Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA)
Admission to the Program
Applicants to the master's program in TESOL are subject to the minimum university requirements for admission to graduate study. Further, a grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in the undergraduate major, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and two letters of academic reference are required. It is strongly recommended that native speakers of English have some background in at least one other language. Applicants whose native or first language is not English must demonstrate proof of language proficiency by submitting satisfactory results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum TOEFL score for full admissions consideration is 100 on the internet-based test (iBT) or 600 on the paper-based test. Part-time as well as full-time students are welcome in the program.
Master's International Program (MIP) with Peace Corps
A joint program between the Peace Corps and American University enables participants to prepare for Peace Corps English teaching assignments while earning an MA in TESOL. Application is made separately to American University and the Peace Corps. Admission requirements for the MA program are the same as above. The Peace Corps accepts American citizens only and participants must meet all other Peace Corps requirements prior to beginning Peace Corps service. Successful participants will begin their Peace Corp training and service after they have completed the bulk of their academic work. The Peace Corps service experience constitutes the equivalent of a 6-credit hour internship, for which the tuition is waived. Also, TESL-620 may be waived for students in the AU/Peace Corps program, for a total of 33 credit hours for the degree.
Note: This program is not designed for K-12 ESOL licensure. K-12 public school licensure (or certification) in ESOL is available through the MAT track in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). For more information, see the Education, Teaching and Health, School of, programs.
- 36 credit hours of approved TESOL coursework
- Completion of a teaching portfolio compiled during course of study
- An oral comprehensive examination taken after completion of all required coursework and the teaching portfolio
- Thesis or nonthesis option with grades of B or better in all courses
Core Courses (27 credit hours)
- TESL-500 Principles of Linguistics (3)
- TESL-501 English Language Teaching I (3)
- TESL-502 English Language Teaching II (3)
- TESL-503 Structure of English (3)
- TESL-522 Language Acquisition (3)
- TESL-523 Second Language Acquisition (3)
- TESL-531 Language Assessment (3)
- TESL-541 Teaching Grammar (3)
- TESL-542 Teaching Pronunciation: Theory and Practice (3)
- TESL-620 English Language Teaching III (3) (waived for students in the MIP program)
One of the following:
Thesis or Nonthesis Option (9 credit hours)
Complete one of the following options with grades of B or better:
Note: The thesis option is not available to students in the MIP program.
- TESL-797 Master's Thesis Research (1-6) (6 credit hours required) with grade of B or better
- 3 credit hours of electives listed below with grades of B or better
9 credit hours as approved by the student's advisor from the following with grades of B or better:
- ANTH-537 Topics in Language and Culture (3) (if not taken in core)
- ANTH-544 Topics in Public Anthropology (3) : Anthropology of Education (if not taken in core)
- EDU-647 Global and Multicultural Education (3)
- TESL-522 Language Acquisition (3) (if not taken in core)
- TESL-523 Second Language Acquisition (3) (if not taken in core)
- TESL-524 Reading and Writing in the ESL/EFL Classroom (3)
- TESL-527 Cultural Issues in the ESL/EFL Classroom (3) (if not taken in core)
- TESL-528 Foundations and Methods of Bilingual Education (3)
- TESL-531 Language Assessment (3)
- TESL-541 Teaching Grammar (3) (if not taken in core)
- TESL-542 Teaching Pronunciation: Theory and Practice (3) (if not taken in core)
- TESL-545 Curriculum and Materials Design (3)
- TESL-554 Technology for Language Learning and Teaching (3)
- TESL-560 TESOL Topics (1-3)
- TESL-691 Internship (1-6)
- TESL-693 AU/Peace Corps Internship (6) (required for students in the MIP program)
Combined Bachelor's Degree and MA in TESOL
American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.
This program enables qualified students to earn both a BA or BS in any major and an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Note: This program is not designed for K-12 ESOL licensure.
- The standards for admission as defined by the relevant undergraduate teaching unit's requirements must first be satisfied. Undergraduates should apply for admission to the combined program by the end of the junior year.
- Undergraduates whose overall grade point average is 3.00 or higher will be considered for the combined program. Applications must be accompanied by two letters of academic reference and a statement of purpose. Students should discuss their interest in the program with the TESOL MA director before submitting a formal application.
- All requirements for a BA or BS in any major at American University.
- Undergraduate students may apply up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate-level coursework to satisfy the requirements for both degrees.
- All requirements for the MA in TESOL, including a minimum of 18 credit hours completed in residence in graduate status after the undergraduate degree has been awarded. Students must finish the master's degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master's program.