The Master of Arts in Teaching—Science (MAT-S) degree for certification is a challenging program that prepares science teachers for teaching in grades 6-12 and emphasizes the development of a teacher’s ability to develop research-based teaching strategies that make science accessible to learners. Specific attention is directed at the interaction of schools, learners, pedagogy, subject matter and curriculum. The program is unique in that it focuses solely on science education and includes on-going practicum experiences in local schools. This allows you to be in a supportive cohort of high-achieving science peers taught by faculty who specialize and conduct research in science education. We strive to provide a cutting-edge, high-quality program that will utilize and build upon your science knowledge and experiences to become an innovative middle or high school teacher.

MATS graduate degree

Who enrolls as a MAT-S student?

Students with strong undergraduate preparation in the sciences seeking certification to teach biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, or general sciences at the secondary (middle and high school) level.

If you are an in-service teacher looking for a graduate program to improve your practice, please see our MAST program.

Other frequently asked questions

How long will my degree take?
  • The program begins in Summer term. Students take courses over Summer, Fall, and Spring terms. Full-time student teaching occurs the following Fall term. The program is completed after 15 months of coursework and student teaching.
  • The program follows the Flagstaff Unified School District calendar. This requires students to work at their practicum sites earlier than the NAU Fall term begins in August. The majority of the core courses, however, do follow the NAU schedule.
  • The MAT-S program is a residential program at the Flagstaff Mountain Campus. No online version is available.
  • MAT-S is a cohort model in which a group of students moves through all classes and phases of the program together. Therefore, the program cannot be completed on a part-time basis.
How much will it cost?
The current graduate tuition rates for on campus students can be found here. Online student’s tuition rates can be found here for Arizona residents and here for non-residents. 
How do I fund my education?

There are many funding sources available to help you afford your education. Please see the Funding your education page for further details. Most important for full-time graduate students are graduate assistantships. Contact the lead faculty advisor for more details.

Are you a resident of Alaska, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Marshall Islands, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Palau, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming? If so, you may be eligible for in-state tuition through the Western Regional Graduate Program.

Why move to Flagstaff?

Northern Arizona University is a 26,000-student institution with its main campus in Flagstaff, a four-season community of about 67,000 at an elevation of 7,000 feet at the base of the majestic San Francisco Peaks. Opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, skiing, and snowboarding abound.


What are the degree requirements?


For this degree you will take 35 hours of coursework.

How do I apply?

  • Applications are accepted through the Graduate College’s online system
  • The MAT-S program begins in the Summer term. Applications are accepted January 15 through July 1. Review of applicants begins March 1st. (It is strongly recommended that applications are submitted by May 31st.)
  • General requirements include:
     o A minimum 3.0 GPA (contact adviser for options if GPA is below 3.0)
     o 2 recommendations (recommendation forms sent from online application)
     o Minimum of 24 units of appropriate content-specific coursework in the sciences with a grade of “C” or better.
     o Resume or Curriculum Vitae
     o Personal statement or essay 
     o Submission of scores for the appropriate Arizona subject exam
     o Fingerprint clearance card
  • Please see MAT-S program’s entry in the Academic Catalog tab above for details on the admission requirements.
  • Additional requirements prior to Student Teaching: 
     o Passing score on appropriate Arizona subject exam. 
     o Credit for Arizona Constitution requirement.
Please see the Program Overview and Content Advising Sheets for a more detailed account of the program.


Please contact the lead faculty advisor:


Sharon Cardenas
Associate Director of Academic Programs 
Phone: 928-523-7430 
Bldg. 36, Rm. 531

Additional MAST faculty members