Department of Education

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Social Studies

In one year, successful MAT candidates will earn a master's degree and preparation for certification to teach social studies/history in grades 7-12, particularly in urban schools.

Students in social studies classes learn history, civics, geography, economics, rhetoric, humanities, and various social sciences to better understand their experiences in the modern world. Social studies teachers empower young people to explore their past, analyze their present, and freedom-dream for the future. Students and teachers craft stories about identity, power, and resistance for the purposes of social justice and civic action. Therefore, social studies educators have the privilege and responsibility of co-collaborating with students to be the social change they want to see.

Our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Social Studies Education will prepare you to equip your students with essential skills including critical thinking, storytelling, media literacy, primary source analysis, public speaking, purposeful writing, historical imagination, and informed decision making. Combining theory and practice, inside both public schools and academic settings, you will have access to the most cutting-edge training in social studies education today. 

Candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree that includes a concentration of coursework in history, political science, critical identity studies, or substantial study in the social sciences and humanities to be admitted into the program.

Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2024-2025 academic year. The deadline was January 15, 2024. If you would like to be notified when the application is available for 2025, please complete this brief form.

Faculty Supervisor – Social Studies Cohort

Essential Information

Social Studies applicants should have a Bachelor's Degree with a major in history or a social science field (excluding psychology) or substantial study in related areas. Those with related majors should contact John Palella to inquire about whether their courses meet certification requirements.

Transcript Requirements for Social Studies 
Applicants should have completed a minimum of 9 courses (or 36 units) distributed in multiple areas of social studies. Applicants should have at least 1 course in each of the following areas: American/U.S. History, Non-Western History, and Ethnic Studies. Their coursework should also show evidence of a breadth of knowledge that encompasses these areas:

  • Western Civilization

  • Anthropology

  • Economics

  • Geography

  • Political Science

  • Sociology  

  • Online application. The application opens in September and is due January 15. 
  • Transcripts. All applicants may upload unofficial transcripts for application submission. Official transcripts are ONLY required for enrolling students before the start of classes.

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation, or two (2) for current Brown undergraduates. Applications may be submitted without all three letters of recommendation, but an admission decision will not be released until they are received.

  • Personal statement. It should address why you want to teach your subject to structurally and economically disadvantaged students and how you believe education can be a tool for equity.

  • Resume/CV. Teaching experience or coursework in education is not required, though we expect applicants to have prior work with children or adolescents. 

  • TOEFL/IELTS: Required for any non-native English speaker who does not have a degree from an institution where English is the sole language of instruction.

  • Interview for selected candidates: An interview may be requested of potential candidates for admission. Applicants are strongly encouraged to come to Brown for an interview, but a telephone or virtual interview may be arranged if necessary.

The GRE is not required to apply for the MAT program. 

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.

The following plan of study is required of all secondary Social Studies MAT students:

EDUC 2500

Foundations of Teaching and Learning  

EDUC 2510B

Educational Theory and Practice I: Social Studies  

EDUC 2515

Learning Theory and Special Populations  

EDUC 2520B

Educational Theory and Practice in Teaching Social Studies II  

EDUC 2525

Instructional Design, Planning, and Integrating Technology  

EDUC 2530B

Educational Theory and Practice in Teaching Social Studies III  

EDUC 2535

Teaching Literacy and Language to Emerging Bilinguals Across the Disciplines I  

EDUC 2545

Teaching Literacy and Language to Emerging Bilinguals Across the Disciplines II  

EDUC 2555

Assessment and Using Data to Support Student Learning  

EDUC 2565

Practicum and Seminar I  

EDUC 2575

Student Teaching and Seminar  

EDUC 2385

Education Inequality and Community Assets: Contexts and Change

The following tuition charges are in effect for the 2023-2024 academic year. Tuition generally increases by 3-5% each year. Tuition and fee charges for the 2024-2025 academic year will be set in early 2024. 

Per Credit $8,207
8 credits required for degree completion $65,656

Learn more about masters tuition and fees

The MAT program awards both need and merit-based scholarships, with the majority of funds dedicated to need-based awards. All applicants will be considered automatically for limited merit-based funds.

Learn more here.

Upon successful completion of all components of the Teacher Education program, MAT candidates receive a Master of Arts in Teaching degree.

After completing these requirements and passing the required Praxis II tests (Discipline Specific Test Secondary) candidates are eligible to receive initial certification from the RI Department of Education.

Rhode Island is a member of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement, allowing graduates reciprocal certification without transcript evaluation in most states. Graduates of the program may be eligible for teacher certification by transcript evaluation in states that are not NASDTEC members. Please note that several states require additional testing such as Massachusetts, New York, and California.

Multilingual learners (MLLs), who speak a wide variety of heritage languages in addition to learning English, comprise 10% of the U.S. school population, with numbers growing across the country.

Students in the MAT program enroll in a yearlong course dedicated to learning differentiation strategies for multilingual learners in their disciplines. They examine the intersection of culture and language, learn about the process of second language acquisition, and discuss specific issues affecting MLLs, including testing, family engagement, and challenges facing children who enter the U.S., and specifically Rhode Island, during their middle or high school years.

Through examination of sheltered instruction strategies, integration of WIDA English language development standards, and review of culturally responsive pedagogies, MATs will learn to plan and deliver high-quality instruction that is differentiated to meet the needs of MLLs. Students have multiple opportunities to practice strategies with multilingual learners in their residency sites and to reflect on their pedagogy with MATs in different disciplines. Through successful completion of the course, MATs will earn an MLL endorsement for their Rhode Island State Certification.

Please see our events calendar for a schedule of upcoming information sessions.

The youth here in Providence are so involved. Students are fighting for change in their own schools right alongside their teachers. I feel lucky that I’m able to stay here and work with young people who are so motivated to do social justice-oriented work in their own communities.

Carol Amaya '19 MAT, Social Studies