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Master of Arts in Teaching FAQ

Can I become certified in arts education or elementary education through Empire State University’s MAT program?

No. SUNY Empire’s MAT program leads to middle school or adolescence certification only in the core subject areas of Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, English, Spanish, Social Studies, or Agricultural Education.

Can I take graduate courses without enrolling in the MAT program that would count toward teacher certification in New York state?

Yes. If you are a teacher seeking professional development or a motivated adult seeking certification outside a traditional program, consider taking our online and blended courses as a nonmatriculated student.

What if I don’t already have a bachelor’s degree in the subject I want to teach? Can I complete the required content course work while I’m enrolled in the MAT program?

To be admitted to this program, you must have a bachelor's degree and 30 credit hours in the subject area. In addition, at least 6 of your content credits must be at the advanced level. The social studies content core has specific requirements for its 30 credits. If you don’t already have this background, you will need to complete further course work at SUNY Empire or elsewhere before you apply to this program.

Can I transfer in graduate credits from another college?

You may be able to transfer in credits from a graduate-level course if the title and content are considered equivalent to the SUNY Empire MAT course. For more information, please see the Graduate transfer credit info.

I’m interested in the Transitional B certification pathway. Does the program find a qualifying teaching position for me?

No, since Transitional B certification requires employment as a teacher of record, the college cannot place you in qualifying position.  You will apply for teaching positions, which can include part-time and long-term substitute positions, directly through the school or district.  The MAT program can provide you with a letter confirming your matriculation in the program and giving an overview of Transitional B certification.

Where can I find out information about available teaching positions?

The New York State School Boards Association’s 2017 report “Teacher Shortage? What Teacher Shortage?” provides an overview of teacher shortage patterns across the state, both in terms of geographic region and content area ( Please contact your local school districts for additional information about teacher openings in your region.