MAT degree vs M. Ed degree (Major Differences)

MAT degree vs M. Ed degree

Becoming a teacher most times doesn’t necessarily require earning a master’s degree. However, getting a master’s degree can be a means of accelerating and advancing your career, creating job opportunities, and improving expertise.

In the world of teaching, there are different graduate degrees that can be earned by a student. However, two of these are the most common and dominant: MAT degree and M. Ed degree.

These terms are used interchangeably and are thought to be the same even though they are significantly different.

What is an MAT Degree?

MAT stands for Masters of Arts in Teaching. It is a master’s degree designed and focused on providing current and aspiring teachers the practical skills and subject-specific information they need to launch, advance, and improve their careers.

It helps teachers become leaders in the classroom. A bachelor’s degree is a pre-requisite for a MAT degree.

This degree can be earned as a fifth year in some universities. This means spending an extra year beyond a bachelor’s degree to earn a master’s degree.

It usually requires between 30-42 units for completion and can last up to two years. At the end of a MAT degree, students should complete a practicum or a capstone project.

What is an M. Ed Degree?

M.Ed stands for Masters of Education. It is an advanced master’s degree designed for aspiring and already practicing teachers who want to advance or push their careers beyond the classroom.

It teaches students to understand and critically investigate the theory and practice of education.

Depending on the program of study or mode of study, an M. Ed degree can be completed between one to two years. It often requires an average of 42 units.

There is no need for a capstone project.

MAT degree vs M. Ed degree

Basic Differences

MAT degrees are basically designed to offer more practical and subject-oriented skills. It is advised for students who wish to switch careers or want to be classroom teachers.

An M. Ed degree on the other hand is more theoretical and offers more in-depth information about the practice of education.

It is, therefore, best suited for students who want to pursue careers beyond the classroom like academic counseling, curriculum and instruction development, etc.

Read this: How long does it take to get a Doctorate Degree?


Irrespective of the master’s degree you acquire as a teacher, pursuing one will equip you with advanced training and skills which will in turn create (better) job opportunities and increase your benefits.

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