Alternate Route Certification

Master of Arts in Teaching

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program is one of Mississippi’s four approved Alternate Route Programs that lead to teacher certification.   If you already have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university but did not complete a teacher education program that included student teaching, you can still be a teacher in Mississippi.

MAT has the following components:

  • Testing
  • coursework
  • One-year teaching internship


These are the steps you need to take for alternate route certification:

1. Decide what subject and age level you want to teach. This decision will help you choose which alternate route program will work for you.

2. All programs require testing:

  • Praxis CASE (Reading, Writing and Math basic skills test) or ACT (Score of 21 or better with subscores 18 and above)
  • Praxis II: Subject Area test in the area you want to teach.
  • Effective July 1, 2016 Foundations of Reading Test required for Elementary Education licensure, 229 passing score
  • The program offers specific subject areas.

3. You need to choose an alternate route program. Many candidates choose a program based on these criteria:

  • geographical location of the program
  • subject areas offered
  • cost and time commitment
  • internship requirements
  • grade level
  • your personal academic skills and professional background

4. Once you have successfully completed your testing you must enroll in the MAT program and complete the coursework required. You will then be ready for your initial alternate license  and internship.

5. The internship is your first year of teaching.  Mentoring will be provided during the internship. You will be paid based on your bachelor’s degree status as a first year teacher.  The internship period will be provisional based upon successful completion of the school year.

6. Upon completion of the internship, you are ready to apply for your five-year standard teaching license.

Note: There is no alternate route for Elementary K-3. You must complete an approved program in Elementary Education K-3 to earn that license.

Admission Requirements:

  • Admission to the Division of Graduate Studies
  • Complete MAT application
  • Passing Scores on Praxis CORE or ACT Test Score of 21 or better (with subscores of 18 and above) and Praxis II Examinations
  • (Effective July 1, 2016 Foundations of Reading Test required for Elementary 4-6 licensure, 229 passing score)
  • 2.75 GPA
  • Interview and Writing Prompt


MDE Alternate Route Programs Guidlines 

JSU Endorsement Programs

MDE Supplemental Endorsements

MS Department of Education Code of Ethic and Conduct Video: