College of Education
You hold the keys to a better future
You hold the keys to a better future

Online Master of Arts in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency

As an educational professional, you hold great power over the future. Learn to create better student outcomes and take your teaching skills to a higher plane using research-derived, real-world-tested strategies, no matter where you live. The online Master of Arts in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency (MATLCC) from the University of Iowa can help you create a school environment that supports diverse students in meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Program Details
  • Complete in as few as 20 months
  • Start in Spring, Summer, or Fall
  • 8-week courses
  • Courses satisfy Iowa continuing education requirements
  • No GRE

Better outcomes for your students and yourself

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Create career options

Put your MA to work in the classroom, as an administrator or beyond.

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Curriculum and convenience

Choose Iowa for our powerful curriculum and enjoy the convenience of online classes.

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Build academic equity

Center your educational career on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Take your career and students further

Want to see how a master’s degree can help you teach better, lead more effectively and fuel your career? Complete the form to get a program brochure.

Get valuable insights into the online experience, learn more about the College of Education, and see where this degree can take you.

Discover Your Next Step

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First in the state

The University of Iowa is not only the first college founded in the state. We’re also proud to be ranked the #1 Best College in Iowa, and the #23 Best Online Master of Education by U.S. News & World Report.1, 2 With more than 175 years of innovative excellence behind us and a clear eye trained on the future, Iowa continues to lead in teacher education.

Best College in Iowa1
Best Online Master of Education2

Social justice begins with you

Learn how you can create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive schools and classrooms with our DEI-centered curriculum. Find out how to meet students where they are and help them thrive in the program uniquely focused on cultural competency. Get the tools you need to help solve structural challenges in education from a major university that is a leader in educational research and practice.

"Making all students feel seen, heard, and valued is the most important thing I can think of for my classroom."
Lindsey Z., MATLCC ‘22

Empower students to improve the future

Teach your students the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion as a foundational approach for 21st-century success. Learn about conceptual frameworks, strategies, and tactics that will help empower them and fuel your success as an educational professional.

The online MATLCC degree requirements include:

  • 21 semester hours of core courses, encompassing current issues, technology, diversity and identity, and more.
  • 9 semester hours of electives selected from these areas:
    • English Language Learners
    • STEM
    • Talented and Gifted
    • English Language Arts
    • Additional topics
  • 3 semester hours capstone school-based action research project
Student with headphones in front of a window working on laptop

Depending on which electives you choose, you may be able to complete a large number of requirements toward State of Iowa endorsements in Talented and Gifted, STEM, or ESL. Candidates seeking the endorsement may need to complete additional coursework before applying to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

Review the Curriculum

“I love the relationships I am able to make with my students. Seeing my students succeed is one of the most rewarding feelings.”
Claire H., MATLCC ‘21
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The master’s program you would have created

That’s because world-class educators designed it to work for working teachers. The program prepares you with the hands-on skills and theoretical frameworks to teach effectively today.

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Focused. Flexible. Fast.

Get your degree in as few as 20 months with 100% online coursework that fits into your schedule. Because you can keep teaching while you learn, you can quickly see how your new skills and techniques improve student outcomes.

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Make meaningful connections

Our robust online learning platform and small class sizes allow you to make meaningful connections with peers and professors as you move through the program.

Core Course Highlight

Diversity and Identity in K-12 Schools

Develop a deeper understanding of different forms of oppression and how their influence on K-12 educational practice affects student identity and agency. Topics covered include:

  • Racism, sexism, classism
  • Curriculum
  • Pedagogy

Engage in regular self-evaluation as a practicing teacher or education professional in this advanced seminar on issues in K-12 education.

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Elective Course Highlight

Teaching and Learning for Global Perspective

Designed for practicing teachers, this course provides theoretical frameworks for global competence--the ability to understand global and intercultural issues and engage in appropriate and effective intercultural interactions.3 Educational strategies and resources for fostering global competence are included, and students create a standards-based curriculum project as part of the course.

Instructor in front of presentation slide speaking to group of students
Drawing of magnifying glass over paper

Put your learning into action

Conducting School-Based Action Research

After you’ve completed your coursework, you will have the opportunity to create an action research project focused on how teachers or administrators can be change agents, helping to improve teaching and learning.

"The coursework was challenging yet engaging, relevant, and beneficial for anyone who works in the educational system."
Lindsey Z., MATLCC ’22

Prepare for national certification

We worked with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in designing our MATLCC curriculum. When you graduate from this powerful online program for educators, you’ll be well prepared for the NBPTS Critical Reflection certification requirement.

Faculty for the Online Master of Arts in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency

Learn from expert instructors who are committed to the university’s values and to helping you succeed through coaching and support. Our faculty are highly networked scholars and researchers who can help you become the leader you want to be.

Will Coghill-Behrends, PhD

Will Coghill-Behrends, PhD

Clinical Associate Professor, Co-Director Linda R. Baker Teacher Leader Center

Laurie Croft, PhD

Laurie Croft, PhD

Clinical Professor, Talented and Gifted

Catherine J. Welch, PhD

Catherine J. Welch, PhD

Professor of Educational Measurement and Statistics

Gerta Bardhoshi, PhD

Gerta Bardhoshi, PhD

Associate Professor of School Counseling

Put your MA to work right away or go on for your PhD

Iowa’s MA in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency provides immediate career impact for licensed teachers and opens doors to educational leadership and administration opportunities. Your MA also puts you on a solid footing for doctoral work.

And, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that a master’s degree can boost your salary. Nationally and across professions, those with master’s degrees earn an average of 18% more than those whose highest degree is a bachelor’s.4

Fuel your teaching success and enjoy the same affordable tuition wherever you live. Tuition is $595 per semester hour,* and qualified students may be eligible for financial aid.

Admissions Overview

We prefer that candidates for the MATLCC program have a teaching license or certification and a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale from a bachelor’s degree program that includes an educator preparation program for initial licensure.

Candidates who do not fit this description may still be admitted. Explore your options with an admissions outreach advisor.

More Admissions Info Apply Now

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Frequently Asked Questions

What services and support do I have access to as an online student?

Students admitted and enrolled in program coursework are supported through program advisement and financial aid services and have access to the University of Iowa Library Services and IT Support Services.
  • Remote access to UI Libraries’ subscription databases and research collections
  • Research assistance by phone, email, or online meeting
  • Book delivery (within the U.S.)
  • Scanning and delivery of articles and book chapters
  • Resource guides and recommendations for research tools

What are the technology requirements?

Online students have access to free software and technical assistance to ensure they meet the minimum system and connection requirements. Please visit the University’s technical support site for more information.

Is the University of Iowa accredited?

Yes. The University of Iowa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Can I apply if my GPA is lower than 3.0?

Yes, however, you will be asked for additional information to support your application to the program.

Will my degree indicate that I completed coursework online?

No, the expectations of graduates from this program are no different than any other graduate from the University of Iowa. The only difference is in the method of program delivery.

Does this program offer licensure in Iowa or any other state?

No, this program does not offer initial licensure in Iowa or any other state. Depending on which electives you choose, you may be able to complete a large number of requirements toward the State of Iowa endorsements in Talented and Gifted, STEM, or ESL with your electives. Candidates seeking an endorsement may need to complete additional coursework before applying to the BOEE. This only applies to teachers in Iowa. Students residing in other states need to review the requirements in their state.

Is the GRE or any other examination required?

No, the GRE or other test scores are not required.

Can I take the MATLCC courses out of sequence or start at a later date?

This program is designed to allow maximum flexibility. Students generally begin with Issues in US Schools (EDTL 5095), but occasionally scheduling may require a different sequence. Conducting School-Based Action Research (EDTL 5099) is typically the final course in the program.

Can transfer credits from another college/university apply toward program requirements?

Yes, up to 9 semester credit hours of graduate coursework can be transferred into the program if approved by the program director in conjunction with the faculty lead for the course being substituted. Candidates seeking transfer credits must provide a syllabus for the course completed to be used for the course review process. Official transcripts will also be required for any institution where transfer credits were earned. Official transcripts should be sent directly from the institution to the Office of Admissions, 108 Calvin Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242 or Do not send unofficial copies to this account. Official mailed records must be received in a sealed envelope directly from the issuing institution.

How are the courses delivered?

All courses are delivered entirely online through Canvas. Courses are typically 8 weeks in length.

Do I qualify for financial aid?

Students who want to apply for financial aid should complete and submit the FAFSA as early as possible. The financial aid office at the University of Iowa will work with students to determine options for funding university coursework based on FAFSA results. Iowa’s FAFSA code is 001892. Learn more on our tuition and financial aid page.

Students with specific questions about financial aid may contact the Office of Student Financial Aid by email at or by phone at 319-335-1450. For more information, visit the financial aid website.

Admissions Deadlines

Summer 2024 Term

April 26
Summer 2024
May 24
Summer 2024
June 10
Summer 2024

Lead for equity and excellence with Iowa’s online MA in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency.

* Tuition and fees are subject to change.


The University of Iowa has engaged Everspring, a leading provider of education and technology services, to support select aspects of program delivery.