Department of Education

Program Overview

Both inside and outside the classroom, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) students receive top-notch preparation for secondary-school teaching careers (grades 7-12) in urban schools.

The MAT program is an intensive one-year master's program that prepares students for certification in secondary English, mathematics, social studies, and science (biology, chemistry, or engineering/physics). Our program is a unique blend of outstanding university and residency-based teacher education that prepares students for urban contexts. MAT students learn within a particular school context while developing an understanding of the larger landscape of education -- including how to make positive change. 

The application deadline for 2023 entry was January 17, 2023. The application portal will reopen in early September 2023 for the next admissions cycle.

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Our aspiring teachers learn to become critical, impactful, and reflexive secondary teachers who demonstrate excellence in both their academic discipline and the multifaceted field of education. The MAT Program develops teachers with a deep understanding of the social contexts of education and how they affect students, families, communities, and schools. It seeks to cultivate skills and commitments in pre-service teachers to improve student learning outcomes and promote equity in education. Graduates are prepared to approach the teaching of students in diverse communities with empathy, cultural competence, and intentional cycles of improvement grounded in data and critical reflection.  

Upon completion of the degree program and state-required Praxis exams, candidates are recommended for a Rhode Island Department of Education teaching certificate in their discipline at the secondary level and an endorsement in teaching multilingual language learners.

MAT Program Handbook


Beginning the journey of integrating theory and practice

The program begins with an intensive 6 week summer semester. MAT candidates learn foundational knowledge about student-centered learning and teaching and discipline practices within their content areas. This coursework is uniquely integrated into fieldwork: MAT candidates apply their learning daily at Brown Summer High School, a 4-week summer enrichment program that serves high school students from the neighborhoods and schools where MAT candidates later have their residencies.

Yearlong residency

Developing culturally responsive teaching practice that addresses educational inequities

Candidates begin their teaching residencies on the first day of the school year and become deeply embedded in all aspects of the school context. Because of this daily preparation, our candidates are unusually well-prepared for their first year of full-time teaching post-graduation.

Our teacher residents experience a gradual induction to the responsibilities of leading the classroom, beginning with purposeful observation, individual student support and group work, and moving to whole-class instruction. Skillful and dedicated mentor teachers support teacher residents by modeling exceptional practice and providing extensive feedback. Additionally, unlike other programs, our teacher residents are also supported by our committed and experienced MAT Program faculty who serve as instructional coaches throughout the residency. 

Throughout the year, teacher residents take coursework that integrates research and theories with day-to-day practice, provides in-depth knowledge of learning differences and the needs of emerging bilingual students, and develops rigorous preparation in inclusive practices. Residents learn principles of instructional design in order to become future curriculum developers in their local districts. Additionally, future teachers and future policymakers come together to take a course that examines educational inequality and community assets. Students in both our Master of Arts in Teaching and Urban Education Policy graduate programs understand how to make a positive change via both policy and classroom practice.

Courses include:

  • Discipline-based pedagogy in all three semesters
  • Educating Emerging Bilinguals 
  • Inclusion and Differentiation for Learners with Special Needs 
  • Educational Inequity and Community Assets
  • Instructional Design
  • Assessment of Learning


The  MAT program year begins in mid-June and ends the following May as follows:

  • MAT candidates begin a summer session running from mid-June through early August. 
  • MAT candidates then begin year-long teaching residencies in late August, and coursework in early September. The year concludes with Commencement at the end of May.
  • The design of the program makes it necessary for all students to begin the program in June and complete the 12-month sequence.