MAT in Modern Foreign Language Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program is designed for liberal arts graduates in Modern Foreign Languages who wish to teach Arabic, French, or Spanish in middle or secondary schools and who have not completed any professional education courses.

In collaboration with the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, students in this 12-month, full-time program prepare for Massachusetts initial teacher licensure and further strengthen their chosen academic fields. Program graduates complete courses in professional education, additional graduate courses in their content fields, and a pre-practicum and practicum or student-teaching experience.

The Master of Arts in Teaching Program is a 12-month program for full-time students seeking initial licensure for teaching at the middle, junior, or senior high school levels in accordance with requirements in the state of Massachusetts. Licensure reciprocity exists with many states, but students should investigate specifics in the state of anticipated residence.

The program begins in June each year, though in some cases students may begin in September. It is also possible to complete the degree over a longer time period as a part-time student.

Students complete courses in their chosen field of study in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and learn pedagogy and teaching methodology in the School of Education. In addition, students complete a course in language and language acquisition in the School of Education. Some of the departments in the Graduate School require that students successfully complete a master’s exam in order to meet the MAT requirements.

The professional education component consists of study in educational research, foundations of education, curriculum and methods of instruction, and fieldwork. This combination ensures strength in the field of study combined with a comprehensive set of teaching skills appropriate to adolescents. In addition, students complete one course to earn the endorsement in Sheltered English Instruction.

Degree Requirements

Education Coursework (12 cr)

  • SED ED 502/503 Professional Teaching Seminar: Analyzing Foundations of Teaching (2 cr)
  • SED DS 502 Introduction to Adolescent Development (2 cr)
  • SED SE 510 Special Education: Curriculum and Instruction (2 cr)
  • SED SE 534 Classroom and Behavior Management (2 cr)
  • SED TL 525 Teaching English Learners in Middle/High Schools (4 cr)

Modern Foreign Language and Language Acquisition Coursework (22 cr)

  • SED TL 511 Methods of Teaching Modern Foreign Languages (4–6 cr) (includes a 75-hour pre-practicum)
  • SED LS 565 Introduction to Linguistics (4 cr)
  • SED LS 658 Second Language Acquisition (4 cr)*
  • CAS Elective I – French, Spanish, or Arabic (4 cr)
  • CAS Elective 2 – French, Spanish, or Arabic (4 cr)

*Students who believe they would benefit from additional study of the language they wish to teach may take an additional CAS Elective—French, Spanish, or Arabic—in place of SED LS 658.

Practicum (8 cr)

Students participate in a 300-hour student-teaching experience supervised by a trained classroom teacher and Boston University faculty. Students take the following:

  • SED TL 586/587 Student Teaching Practicum I & II: Modern Foreign Languages, 5–12 (6 cr) (Arabic, French, or Spanish)
  • SED BI 504 Seminar: The Student Teaching Experience (2 cr)


Students are admitted to the School of Education and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences jointly.