What is the difference between the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and the Master of Arts (MA)? Which degree option is right for me?

Advanced Inquiry Program master's students select from two degree options: either an MA in Biology or an MAT in the Biological Sciences. In terms of the course of study, there is little difference between the two.  MA and MAT candidates go through the Advanced Inquiry Program together, oftentimes in the same classes. And while those who do not currently hold a teaching license are generally advised to select the MA program, which option an applicant chooses is largely based on his or her academic background and/or current profession or professional objectives (please also see "Does the MAT degree also include teaching licensure?" below). 

Generally, students working toward a Master of Arts (MA) integrate biologically focused projects, while those working on a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) may have a focus on education. The program is self-directed and, in large part, projects are a result of the specific audience, your efforts, and your own personal and professional goals in the program. The big-picture difference between the two degrees is that fulfillment of project assignments for an MAT may include exploration of the biological sciences through lesson plans and work with student populations as your audience. However, for the MA, graduate students are asked to focus on zoological conservation and life science projects outside of the typical lesson plan, curriculum or traditional classroom experience. That said, overlap between the disciplines of biology and education is also encouraged and expected in this program. The main expectation is that you will be deliberate about aligning your degree, Master Plan, and professional goals in ways that make sense for you.