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Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education

Individuals aspiring to a career in teaching may be confused by the pathways available to the classroom. Do you leave college and go straight to the classroom? What if you’re already working in another field but feel called to the classroom? There are several ways to become a teacher in Maryland but starting with a master’s degree in teaching holds many benefits. 

Students who graduate with a master’s degree in teaching are well-positioned to transition to the classroom because they’ve received the most professionalized training possible. Through Loyola University School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) students learn in a small environment that allows for “high touch, high quality” education. Other benefits of a MAT include:

  • Recipients show a high level of career commitment lending distinction to their resume 
  • Greater classroom preparedness translates to greater capacity to impact students
  • Research indicates that MAT graduates earn higher pay – as much as $5,000 to $10,000 more than those who enter teaching without the degree 

The School of Education offers both a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Education (M.Ed.). If you are confused by which degree is right for you there is an important distinction of a MAT vs. a M.Ed. degree. 

A MAT degree is for individuals who want to become certified as either an elementary or secondary school teacher. Loyola’s program meets the Maryland State Department of Education requirements as a state-approved teacher education program. Not only do Loyola graduates leave well prepared for the 21st century classroom, thanks to the program’s well established clinical practice (providing experiential learning opportunities in the classroom), many students leave the program with a job awaiting. The prerequisite to attend the MAT program is a bachelor’s degree.

The M.Ed. course of study, by contrast, is for current educators or those with a background in education. Loyola’s degree is a Master of Education in Educational Leadership, designed to provide those already in the field with the knowledge needed to become leaders in the school, as a principal or administrator, or at the district level as a supervisor, for example, or a superintendent. Like the MAT program, enrollees in the M.Ed. participate in both course work and an internship where students have the opportunity to experience and further develop their leadership abilities in a real-life education setting. 

The School of Education is leading the way in the creation of a committed core of teachers who come to the classroom with professionalized training. Whether you are embarking on a new career as a teacher (a MAT candidate) or a current teacher ready to gain the skills needed to advance into a leadership role (a M.Ed. candidate), the School of Education provides you the appropriate program, one where real-world experience is grounded in research and pedagogical knowledge.