MAT WaiverApril 9, 2020 (Jackson, Miss.) - Due to testing limitations related to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, Belhaven Universityis temporarily waiving some testing requirements for its advanced education degrees for summer and fall 2020 admission.

Master of Arts in Teaching

Belhaven Universityis waiving the Praxis I and II tests normally required for admission to the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program through 2021, according to new guidelines recently released by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE).

One change outlined in the MDE policy explains, “Candidates seeking admission to an SBE-approved traditional or nontraditional educator preparation program on or before December 31, 2021, are exempt from the educator preparation program entry testing criterion.”

Belhaven School of EducationDean Dr. David Hand observed, “MDE has given a suspension of the Praxis testing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.They determined that there was going to be a challenge once testing centers were unable to remain open which could cause major issues in receiving test scores in a timely manner. MDE did not want to hinder individuals from pursuing their teacher education certificates realizing the need for teachers in the state.”

According to Dr. Cynthia Wilkins, an associate professor and Belhaven's Director of Graduate Education, the relaxing of the testing requirements is allowing many qualified people to secure their teaching licenses. “I've already had a large number of excited candidates contact me about obtaining their initial teaching licenses,” said Wilkins. “By waiving the time and expense of the Praxis tests, people hoping to become teachers can now easily apply to the alternate route teaching certification program through Belhaven University and, if they choose, earn their Master of Arts in Teaching degree as well.”

Learn more about and apply to Belhaven's Master of Arts in Teaching and Alternate Route Teacher Certification program.

For inquiries about Elementary Education 4-6, contact Dr. Cynthia Wilkins Belhaven's School of Education staff and faculty are available to answer questions.Interested teachers can contact the School of Education at 601-968-8703 or

Doctoral/Post-Graduate Programs

Belhaven Universityis temporarily waiving Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and Graduate Records Examination (GRE) testing requirements for students applying to the education specialist (Ed.S.) and doctoral (Ed.D.) degree programs.

Many colleges across the nation have temporarily waived admission testing requirements including the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, and MAT in response to current events. Wilkins adds, “This is a time of uncertainty, and with the entire country placed on hold for the foreseeable future, now is a great time to pursue a terminal degree in educational leadership,” said Wilkins.

Hand adds, “This is an excellent time for teachers to pursue their advanced degrees whether it's their master's degree, specialist's degree, or doctorate with the Belhaven Graduate School of Education. The Belhaven University School of Education has been offering all of its graduate courses online for the past two years and with COVID-19 closing the campus, our education advanced degree candidates have not lost one moment in their courses or their plan of study - we are totally operating 'status quo.'”

Other admission requirements to enter the Ed.S. and Ed.D. programs are still required and include three or more years of verified teaching experience, letters of recommendation, and an admission's essay.

Find more information about the admissions for Belhaven's Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, beginning June 22, 2020. Learn more and apply to Belhaven's Education Specialist programs with classes starting August 24, 2020.

For other questions about admission to the Ed.S.-Ed.D. Educational Leadership programs, contact Jordan Morrow at Belhaven's School of Education staff and faculty are also available to answer questions.Interested teachers can contact the School of Education at 601-968-8703 or