not scheduled into the three summers.

How many weeks do I have to attend summer school?

Students in the Summer MAT attend classes for a 6-week period, usually from the end of May to the end of June each summer.  Courses are scheduled on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursdays with an occasional Tuesday night class (for Reading Conference meetings).

What are the class times?

The conference which you will take each summer meets for one week (M-F) from 9-4, and a Tuesday from 4-6 p.m., Each summer you will also take back-to-back classes from 4-6:30 p.m. and from 7-9:30 p.m. on class nights.  

What are the Courses?

First Summer

TE 638, Reading Conference, 3 units
TE 600, Curriculum Development in Education, 3 units
TE 677 Research Based Pedagogy for Diverse Learners, 3 units (taught online)
TE 693 Measuring & Assessing Student Achievement, 3 units

Second Summer

TE 638, Reading Conference, 3 units
TE 530, Children’s Literature, 3 units
TE 630, Seminar in Literacy & Lang Arts, 3 units (taught online)
TE 779, Action Research in K- 12 Learning Environments, 3 unit

Can I be a student in this program if I’m a year round teacher?

Yes, because the only course that meets during the school day is the Literacy Conference. Year-round teachers are welcome! We record all the sessions for you, and you simply watch them at home or on your computer. It's the next best thing to being there. 

Do I have to take a comprehensive exam?

Yes, there is a comprehensive exam taken at the completion of the 2nd year. The questions are based totally on the instruction you receive during the three year program. The pass rate is 99% on the first try.

Do I need teaching experience before applying?

No, you only need a teaching credential. Students who have successfully completed their credential program are welcome.

Is a California teaching credential required?

No! Every year we have students from many states who spend part of each summer in San Diego.

If I don’t live in San Diego where can I stay during each summer?

SDSU housing is not available for summer MAT students, so it is left to individuals to make their own arrangements. There are many affordable hotels and motels near the campus, and some of our out-of-state students stay in these facilities. Others make private arrangements with friends and families.

Are courses offered online?

Starting 2018 one course each summer will be offered as an online course.  Other courses are hybrid courses that have an online component. These online events usually take the place of a face-to-face meeting.

Must I attend for three consecutive summers?
While it is recommended that you complete the program in 2 summers, it is not mandatory.


What score do I need on the GRE?

There is no minimum score required for the GRE.

When must I complete the GRE?

The exam must be taken before applying to the MAT program in early March. We must have scores by April 1st.


Do I have to write a thesis?
No thesis is required for this program.


Is financial aid available?

Please contact the office of the SDSU Office of Financial Aid 619-594-6323.

Who should I contact for more information?

For more information contact:


How Do I Apply?

Applying is a 4 Step Process

Step 1. Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

To register for the exam, please call Thomson Prometric Testing Service at 858-866-2120 or the SDSU Test Office at 619-594-0968.  You can also go online at  The exam is offered Monday-Saturday.

Step 2. Apply to the University

Apply to SDSU as a graduate student at and pay the $70 application fee.  When completing this application please apply for Fall semester, choose the Major “Teaching: Language Arts Education” (331953), and your degree objective as "Other Master's." There is not a separate Summer application.

You will also include your writing statement and letter of recommendation in this application so there is only 1 application to complete when applying to this program. 

Step 3. Submit transcripts and test scores to the University

If you are new to SDSU, then we will need an official transcript from previous schools attended.  If you have recently been an SDSU student, your transcripts are probably on file.  Please have your GRE scores electronically submitted to SDSU.