MAT in Modern Foreign Language Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program is designed for liberal arts graduates in Modern Foreign Languages or graduates from equivalent programs or similar backgrounds who wish to obtain initial licensure for Arabic, French, or Spanish for grades 5–12 (middle, junior, or senior high schools) in Massachusetts. (Licensure reciprocity exists with many states, but students should investigate specifics in the state of anticipated residence.) Although designed as a 12-month, full-time program that begins in June each year, students may in some cases choose to start the program in September. It is further possible to complete the degree over a longer time period as a part-time student.

Students in the program complete graduate courses in their content fields at the College of Arts & Sciences and courses in professional education (foundations of education, educational research, curriculum and methods instruction, etc.) as well as a pre-practicum and practicum (student-teaching experience) at the School of Education. In addition, students complete one course to earn the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education endorsement in Sheltered English Immersion.

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 Applied Linguistics: Language & Linguistics Survey (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)

Add-On License in Teaching English Language Learners (ESL)

The TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages) Program offers a six-course, 26-credit add-on license pathway that allows MAT students in content-specific areas (e.g., English Education, Social Studies Education, Mathematics Education, and Science Education to meet requirements for a Massachusetts licensure endorsement as Teacher of English Language Learners (ESL). In this course of study, students are exposed to a theoretical introduction to the nature and structure of language, key factors affecting second-language acquisition, and communicative approaches to the teaching of English as a second or foreign language. In addition to the six courses, students are required to complete an ESL Practicum. This pathway requires MAT candidates to add one additional summer and part-time semester to their regular MAT program timeline.

This pathway consists of the following courses:

  • SED TL 508 Methods in Teaching English as a Second Language (4 cr)
  • SED BI 530 English Language Development: Grade 5–12 English Language Learners (2 cr) or SED BI 535
  • Literacy Development for Bilingual Students: Instruction and Assessment (4 cr)
  • SED BI 620 Educational Issues in Bilingualism (4 cr)
  • SED LS 658 Second Language Acquisition (4 cr)
  • SED BI 504 Seminar: The Student Teaching Experience (2 cr)
  • SED TL 582 and 583 Student-Teaching Practicum I and II: ESL, 5–12 (6 cr)


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