Skip to Main Content

Training Teachers To Provide Equitable Education To All Students.

At American University, we’re committed to training teachers who are dedicated to providing equitable education to all students. Our focus on social justice is a core part of our program’s philosophy; we want to be absolutely certain that our graduates have the tools they need to turn learning differences into learning strengths and to ensure that future generations are equipped to address society’s most pressing concerns.

Our curriculum leverages advancements in neurodevelopment, social-emotional interventions, and a multidisciplinary approach to teaching STEM education—because we believe that only when all students are offered the opportunity to thrive will our society truly thrive.

Students enrolled in the master’s in teaching program will have access to American University’s cutting-edge research, engaging coursework, and crucial partnerships with academic institutions throughout Washington, DC. Under the guidance of our award-winning faculty, students will learn how to empower others to make a difference and make a lasting positive impact on communities in need. American University’s online MAT is CAEP-accredited and designed for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree and are interested in obtaining a teaching license in elementary education.

A graduation cap

Required Credits

33 Credit Hours

An hourglass

Est. Time to Completion

Less than two years

A white board

Classroom Hours Completed in Your State of Residence

600 Hours

Program Highlights

  • Earn your degree in 20 months
  • Accredited locally by DC (OSSE) and nationally with CAEP
  • Complete student teaching in your local area
  • We currently have reciprocity in 47 states. Our Enrollment Team can help you research if your state is included
  • No previous training in education necessary
  • Obtain over 600 hours of experience in a classroom setting
  • Become part of a diverse network of talented students from all over the United States and more than 150 countries
  • Learn to teach in-demand STEM skills

What makes the online master’s in teaching unique?

American University’s master’s in teaching online program was built on the idea that a successful education system filled with exceptional teachers is at the heart of the fight for social justice.

Online master of arts in teaching students can expect an emphasis in cultural competency and diverse perspectives, an interesting and progressive curriculum, a focus on the STEM skills necessary for tomorrow’s most exciting careers, a focus on cultivating community among students (no matter where they might be based), and faculty members who are leaders in their fields and committed to social justice.

A man seated in front of an American University building typing something into a laptop

Summer 2020 Deadlines

Early Decision Deadline
December 6, 2019
Priority Application Deadline
March 6, 2020
Application Complete Deadline
April 10, 2020
Class Start
May 5, 2020

A woman smiling at a laptop screen while she types something

Information Webinar Sessions

Join our admissions team for a chance to learn more about our Master of Arts in Teaching. Ask any questions you might have around the application process or program requirements, meet a faculty member from the program and more.

Register For The Next Event

Why the American Education System Needs Great Educators?

A woman presenting in front of an audience

National Teacher Shortage

The U.S. is in the middle of an unprecedented teacher shortage and school districts around the nation are struggling to find solutions.
A professor seated on a chair talking to a group of children

Growing Teacher Vacancies

Schools are having trouble filling vacant teaching positions, especially those related to STEM and special education.
A group of students, seated in class. A woman has her hand raised

Lack of Special Education Teachers

While school districts need more teachers across the board, there’s a particular shortage of K-12 special education teachers in the U.S.
A group of students, seated in class. A woman has her hand raised

AU Accelerates Teaching Careers

AU helps aspiring teachers to jumpstart their careers successfully, and most are able to find teaching positions after graduation.


American University’s Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education is not a typical teaching program. We train future teachers who are dedicated to helping ensure that all students in this country—regardless of race, socioeconomic background, or learning challenges—receive the high-quality education they deserve. We help our graduates do this by designing a curriculum that leverages advancements in neurodevelopment, social-emotional interventions, and a multidisciplinary approach to teaching STEM education. More specifically, our curriculum stands apart by equipping teachers to turn learning weaknesses into strengths; to offer to their students a cutting-edge STEM education; and to place a focus on social justice at the heart of their classrooms.

Students enroll in two classes per semester and complete the program in a twenty-month period.

Course Schedule

To complete the online Master of Arts in Teaching program, students must earn 33 credits, which includes 6 hours of student teaching with a required seminar.

Fieldwork is completed across two semesters. First, online MAT students engage in a semester-long practicum, spending two days per week in a local classroom observing and learning new skills. In their final semester, students complete their student-teaching requirement, which requires five days a week in a local classroom to apply and build their practical teaching tools.

Sample Course Schedule

Semester 1

  • EDU 630 Foundations of Education
  • EDU 620 Theories of Educational Psychology and Human Development

Semester 2

  • EDU 609 Effective Teaching for Diverse Students
  • EDU 601Teaching Literacy in the Elementary School

Semester 3

  • EDU 619 Children’s Literature: A Critical Literacy Perspective
  • EDU 643 Foundations of Special Education for Exceptional Children

Semester 4

  • EDU 603 Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary School
  • EDU 604 Teaching Science in the Elementary School
  • EDU 697 Practicum with Seminar and Professional Practice

Semester 5

  • EDU 608 Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School
  • EDU 699 Student Teaching Seminar in Professional Practice

Foundations of Education (EDU 630)

Exploration of philosophical, sociological, and political foundations of American education and inquiry into the role schools play in cultural production, maintenance, and transformation and what this means for diverse learners of all ages. Includes an examination of law and policies that affect children and families.

Effective Teaching for Diverse Students (EDU 609)

Through action research, students explore ways of organizing and managing classrooms to support diverse learners. Students engage in curriculum design and implementation across the curriculum, including instructional planning and using portfolios. The role that families, the community, and other professionals can play in assessment and curriculum planning are explored.

Student Teaching Seminar in Professional Practice (EDU 699)

The class meets weekly for students to discuss their teaching experiences and to assist them in developing ideas and strategies to improve their classroom effectiveness. Preparation of a reflective case study and completion of a professional portfolio and an on-line journal are required. Note: Students enroll in this seminar in the semester they are completing their student teaching requirement.

Student Stories

Emily Harden teaching students.
“This year I’m working as an educational aide in a pre-k3 classroom at Hyde Addison Elementary in Georgetown. I’m doing my practicum and student teaching in my classroom. Being able to work while I complete these requirements and go to class at night has been really fantastic.”

Emily H.

Matthew Koh
“After two school years as a partner teacher and student teacher at Mann, I was hired last spring (2014) to be the school’s full-time science teacher. I have my own classroom and teach grades K-4 across the week.”

Matthew K.

Catalina Rincon teaching students.
“I am currently at K-1-2 classroom teacher at an independent school in Denver, Colorado called Stanley British Primary. In the future I see myself continuing to teach at the Early Childhood level! Not sure if that means continuing to teach where I’m at — or branching out to other types of schools! For now I am happy where I am.”

Catalina R.

New AU Alums Thrive in All Economic Sectors and in Grad Schools

A chart


  • American International School of Niamey
  • Arlington County Public Schools
  • Arlington Public Schools
  • Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
  • Cesar Chavez Public Charter School
  • Dallas Independent School District
  • DC Public Schools
  • DC Public Schools - Oyster Adams Elementary School
  • Dolton School District 149
  • Duke Ellington School of the Arts
  • Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Frederick County Public Schools
  • Friendship Public Charter School
  • From the Heart Christian School
  • Mary McLeod Bethune Day Academy PCS
  • Montgomery County Public Schools
  • National Presbyterian School


  • Seattle University

Recent AU Grads are Competitive in the Marketplace

A pie chart

Alumni & Outcomes

Our alumni are working to change the lives of students throughout the country and the world. Within six months of completing their programs, 100 percent of American University’s MAT graduates are working, continuing their education, or both.*

Our students channel their talents into a wide variety of career roles:

* American University does not guarantee employment after graduation.

a woman standing in front of a school bus

Program Head

A woman seated showing a tablet to children

Bilingual Teacher

A woman showing a notebook to a man in front of the U.S. Capitol building

Policy Maker

A woman looking at a laptop screen


A children's classroom, many kids have their hands raised

Classroom Teacher

A group of people discussing

Edu. Game Designer

A woman teaching a girl, who is writing something on her notebook


A man presenting in front of a big audience


A man writing something on a notebook

Curriculum Specialist

A man teaching crafts to a group of children

Art Coordinator

A man teaching something to an elderly man

Adult Educator

A woman showing a rabbit image to a girl

Learning Specialist

Who should choose this online teaching degree?

American University is looking for students who want to be teachers who change lives, empowering the next generation of change makers and ensuring that students have the tools to effectively transform their communities. Our online format will enable you to stay rooted in the community where you are as you work toward your degree—a factor that we know is often important to the active community members we tend to attract.

Without passionate, trained, progressive-minded, and dedicated teachers, our society simply cannot function to its democratic ideal. And teachers are currently in short supply in this country: according to the Learning Policy Institute, the United States faced a shortage of approximately 60,000 teachers in the 2015-16 school year. The lack of trained teachers is a real problem that we all face, but we believe that, with our students and talented graduates, we can rise to the challenge together. Help us be a part of the societal change we all want to see.

A woman teaching a class of children

Professional Licensure Disclaimer Statement

This program meets the requirements for professional teaching licensure in Elementary Education (Grades 1-6) in Washington D.C. American University cannot guarantee whether the program meets requirements for professional licensure in any other states. American University recommends that you consult with the appropriate licensing agency or board in the state or territory for which you seek to obtain licensure prior to beginning your course of study.