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Master of Arts in Teaching

Sharing your passion, inspiring others, making a difference, doing things differently, changing the future of education ... it’s all rewarding.

Most of our students want to advance their career or make an impact. If you want to do the same, you’ll fit right in!

We know what our students need and we deliver. You can expect excellent customer service mat@simpson.edu or 515-309-3099

Earn your advanced degree while working full-time.

Be Driven

The classes in the Master of Arts in Teaching and Transition to Teaching programs prepare you to make a difference in your future students’ lives ... and in yours.  

Class highlights include:

  • Learning how to guide your instructional decision-making with student data and professional research.
  • Gaining vital insights with an emphasis on the “whys” of the assessment, planning, teaching and evaluation sequence process. 
  • Creating an environment that encourages positive social interaction and engaged student learning.

Research, Theory & Practice

A comprehensive education for future educators

You’ll examine all aspects of American public education and participate in student teaching in real classrooms to gain a greater understanding of your role as a teacher. MAT candidates will earn at least 42 credit hours and complete student teaching field work; Transition to Teaching students will earn at least 38 credit hours.

  • Evening classes in Indianola and West Des Moines
  • Two years to complete the Masters of Arts in teaching
  • Classes taught by professors with real-world experience
  • Earn a licensure to teach 5th to 12th grades

How long does the program take to complete?

In the MAT program you will earn at least 42 graduate credits. The program will take candidates two years to complete, plus the summer semester following licensure completion for student teaching.

Concurrent with coursework, there are 80 clock hours of daytime classroom fieldwork which allow candidates hands-on experiential learning. Please note if you need to satisfy classes for your endorsement area, this could lengthen the time needed to complete the program. We recommend that you have at least 75 percent of your endorsement area coursework completed before beginning the graduate education core.

Can I work while pursuing my MAT?

Yes: While you are completing the coursework, you will be able to maintain a full-time job. The classes for the graduate education core are offered at night. While there are times during some semesters that you will need to be available during the day to participate in classroom observations (10 hours in the first fall semester; 40 hours in the first spring semester and 30 hours in the second fall semester), past candidates have not had any problem in fulfilling these practicum by taking time off of work to satisfy these requirements.

And no: You will be student teaching in the spring semester of year two of the program. This is the time when you will be teaching during the regular school day, under the guidance of a mentor teacher. You will be committing to a classroom to teach the entire semester (15 weeks). Because of this commitment, you will not be able to maintain a full-time job during the day. However, some candidates do choose to continue to work in the evenings and on the weekends.

Where can I take classes?

Most of the graduate education core coursework is taught on the Indianola campus of Simpson College. A few classes are also available on the West Des Moines campus. Coursework that may be needed to satisfy the endorsement area is offered at either of these campuses or online.

When are classes?

Graduate core education courses are held in the evening. Courses meet one night a week over the entire semester. If there is more than one education class required in a semester, we try to schedule them to be held on the same evenings. The schedule is designed so that if you need to satisfy additional coursework for your endorsement area, you will be able to do so conveniently. You'll work one-on-one with your academic advisor to make sure that you are taking the classes that you need to in the ideal time frame.
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When do these programs start?

New cohorts for the MAT program begin once a year in the fall.


Always Wanted to be a teacher?

If you’ve always wanted to be a teacher, there is no better time to pursue your passion. There is a growing demand for teachers meaning an increased opportunity to make an impact on the lives of children.

Top 8 Reason to be a Teacher


  • Tuition: $555/credit hour
  • Technology: $7/credit hour
  • Matriculation fee: $125 (one time)

Did you know graduate students are eligible for federal aid? 

Our financial aid experts can guide you through the financial aid process.

EDUC 500: Foundations of Education
An introduction to public education and to the profession of teaching. By examining the historical, philosophical, and sociological aspects of American public education, the course leads graduate students through a reflective critique of our current educational system and its significance to our society. In addition, the course focuses on the needs and problems of pubescents and adolescents within the school setting. Students are introduced to the use of student data and professional research to guide instructional decision-making. There is a ten-hour field experience requirement. Orientations to the Teacher Education Program and the ePortfolio are included in this course. Candidates are required to pay for, and pass, a State DCI background check prior to beginning field experience in the schools. Candidates who plan to continue in the Graduate Teacher Education Program are required to apply for, and be admitted to Level II of the program before taking additional education coursework. Level II requires the purchase of a Chalk and Wire account (for the creation of the electronic portfolio), and they must take the C-BASE test (there is a fee for the C-BASE test). Please see the Graduate Teacher Education Program page on the Education Department’s website for a complete list of requirements for Level II admission. 4 credits

EDUC 506: Adolescent Growth and Development
Explores typical and atypical growth of pubescent and adolescent youth. Relevant research and learning theory are examined and especially as they relate to a teacher’s ability to provided learning opportunities that support the physical, cognitive, emotional and social development of adolescents. An emphasis is placed on individual and group behavior and motivation, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. Educ 506 must be taken after, or concurrent with, Educ 500. 2 credits