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Graduate Program

The Italian Studies Program currently offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), which is a pre-professional degree for those planning to teach in secondary schools.

Students whose preparation is deficient in certain areas may be required to do remedial work once admitted to the program, but such work may not be counted toward the degree. Students transferring from other institutions may be granted up to nine semester hours toward the M.A.T. A terminal examination follows the completion of coursework. A brief outline of the M.A. level degree requirements follows. More detailed information can be obtained by contacting Michael Papio, Graduate Program Director at

Masters and Teaching Certificate


The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Italian is a two-year, 47 credit program designed to provide graduate study in Italian and to prepare students to earn a teaching license in Italian for grades 5-12. The MAT program leads to a professional degree that combines essential aspects of the field of education studies with the academic tradition of the Master of Arts degree. It aims for balanced competence in a student teaching practicum during the last semester of the program. Those seeking admission to the program should normally possess a BA degree with a major in Italian, although candidates with different but equivalent preparation will be considered. The program requires students to pass all parts of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) during the first semester of the program, as well as the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview with a rating of at least “intermediate high.” Note that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts participates in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement, which facilitates licensure reciprocity in all member states. In addition, the University of Massachusetts Amherst holds national accreditation under the rigorous standards set by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, formerly NCATE), the only such institution in the Commonwealth offering a teacher licensure program in Italian Studies.

Teaching Assistantships

The program offers financial aid in the form of Teaching Assistantships that cover the full four-semester length of the MAT program. No separate application is required to apply for a Teaching Assistantship; simply check the appropriate box on the Graduate School application. In exchange for teaching in the first-and second-year undergraduate Italian language program, Teaching Assistants receive a waiver of tuition and curriculum fees as well as a living stipend, which makes the MAT program financially accessible to students of virtually all backgrounds. In addition, the Assistantship covers 95% of the cost of the graduate student health premium (90% for the family plan) and includes excellent dental, vision and wellness benefits.

Coursework and Exams

  • MTEL Communication and Literacy test, and ITALIAN subject test 
  • ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (rating:  INTERMEDIATE high or higher)

Italian MAT Subject Matter & Education Requirements

ITALIAN ED 500U: Student Teaching (7-12 credits)

EDUCATION 615J: Education and the Law (3 credits)

EDUCATION 524: Work of the Middle and High School Teacher (3 credits)

ITALIAN 572: Basic Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages (3 credits)                                                                         

ITALIAN 598: Practicum Seminar/ST-Teaching in Middle and High School (2 credits)

EDUCATION 597R: Tutoring in the Schools (3 credits)

EDUCATION 693I/EDUCATION 571: Psychology in the Classroom (3 credits)

SUBTOTAL:  26 credits


In addition, the following requirements in Italian must be met:

ITALIAN (21 credits)

7 graduate courses in Italian. One of these seven may be substituted by a 500- or 600-level course taught in another Romance language.