Admission to the MA in TESOL is suspended for the 2024-2025 academic year. 

The MA in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and Applied Linguistics prepares students for careers teaching adult learners of English as a second language in a variety of contexts. The program blends essential core linguistics with highly specialized training in methodologies of teaching English, second language acquisition, bilingualism, and multicultural awareness.

The use of English as an international language of communication has increased dramatically in the last few decades, and the demand for highly trained TESOL professionals is great in many parts of the world. Graduates will be qualified for positions both abroad and in the US. Opportunities within the US may include teaching English to international students, immigrants, or other visitors. International contexts can range from university instruction, private language academies, as well as consultation with public schools. TESOL is a dynamic profession that combines innovation and creativity with interactions in culturally diverse communities.


Admission Requirements 

Admission to the MA in TESOL is suspended for the 2024-2025 academic year. 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


As with admission to other graduate programs in Linguistics, admission to the MA in TESOL and Applied Linguistics program will be determined based on the education, skills, experience, past academic performance, and interests of the applicant. The Department of Linguistics faculty will review each application to determine whether a student is qualified for admission to the program. In addition to meeting graduate school requirements for admission, potential students must provide three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant's academic or professional work; a writing sample demonstrating the applicant's critical thinking, research, and writing skills; and a current resume that clearly articulates the applicant's professional, international, and intercultural experiences as well as language exposure and proficiencies.

Admission to the MA in TESOL is suspended for the 2024-2025 academic year; no applications are being accepted at this time.

Credits and Courses

Required Courses:
LINGUIS 520GAdvanced Second Language Acquisition:3
LINGUIS 720Introduction to Second Language Acquisition3
LINGUIS 741Introduction to TESOL Methods3
LINGUIS 750Introduction to Phonetics3
LINGUIS 761Introduction to Phonology3
LINGUIS 764Introduction to Syntax3
LINGUIS 810Methodologies in English Language Teaching3
LINGUIS 867Materials and Curriculum for TESOL3
LINGUIS 869Practicum in Teaching ESL to Adult Learners (take 3 credits)1-6
Elective (Choose one):3
Principles and Foundations of Adult Education
Assessment Issues in Language Education
History and Politics of Second Language Education
Applied Educational Linguistics
Language and Society
Issues in Bilingualism
Proseminar in Linguistics
Language in its Various Forms:
Seminar in Linguistics: (Language Acquisition topic)
Total Credits30

Additional Requirements

Major Professor as Advisor

The student must have a Major Professor to advise and supervise the student’s work as specified in Graduate School regulations. The director of graduate studies serves as an initial advisor. It is recommended that the student have a permanent advisor by the end of the second semester of enrollment.

Final Project

A research paper or other project appropriate to the student’s professional goals, to be defended in an individualized oral examination.

  • Final project: The project is a research paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor; for students specializing in Teaching ESL to Adult Learners, the project may take some other form as approved by the major professor.
  • Oral examination: The oral examination, usually lasting an hour and a half, focuses on the final project but also covers other elements of the student’s program of study.

Regulations concerning final projects and oral examinations:

  1. Students should consult with their advisors before completing 24 credits in order to determine a final project. Ordinarily, this is a revised and expanded course or seminar paper of at least 30 pages. The project should demonstrate the student’s skills in research, analysis and argumentation. For students specializing in Teaching ESL to Adult Learners, the project may consist of documentation of the outcome of a pedagogical investigation undertaken during the student’s internship. The project serves both as a concluding effort at the master’s level and as an indication of the student’s potential for doctoral study.
  2. In consultation with the student, the Director of Graduate Studies appoints an MA Examining Committee. At least two of the three members must be Linguistics Department faculty members. The MA Examining Committee administers the final Oral Examination.
  3. The project must be submitted and the oral examination completed within one year after the completion of 24 credits. Students should remember that a maximum of 30 credits at the master’s level is applicable to the PhD 54 credit requirement.
  4. Students who express intent to go on for the PhD are evaluated by the MA Examining Committee regarding their qualifications for further graduate study at the doctoral level. The Committee Chair puts the Committee’s recommendation in writing and places it in the student’s academic file.
  5. Students who fail the oral examination may be required to revise their final project, retake the examination, or both. The oral examination may be retaken only once. Students must register for 1-3 credits when revising the final project after a failed examination; however, the additional credit(s) may not count toward the 30 credits required for the degree.

Time Limit

The student must complete all degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.