In the U.S., all public school teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree. The Masters in Teaching, sometimes called an MAT, is a secondary degree that teachers earn in order to improve their skills and place higher on the pay scale. Courses often center around the art or philosophy of teaching and include more actual field experience.
Details of the University of Southern California (USC) Masters in Teaching Degree Program
In the state of California K-12 educators are required to complete a bachelor’s degree in a field of their choice. This is followed by a one-year certificate program which earns them a teaching credential. Because completion of a credential program takes at least a year and a traditional masters degree only takes about two years, many students choose to pursue a combined masters in teaching and credential program at the same time.
The education department at USC offers seven masters degree programs including the master of arts in teaching. The University of Southern California (USC) Masters in Teaching is a combination program that awards students a simultaneous masters degree and teaching credential after successful completion of the program. The credential is either ‘single subject’ and used to teach grades 7-12 or ‘multiple subject’ and used to teach grades K-6.
The University of Southern California (USC) Masters in Teaching program is unique in offering one of the few online teaching credential programs. Students in this program do their coursework over the Internet and learn on-the-ground teaching skills by working with a nearby school. Students from out of state are welcome, but credential requirements vary by state and may or may not be met by the completion of this program. Both the on-campus and off-campus programs are accelerated and can be completed in 13-15 full-time months.
In both the online and on-campus degree programs, students spend their first two terms taking courses on education such as Theories of Learning, Literacy Development and more. In the third and fourth terms, students take two courses and one section of guided practice, where they work under an established teacher at a local school. The multiple subject program always takes four terms to complete, but the single subject degree-only program without a credential can be completed in three.
University of Southern California (USC) Masters in Teaching Program Tuition Costs and Requirements
Because the program can be completed with or without a credential, as a part-time or full-time student and in an online or on-campus format, there are several different tuition options. The online program costs roughly $45,000-$49,000, and the on-campus program costs about $41,000-$60,000. Most students take out loans, although there are also scholarships and loan forgiveness programs for teachers in certain school districts or subjects.
Admission to the program is competitive and requires at least a bachelor’s degree. The degree may be in any subject for students seeking a multiple subject credential, but must include at least three units from each of English, math, science and social studies. Applicants applying for a single subject credential must have at least 12 units in their basic area of study and those with a degree in the field are preferred. The music credential program requires a degree in music and an audition.
On-campus applicants are not required but are recommended to have completed the CBEST and CSET. All students will be required to take and pass these exams before they begin guided practice. Two letters of recommendation and an essay are also required for admission to the University of Southern California (USC) Masters in Teaching program.