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TESOL | Master's Program

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA)

Offered by the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program, College of Arts and Sciences.

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 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.

Degree Requirements

  • 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

Course Requirements

Core (27 credit hours)

Thesis or Nonthesis Option (9 credit hours)

Complete one of the following options with grades of B or better:

Thesis Option

Note: The thesis option is not available to students in the MIP program.

Nonthesis Option

Complete 9 credit hours as approved by the student's advisor from the following with grades of B or better:

Combined Bachelor's Degree and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA)

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.

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for combined bachelor's/master's programs:

  • 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.

Note: This program is not designed for K-12 ESOL licensure.