M.A.T. in Alternative Certification: Grades K-5, 5-9 or 8-12

Have you always wanted to be a teacher? Are you looking for a new or second career in teaching? If so, the Alternative Certification program could be the next career path for you!

The desire to make a difference in the lives of children and communities is the most important factor in considering the teaching profession. Candidates for teacher education should be willing to challenge old assumptions, explore new approaches to learning, and work energetically toward a rewarding career.

The College of Education and Human Development offers the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program for individuals who have completed a bachelor's degree in an area other than teacher education. The program is designed to incorporate Kentucky teacher certification requirements within a Master's degree program.

For candidates who have some experience in a school setting and/or working with children and adolescents, the MAT Alternative Certification program may be an option. This program is designed for aspiring teachers with extensive coursework in the content area in which they are seeking certification.

The MAT Alternative Certification program offers the following certification options:

The program allows qualified candidates the opportunity to work in paid, full-time teaching positions through temporary provisional certification in high-need content areas and grade levels, while earning certification and the MAT within a two-year period. Admission occurs once each year, and the program courses start each summer.

Please note: The content area needs of the school districts change annually. But, Secondary Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Middle Grades Science, and Spanish (grades P-12) are typically in demand. In addition, school districts are looking for teachers who are eligible to teach in two content areas at the Middle grades level. Prospective students who are interested in teaching Middle Grades or Secondary Social Studies should consider adding a second content area, or should consider pursuing a traditional route Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree since there is a surplus of certified Social Studies teachers in the local area.

Employment is not required for initial acceptance to this program, but passing PRAXIS II scores in the content area are required (as well as all other MAT admission requirements). Candidates must be employed in a Kentucky accredited school by the start of the school year in order to continue in the program.

MAT Program Benefits

  • CAEP accredited program. For information on program accreditation click here.
  • Student support services in advising, admission and certification
  • First-year students work as a cohort through University coursework
  • Urban mission with focus on social justice and equity
  • Dedicated faculty researchers and practitioners
  • Simultaneous degree and certification
  • Partnership with local school districts
  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Testing support

Helpful Links

Some applicants may be required to complete prerequisite courses. Applicants are required to have a transcript evaluation completed prior to application for admission. To view the prerequisite content requirements, please select the link below. Note that applicants may apply to the program with up to six credit hours of content remaining to complete.

Prerequisite Course Requirements

Applicants who have attended a college or university outside of the United States are also required to submit an evaluation of their transcript through either WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators). Please note that transcript evaluations can sometimes take several weeks.

Candidates to initial teacher certification programs are required to submit credentials supporting their academic ability, creativity and collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills, positive disposition, and commitment to the teaching profession. These credentials include transcripts, writing samples, and letters of recommendation which support the candidate's ability to succeed in a rigorous teacher education program. Competitive candidates will be invited to a formal interview.

This program is open to all eligible candidates regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age.

Candidates for admission should review the following which outline the expectations of the teaching profession:

  1. Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky School Personnel [PDF]
  2. CEHD Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement [PDF]
  3. Character and Fitness Questionnaire [PDF]
  4. Professional Dispositions Rubric [PDF]
  5. Diversity Rubric [PDF]
  6. Effective Written Communication Rubric [PDF]


Questions about the application should be directed to teacher@louisville.edu. Candidates will be notified via e-mail regarding the admission decision no later than six weeks after the application deadline. Applicants who are selected for admission will receive information about a mandatory orientation session.

Application Deadline: April 15th for Summer admission (June start) and October 15th for Spring admission (January start)

Please note: If the application deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, we will accept the admission portfolio on the Monday after the deadline by 5:00 p.m.

Admission Criteria

Candidates who meet the following criteria may be eligible to apply to the Master of Arts in Teaching, Alternative Certification program. Candidates considering application to the MAT program should contact the MAT admissions counselor (teacher@louisville.edu) prior to applying for admission. Admission is competitive. Candidates who meet minimum academic requirements are not guaranteed admission to the program.

  1. Application to Graduate School/MAT Program. This should be completed three to four weeks prior to the application deadline.
  2. Praxis II Content Exam(s)
  3. Bachelor's Degree from Accredited College or University with a Minimum 2.75 Grade Point Average (official transcripts required)
  4. Prerequisite Course Requirements – Applicants may apply to the program with up to six credit hours of content remaining to complete.
  5. Oral Communication Proficiency
  6. Written Communication Proficiency
  7. TOEFL
  8. Professional Writing Requirements
  9. Letters of Recommendation
  10. Experience working with diverse groups of children/adolescents

Contact Us

Candidates considering application to the MAT program should contact the MAT admissions counselor (teacher@louisville.edu) BEFORE applying to the teacher education program.

For further information please contact stefanie.wootenburnett@louisville.edu

Department Contact

Stefanie Wooten-Burnett
College of Education and Human Development
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Department email: midscnd@louisville.edu

General Information

For general information on financial aid resources, please visit the University of Louisville's Student Financial Aid office. The College of Education and Human Development has it's own web page dedicated to financial aid that contains some extra information not listed here.

College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) Scholarship

The CEHD has a long history of offering scholarships to prospective and current students pursuing an education degree program. The CEHD provides over $225,000 annually and selects recipients three times per year. Scholarship selection is competitive and applies to tuition only. Apply online for a CEHD Scholarship before the deadline (April 15th, June 1st and/or October 15th). Applicants should expect notification in four to five weeks after the posted deadline.


Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides up to $4,000 per year to those who intend to teach in a public or private school that serves students from low-income families. Teachers must be certified in a high-need field. (Amount is pro-rated based on part-time or full-time status up to a maximum of $8,000 for graduate students.)

Applicants must complete the FAFSA (although financial need is not required) and be admitted to a teacher certification program. Applicants must score above the 75th percentile on a college admission test or maintain a cumulative gpa of 3.25 for eligibility.

Recipients must teach for a minimum of four years within eight calendar years of completing the teacher certification program. Those who fail to complete the service obligation must re-pay the loan, with interest charged form the first date of disbursement.