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Master of Arts in Teaching Early Childhood Education

Angela Crespo Cozart, Ph.D.
Program Director

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.): Early Childhood Education (PreK–3)

The M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education, an NCATE accredited program that focuses on the education of children in pre-Kindergarten through third grade, is nationally recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). It is designed for those who want to teach young children and have undergraduate degrees in non-education disciplines.

Successful completion of the M.A.T. program requirements leads to recommendation for teaching certification/licensure in grades pre-Kindergarten through three in South Carolina, in addition to a master’s degree. The State of South Carolina has reciprocal licensure agreements with many State Departments of Education across the United States.

Degree Requirements

The M.A.T. in Early Childhood education is awarded to candidates who successfully complete an approved program of study consisting of a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours of credit with an overall GPA of 3.0. Students' undergraduate transcripts will be evaluated; if a deficiency in liberal arts coursework is determined, additional courses may be required and included in the program of study. Candidates have one calendar year following program acceptance to complete the additional coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Certification requirements for M.A.T. students are described in the teacher education program student information packet for M.A.T. students and the Clinical Practice Handbook. As part of the certification procedure, each M.A.T. student must take the national PRAXIS tests: Early Childhood Education Content Area and Principles of Learning and Teaching. Advisors will provide important details about this requirement. All examinations are administered by the Educational Testing Service and application forms are available in the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance main office, 86 Wentworth Street. One copy of each test score must be sent directly to the College of Charleston School of Education, Health, and Human Performance and another copy to the South Carolina State Department of Education.

Admissions Requirements

Submit all application materials to The Graduate School.

  • A completed application form with a nonrefundable application fee of $50.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework. An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required.
  • Undergraduate coursework should reflect a broad liberal arts background.
  • Applicants are required to have a 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA) from their degree-granting institution(s).
  • Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with academic and/or work experience. Letters should indicate evidence of potential for graduate studies and working with children. One letter should be from someone who has observed the candidate working with children.
  • Professional résumé.
  • Self-assessment of professional goals and dispositions.
  • Statement of ability to perform essential teaching duties under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • A statement of goals describing the applicant's suitability for and a desire to pursue the M.A.T. program and a career in teaching.
  • Results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if applicant’s primary language is not English.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Expectations are a minimum composite GRE score of 800 as well as a score of 4.0 or higher on the analytical writing sample for exams taken prior to August 1, 2011. For exams taken on or after that date, expectations are a minimum composite score of 290.

Note: Admissions requirements may change. Please visit for the most current requirements.

Transfer Credit Policy

An applicant to the M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education program may seek approval from the program director to accept up to six transfer credit hours. These courses must have a grade of B or higher, and can count toward any core course in the Early Childhood Education program.

Students may take a course at another CEC/NAEYC accredited institution after being accepted to a master’s program and that course can count towards the student’s degree requirements, but the student must make the request one semester in advance and meet with his/her faculty advisor for approval. Once the advisor approves, the request will be forwarded to the program director for final approval. Grades of B and higher will be accepted. No pass/satisfactory grades or field hours will be accepted.

Completion of a Program of Study

As soon as possible after acceptance into the program and before enrolling in courses, an appointment must be made with an advisor to complete a Program of Study form. The process for filing an acceptable Program of Study is not completed until all copies of the form, with required signatures, have been filed with The Graduate School. The Program of Study is not official until the candidate is admitted as a degree-seeking student. Failure to meet the deadline for filing an acceptable program of study may result in a delay in graduation or loss of credit for use in the program.

All academic work that has been completed, as well as that which is proposed for satisfying degree requirements, must be included in the Program of Study at the time of submission. Students may make changes of up to two courses in the Program of Study that are necessitated by enrollment problems or other circumstances by completing a Request for Change form. This form must be endorsed by the advisor, department chair, and the program director. More extensive changes may be accomplished by filing a new Program of Study marked "revised plan."

After the Program of Study is completed, the student meets with the advisor over the course of the program for scheduling and program planning to ensure timely completion of program requirements.