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Department of Education

Elementary STEM Education

Student doing math

The Elementary STEM Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Program at Tufts University prepares future educators for the deeply intellectual and humanizing work of teaching. We have a strong tradition of preparing thoughtful, creative, and empathetic educators. Recognizing that schools can both reproduce and disrupt the inequities of society, our candidates learn to listen to and value students’ thinking as they cultivate the perspectives and tools needed to thrive in the classroom. Our faculty build from their own research on learning and teaching in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to support candidates in filling much-needed roles in elementary schools across Massachusetts.

Candidates graduating from the Elementary STEM Program receive a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree and endorsement for Initial License for grades 1-6.  The M.A.T. program in Elementary STEM  is designed and approved to meet only the Massachusetts initial licensure requirements. Massachusetts does have reciprocity agreements with other states regarding teaching certification. More information about the latter is available in the line below.

This is an online program. Full-time students should expect to complete the program in 12 months. Part-time students can complete the program in 18-24 months. There are two in-person immersions per year, where students will come to the Tufts University Medford Campus for face-to-face engagements.


Candidates are prepared to teach in general education classrooms, with a particular focus on STEM. This process begins with the study of how people think and learn together, and proceeds to support candidates in developing practices of close attention and responsiveness to children's ideas, reasoning, and engagement. Our faculty view children as nascent scholars. They see eliciting, recognizing, and cultivating the resources children bring with them into the classroom as the core practices of teaching.

Along with STEM disciplines, the program is designed to address multiple literacies, integrating reading, writing, social studies, and art throughout the curriculum. Candidates in the program are supported to design learning environments that promote equity and dignity for all learners, by valuing and building on the strengths of the students in their classrooms. They are encouraged to critically examine their role as educators as they establish and maintain productive, respectful relationships with students, parents, communities, and school faculty and staff.


In our program, we strive to expand how we hear and see the intellectual value of the ideas, experiences, and practices of young people. Candidates question their assumptions about learning and teaching as they work to reconstruct a sense of the intellectual work of teaching. The STEM focus allows us to explore how young learners make sense of the physical world, how they find and describe patterns, and how they solve problems in their lives. Elementary school teachers are “interdisciplinary” professionals, and candidates are asked to think about the possibilities that exist at the intersections of literacy, STEM, the arts, and social studies, and more.  

Message from Program Director


Brian Gravel
Director, Elementary STEM Education