Master of Arts in Teaching

The Relay Master of Arts in Teaching gives you the tools to build your skills and teach with confidence, whether you're a beginner or a veteran.

Teacher working with elementary students.

Program Overview

Relay’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program allows educators to expand their pedagogical knowledge and skills regardless of where they are in their careers. This program provides options for new teachers joining the profession for the first time and experienced educators who wish to expand their education and career.

“Relay is a hands-on program that aligns perfectly to teaching. I love attending Relay classes because I feel that they help me improve the way I teach, and my students benefit from it as a result.”

— Kai Lee, MAT

Through the MAT program, you will:

  • Work with expert faculty who have vast experience in education practice and theory.
  • Be a part of a dedicated cohort where you can connect with peers on the same path.
  • Get targeted, personal feedback from professors and peers.
  • Experience authentic practice to develop your skills and confidence in the classroom.
  • Learn proven teaching skills to improve student outcomes.
  • Further develop your educator’s mindset to build a vibrant, learning-filled classroom.
  • Develop pedagogical expertise in your chosen subject area.
  • Learn strategies to support and educate the whole child.

Relay Master's Defense

As a part of the MAT program, all students will complete a capstone project and master’s defense. This conclusion to the program allows you to reflect on your evolution as a teacher and your students’ progress.

You’ll graduate confident and ready to ensure all students in your classroom learn and grow, both academically and as individuals.

Two Relay students at a desk, smiling during a workshop.

Program Options

The Master of Arts in Teaching program at Relay has several options offered across the country. Most Relay MAT programs include prerequisites for earning a teaching certification or licensure. Learn more about our programs by location here.

MAT + Teaching Residency

Those new to the teaching profession find Relay’s flagship MAT with a Teaching Residency program incredibly helpful. Not only will you learn from seasoned professionals as you complete your graduate degree coursework, but you will also earn a teaching certification and have an apprentice year where you will get hands-on classroom experience. This gradual on-ramp towards teaching and managing your classroom will give you the knowledge, skills, and confidence you need to excel as a teacher of record.

What you'll get

  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Apprentice Year
  • Teaching Certification

MAT - Degree Only

If you’re already a teacher and are not seeking certification, this track will allow you to complete your MAT with a combination of in-person and online courses. This degree program will bolster your pedagogical knowledge and skills needed to advance your career and improve student outcomes.

What you'll get

  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Teaching Certification (as-needed)

MAT + Special Education Dual Certification

This program adds the Special Education Certification curriculum to the traditional MAT coursework, allowing new and experienced educators to complete their graduate degree and special education certifications simultaneously. The Special Education Certification program provides a foundation for teachers to support a wide range of learners and qualifies them to pursue roles available to special educators.

What you'll get

  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Special Education Certification

Curriculum Highlights

Relay’s curriculum combines theory and experience, so you’ll not only have the foundational knowledge to transform your students’ lives, but also the practical skills you’ll need to build a strong classroom culture.

MAT Program Structure and Assignments

Assignments that leverage your current classroom to build authentic skills.

Our MAT curriculum is delivered in a hybrid format. The majority of assignments consist of video submissions of your teaching in action and your work samples (e.g., lesson plans) to give your professors an authentic representation of your classroom. MAT candidates set ambitious and attainable academic and career growth goals for students, track their progress, and analyze student performance to inform and adapt instruction.

This structure is designed to provide you with the opportunities for practice and individualized feedback you’ll need to nurture your skillset over time.

Educating All Students: Accommodations for Diverse Learners

At the heart of Relay’s culture and teaching is inclusivity. Throughout the two-year MAT program, you will learn to understand and respond to differences among your classroom learners. These intentional skills will help you identify and implement accommodations based on students’ needs and use the Universal Design for Learning to accommodate learner variability in group settings.

Relay offers a Special Education Certification program for teachers who would like to develop their skills to support students with exceptional needs after completing the MAT program. Learn more about Special Education Certification.

Infographic for Student Growth and Achievement.

The Four Elements of Effective Instruction

Our MAT curriculum focuses on the Four Elements of Instruction:

  1. Building subject knowledge (content)
  2. Cultivating a fun and productive learning Environment (Classroom Culture)
  3. Developing personal connections with students and families, cultivation of self-reflection, and increasing community awareness (Self & Other People)
  4. Creating high-quality lessons (Teaching Cycle)
Teacher seated at desk with students, helping with their work.

Year 1: Positive Culture, Foundational Skills, Supporting all learners, and State Certification

The first year in Relay’s MAT program focuses on fundamental skills every teacher needs, building positive classroom culture, and completing state certification (as needed). In your first year, you will learn:

  • To build relationships with students, their families, and your colleagues
  • To cultivate a positive classroom culture
  • Teaching strategies specific to your chosen grade level and subject area
  • Data-driven instruction techniques and methods to measure student progress and outcomes
Teacher seated on floor with students, helping them with their work.

Year 2: Culturally Responsive Teaching, Advanced Skills and Master’s Defense

The MAT program’s second year provides an in-depth exploration of lesson and unit planning and culminates in a capstone project and Masters’ Defense. Some highlights of your second year will include:

  • Learning specific, proven techniques to build rigorous and joyful classrooms
  • Exploring principles of culturally-responsive teaching
  • Strategies for creating an inclusive environment for students of all backgrounds
  • Completing your capstone project and Master’s Defense, where you will analyze students’ performance and growth
  • Opportunities to reflect on your development as an educator.


Explore the locations throughout the US where we offer our programs.

Get Started!

Complete our interest form to learn more about this program and the application process.