Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language

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Our TESL degree combines a strong theoretical foundation in applied linguistics with practical training in the teaching of English to people who speak other native languages.

Program goals

The principal goals of the program are to:

  • provide the linguistic theory necessary for ESL/EFL teachers
  • equip teachers with the practical skills needed for effective language teaching
  • prepare students for further study in English language teaching, applied linguistics, and related fields


The MA-TESL program has three tracks:

Length of program

The MA-TESL program is a one-and-a-half to two-year course of study. If you have a teaching assistantship, you should plan on a two-year commitment.

General information

TESL / Applied Linguistics Faculty 

MA-TESL and PhD in Applied Linguistics Handbook  

MA TESL Catalog Information 

Accelerated BA-MA program 

The Accelerated BA English – MA-TESL (Teaching Track) allows students to get both a BA in English and an MA-TESL degree in as few as five years. Please see the academic catalog for the most recent information regarding courses and academic plans.

Graduate Student Association of Applied Linguistics 

MA TESL Comprehensive Exam Information Sheet
Comprehensive Exams from previous years: 2016 (January, August), 2015 (JanuaryAugust), 2014 (JanuaryAugust), 2013 (JanuaryAugust), 2012 (JanuaryAugust), 2011 (JanuaryAugust), 2010 (JanuaryAugust)

MA-TESL Writing Requirement Form 

Financial aid

Find information on financial aid, including Tuition Waivers and Graduate Assistantships.

Employment after Graduation

Read more

Teaching abroad

Over 90 percent of our MA-TESL graduates have obtained ESL/EFL teaching positions. Graduates have taught in many countries, including:

Argentina, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macao, Morocco, Namibia, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Uzbekistan

ESL positions

Our graduates have also been employed in:

  • adult education
  • community colleges
  • K-12 public schools
  • intensive English programs
  • programs for refugees
  • US Defense Language Institute

Other EFL positions

Our graduates have worked with:

  • US Peace Corps 
  • US State Department English Language Fellow (ELF) Program

Other ESL-related positions

Our graduates have worked as curriculum specialists, test-item developers, or lexicographers with:

  • Cambridge University Press
  • Educational Testing Service (ETS)
  • Longman
  • Second Language Testing, Inc.