Master of Arts for Teachers of English (MATE)

Engage in lifelong learning

The Master of Arts for Teachers of English (MATE) Program is an innovative and accessible graduate degree program that offers English teachers in the elementary, secondary, or college system within the province of British Columbia the opportunity to pursue advanced studies in English literature. The MATE program is not taking applications in 2023. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective students

About the program

What is the difference between the MA in English and the Master in Arts for Teachers of English (MATE)?

The regular MA program in English is directed towards those who have recently completed their BAs and who are abreast of current critical approaches to English studies.  These graduate students are typically young, they can commit full-time to their studies, and they have relatively flexible schedules.  Successful applicants for the MATE Program will be full-time (or on-call) teachers, who have completed their BA in English some time ago, but who persist in their passion for the study of literature and who seek the challenge and intellectual fulfillment – and financial reward – of a graduate degree.

What is meant by "significant salary increases" for MATE students?

MATE is an approved graduate degree, recognized by the Teacher Qualifying Service (TQS). MATE students will be eligible to apply for Category Six (6) upon completion of the MATE graduate program. Visit the TQS website for additional details.

How do I apply for this pay raise?

Please submit a signed application form, proof of your public school employment and an official transcript from the university indicating completion of your graduate degree to the Teacher Qualifying Service. If a transcript with a degree statement is not yet available, the TQS will accept an official transcript showing all credit awarded for your graduate degree and an official letter from SFU indicating that you have met all your degree requirements, the date your requirements were met, and the date your degree will be awarded. For more information, please visit the TQS website.

How many credits is the MATE Program?

Each graduate course counts for 4 credits each. The professional development seminars (English 880 and 881) and the Graduating Essay/Project are also four credits each. In total, the MATE Program is 36 credits.

Will I be able to take courses at SFU Burnaby?

Yes. After the first year in the MATE Program, you have the option of taking graduate courses at SFU Burnaby.

How long does it take to complete the MATE Program?

Typically two years.  


What are the admission requirements?

Applicants should have a strong BA in English or a cognate discipline with a broad range of courses in major areas of English literature, and should be working in a public or private school within the province of British Columbia . Students should normally have a high grade point average (a cumulative 3.0 GPA minimum) and strong references.

Cognate disciplines include Humanities, Comparative Literature and World Literature.  Students with a BA in History, Philosophy, Women's Studies, or Modern Languages will also be considered if they had an English minor or completed a range of English courses as part of their undergraduate degree.

Do I have to be a teacher to apply to MATE?

Yes. Although the requirements for graduation from the MATE Program are the same as for the regular MA program in English, the delivery model of MATE is attuned to the needs, schedules and motivation of working teachers in elementary schools, high schools or colleges located within the province of British Columbia.

If I teach English as an Additional Language, will I be considered for MATE?

EAL teachers will be considered for the MATE program if they have the requisite requirements for admission.

Do you accept applications for January admission?

No. The MATE Program only starts once a year in May.

Will I still be considered for admission if my CGPA is below 3.0?

Yes. Although the 3.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average is calculated on the entire course of studies leading to the BA, more weight is placed on the last couple of years and on English courses especially.  It is possible for students who have done well in English, but whose CGPA is below 3.0, to be admitted.

Can I get letters of recommendation from my employer or colleagues?

Yes. Since applicants for the MATE Program might have completed their BA some time ago, references from professors might be difficult to get. Academic references are fine; letters of reference from principals, department heads and colleagues are also acceptable.

Do I need to submit a writing sample?

No. Applicants only need to submit a 1–2 page statement setting out their intended course of studies, their aptitudes, and their interests in graduate work in English.

Application process

When will I be notified if I have been accepted?

Between early- and mid-April.

Do I have to pay the application fee before my application will be considered?

Yes. You also have to submit all required documents before your application will be evaluated and an admissions decision made.

Can my transcripts or letters of recommendation arrive before my application?

We would prefer that applicants send a complete package which includes sealed transcripts and letters.

How much is the MATE program?

Students in the MATE Program will pay the regular tuition fees for a research program: currently $1763.38 per term.

How do I apply for fellowships or other funding?

All applicants automatically receive consideration for available fellowships and other funding.

Current students

I don't want to be enrolled in the Graduate Benefit Plan. Can I waive the coverage if I have other Medical or Dental insurance coverage?

I am enrolled: how do I activate my Graduate Benefits coverage?

Visit the Graduate Student Society website and complete the Benefit Card Registration form.

I am currently in MATE. Can I take classes from another MATE cohort?

No. In the first year of their program, MATE students are required to remain in their cohort. This is both a matter of the pedagogical approach of the program and of enrollment issues. Having students from one cohort taking classes designated for another cohort is simply not in the best interest of the program, the students, or the instructors.

I am a School Associate with SFU's Faculty of Education. Can the tuition fee certificate be applied towards MATE?

Yes. Students who are eligible for tuition fee waivers or holders of Faculty of Education tuition fee certificates (school associate certificates) must submit to Student Services the properly completed forms and payment for the total amount of the student activity fee, athletic fee, UPass (if applicable), and student services fee each term no later than the tuition and fee payment deadline. Please note that the certificate is valid up to two years and a maximum of 30 units may be applied towards the program.