MAT vs MEd – What is the Difference?

A graduate degree is a fantastic way to further your teaching career. A post graduate degree can mean a higher salary, a potential for specialized work, and the opportunity to be recognized as an expert in the educational field. There are two main graduate-level degrees focused on education – one is the Master of Arts in Teaching, the other the Master of Education degree, or the M.Ed.

Master’s Degree in Teaching

The MAT is a degree that focuses on the development and improvement of your teaching career. This is the perfect path for those who are looking to become better teachers, develop their careers to include the latest teaching theories and methods, and potentially change teaching tracks from teaching elementary and high school to teaching at a community college. Actual course work for this degree focuses on one on one interaction with students and how new educational models play out in hands on situations. It is higher education teacher training for teachers – methods, concepts, philosophies, and styles that all meant to create a solid foundation for a long career in education.

Master’s Degree in Education

An M.Ed. is a slightly different graduate degree. It is focused more for those looking to move beyond the classroom and study the education system itself. Teachers can continue teaching while pursuing a master’s of education degree, but earning that degree can create more job opportunities or a more focused, specialized career path. Those who earn an M.Ed. often go on to work in educational administration, becoming a principal or higher level administrator within a school district. High school principals can make close to $90,000 a year; more or less depending on the area and district. Others who earn an M.Ed. can become guidance or career counselors at high school and college levels, as well as move on to writing and creating curriculum for organizations who focus on getting their textbooks and materials adopted into secondary schools, colleges, and universities as standard for coursework. Classwork for this degree program usually consists of a combination of important educational points like public service, scholarship, and educational law.

Both degree options are great for students and professionals who are serious about careers in education. Whether you want to grow relationships with students in a classroom setting and encourage their learning from across the desk or help to create good policy or curriculum that can shape education as a whole, an advanced degree in education the right step.

Online Master of Arts in Teaching Programs

Liberty University Liberty University is one of the largest private, non-profit schools in the country with over 100,000 students enrolled. Liberty offers a wide variety of MAT degrees for students to choose from, including Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education. Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Grand Canyon University Grand Canyon University’s Master’s in Education degrees are unique in that they lead to teaching certification in many cases. Students can pursue an MEd degree in Special Education, Elementary Education, and Secondary Education or work towards their MAT in Teacher Leadership. GCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
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Purdue University Purdue University has two programs available for students wanting to advance their teaching careers beyond a bachelor’s degree. The MAT is designed for students wanting to teach middle school and high school classes while the MS in Higher Education is more geared towards students wanting to teach in a college setting and who already have experience in the field.
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University of Southern California Many students seeking MAT degrees specifically make the University of Southern California their school of choice. USC offers many online MAT programs including a general program as well as specializations in areas like Secondary Math, English, and Social Science. USC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
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Northcentral University If you already have your teaching licensure, Northcentral University can provide a convenient way to further your career. NCU offers several MEd programs in various areas, like Special Education or General Education that can be completed entirely online within just a year if enrolled full-time. NCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
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Saint Joseph’s University Students who want smaller classrooms and more attention from their professors should consider Saint Joseph’s University. The smaller school offers two masater degrees in education, one of which is the MS in Secondary Education. This program allows students to spend most of their time in online classrooms, but do require time as a student teacher for full licensure.
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