Master of Arts in Teaching with PK-4 Certification

Do you have a Bachelors degree?
Do you love working with children?
Marywood University's M.A.T./Pk-4 Certification Program is right for you.

The M.A.T./Pk-4 program is designed for the teaching professional whose goals include initial certification in Early Childhood & Elementary Education and an M.A.T. degree. This program consists of a minimum of 49 hours of graduate work. Students with no education courses may need to take up to 60 semester hours. The courses are divided into four categories:

  • Twenty-four semester hours in professional education courses which are intended to give the student an understanding of foundations of education, special needs youngsters, human growth and development, and the psychology of the teaching/learning process.
  • Twenty-five hours in specialty area courses which provide an understanding of the curriculum taught at the elementary school level.
  • Eight hours in practicum and student teaching, and
  • Six hours in core Master's courses, providing the student the opportunity to integrate theory and practice in both research and learning theory.

These courses are certification requirements for those students seeking both the degree and Pennsylvania Instructional I certification. Eligibility for certification is determined by fulfillment of state requirements.

Students who have a desire to teach young children with special needs may pursue dual certification with special education in addition to grades prekindergarten through 4th education. Dual certification requires substituting special ed courses in place of general early childhood ones, indicated in the course listings below.

Prior to admission to the M.A.T./Pk-4 certification program, all applicants must meet with the Chair of the School of Education or designated faculty member and the Director of Professional Field Experience.

I. Professional Education and Core Courses

EDUC 00_ Field Experience (minimum of 40 clock hours observation and exploration) 0
EDUC 502 Multidisciplinary Foundations of Education 3
EDUC 510* Emergent Literacy: An Interdisciplinary Approach 3
EDUC 561 Methods, Materials and Assessment ESL 3
PSYC 513 Child Development 3
SPED 507 Characteristics of Mildly Impaired 3
SPED 539 Behavior Management Approaches 3
EDUC 005E Practicum (Minimum 150 hours) 1
SPED 511 Curriculum for Special Needs Learners (taken with Student Teaching) 3
EDUC 598B Special Topics in Student Teaching (taken with Student Teaching) 3
EDUC 591 Student Teaching 1.5/1.5
EDUC 501 Research Theory (Required for Degree) 3
EDUC 554          Learning Theories (Required for Degree) 3

II. Concentration

R ED 524 Creative Teaching of Language Arts 4
R ED 526 Teaching Content Area Reading 3
SPED 523 Programming for At-Risk Infant/Preschool 3
EDUC 506 Problems and Issues 3
EDUC 470F Curriculum & Instruction: Mathematics 3
EDUC 470G* Curriculum & Instruction: Science 3
EDUC 470H* Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies 3
EDUC 508* Integrated Curriculum 3
Other courses may be selected with approval of the chairperson

* Not required if dual certification with special education

Option: Dual Certification with Special Education PK-12

Students seeking dual certification in Special Education with the M.A.T. in PK-4 Education complete the following additional coursework:

SPED 500 Special Education Law and Service Delivery 3
SPED 522 Career Education for Students with Disabilities 3
SPED 536 Assessment of Learning  3
EDUC 520 Universal Design for Learning 3
R ED 530 Reading Disabilities and Diagnosis 3
EDUC 411A Effective Instruction Sec/K-12 3

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that certain criteria be met prior to acceptance into certification or degree programs. Program requirements discussed in this section are subject to change based on guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Option: Expand your Certificate to Include Grades 5 and 6

All PreK-4 program completers may add Grades 5 and 6 to their certificate by attaining qualifying scores on the following assessments:

Test Code

Praxis Test Name

Qualifying Score


English Language Arts and Social Studies Subtest



Mathematics and Science Subtest


Candidates may take these assessments during or after completion of their PreK-4 program. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Education cannot grant the Grades 5 and 6 add-on certificate until after the PreK-4 certificate has been awarded.