Education FAQ

Q: Why should I choose a program with a one-year teaching internship over one with a more traditional, shorter student teaching session?

A: A year-long internship fully prepares future teachers to manage their own classrooms. You will experience, firsthand, the cadence of the school year—from the excitement in September through the restlessness of March and the pressure of final exams. Because the internship ends in June, you are available to fill teacher vacancies that open in September. That’s a critical advantage over year and a half programs that conclude in January.

Q: What if I need to work during graduate school?

A: Most students in Clarkson University’s MAT Program complete the program in one intensive year, and are able move into the workforce after one year of study. The challenges of teaching and taking classes mean that most do not work during that year.

Other MAT students prefer to work as they complete the program. If you are one of those students, we have designed the two year MAT sequence with you in mind. Here is how that sequence works:

Year One: During the Fall, Winter and Spring terms students come to campus two evenings per week in order to complete two courses per term: three content electives and three core courses. Students are able to work full time during Year One, but are considered full time students for the purposes of scholarships or student loans.

Intensive Summer between Year One and Year Two: Students are on campus from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM for 5 ½ weeks. Jobs with evening or weekend hours are feasible during this time.

Year Two: During the Fall, Winter and Spring terms students spend a half of the six hour public school day at their internship, and come to campus for seminar one evening per week. During year two, students can continue to work if they can arrange their work to occur when they are not teaching, or in the evening or weekend. Once again, by taking two courses per term you are considered a full time student for the purposes of scholarships or student loans.

Q: How does the cost of the Union Graduate College MAT program compare with that of similar programs?

A: Tuition for Clarkson University’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program is comparable to that of MAT programs at other private institutions, but on a per-credit basis, the Clarkson University MAT program is a much better value. Because our program is more rigorous, it requires you to complete more courses. You will graduate with 53 credits instead of the 42 that’s typical of other programs. Incidentally, many school districts pay their faculty for the number of graduate units they have in addition to the degrees they have.

Q: Are scholarships or financial assistance available for Clarkson’s Education Programs?

A: Yes, we offer merit and need-based awards. All applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships that waive the cost of one or more courses. All students who complete the FAFSA are considered for need-based tuition waiver. From 2014-2017, Clarkson University offers significant scholarships to eligible minority or low income students.

Q: May I apply for the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program if I have a liberal arts undergraduate degree and no prior teaching experience?

A: Yes. The MAT is designed expressly for individuals with a B.A. or B.S. with no prior teaching certification who are committed to becoming secondary teachers. Applicants must have completed a B.S. or B.A. from an accredited institution with the equivalent of 30 semester hours in the liberal arts major area for which they seek certification.

Q: How long does it take to complete a Masters of Arts in Teaching at Clarkson University on a full-time basis?

A: On a full-time basis, completing the Master of Arts in Teaching Program Curriculum takes one calendar year to complete (June to June). During that time, the student completes 53 credits of course work and a year-long teaching internship.

Q: Can I complete the MAT at Clarkson University on a part-time basis?

A: Yes. You can begin coursework on a part-time basis for the first year and enter the one-year teaching internship program in year two. The intern is assigned to a middle school or high school classroom for one academic year.

Q: What subject areas are available to study when completing the initial teaching certification at Clarkson University?

A: Graduate students can seek initial teaching certification in English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, Social Studies, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, or Technology

Q: Does Clarkson University have a degree for science and math teachers?

A: Yes. We offer a one-year part-time MS program for working science and mathematics teachers seeking an advanced degree and a wider range of effective approaches to teaching their particular topics.

Q: Must the Master of Science for Teachers be completed in one year?

A: There is an option to complete the MS for Teachers in two or three years.

Q: When should I apply to the MAT or MST program at Clarkson University?

A: Full-time, one-year, students will begin the program in early summer and must submit their application materials by March 1st of the preceding spring. However, since the program has a rolling admissions procedure, it is to a student’s advantage to apply early to ensure (upon acceptance) placement in the summer program and the next graduating class. We also have a part-time program for students who plan to complete the coursework and one-year teaching internship over a two- or three-year period (or longer). Part-time students may apply at any time in the academic year, but must apply prior to March 1st of the year they anticipate completing the intensive summer program.

Q: What is Clarkson University application process?

A: The application process includes completing an application form, submitting a minimum of three references, all previous academic transcripts, and completion of a 1-2 page essay describing your decision making process in considering a teaching career and applying for the program, including any factors and past experience that influenced that decision. The application can be completed online.

Q: Do I need specific prerequisites to apply to Clarkson University?

A: The pre-requisites below should be completed prior to beginning the summer term program. Please contact Nicki Foley if you have questions about pre-requisites:

  • an undergraduate educational psychology course or equivalent,
  • four days of structured field experiences, half in a high school and half in a middle school,
  • a liberal arts core.

Q: What are the English requirements for international students at Clarkson University?

A: Official TOEFL scores are required unless the applicant has studied or worked in an English speaking school or business for a minimum of two years. A verbal interview may be requested.

Q: What percentage of MAT Program matriculated students complete the program at Clarkson University?


Incoming Class Year Retention Rate
2007 98%
2008 89%
2009 92%
2010 93%
2011 95%
2012 82%
2013 85%
2014 91%
(actively in classes + graduated students)/ total matriculated students for that year)

Q: How are teacher candidates evaluated at Clarkson University? 

A: Class of 2012-2013 Growth Scores

The Clarkson University Department of Education bases its candidate evaluation on the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching. This framework has been customized by the faculty of the School of Education for novice teacher candidates and aligns with National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, New York State and Common Core Teaching Standards. Candidates are evaluated upon entering the program, and three additional times in the fall, winter and spring. Candidates may receive a score of Unsatisfactory (0-.9), Needs Improvement (1-1.9), Fundamentally Sound (2-2.9), Skillful (3-3.9) or Outstanding (4-5). The score for each evaluation is determined collaboratively by the faculty, supervisors and mentors.

The 2012-2013 Danielson Evaluation results are similar to past years. Candidates commonly rate between Fundamentally Sound and beginning levels of Skillful at their first evaluation. By graduation, the majority of candidates earn a rating on the high end of Skillful with a few earning scores in the Outstanding range.

More than half the public schools in New York State use a customized version of the Danielson Framework for their Annual Professional Performance Reviews. By using the Framework in the School of Education, candidates become familiar with the language and rigor of the standards.

Planning Instruction Instruction Professionalism
Upon Entering 3.00 3.00 Not Measurable
Upon Graduating 3.91 3.90 4.03

Q: What are average teacher salaries?

A: Public School Teacher Salary