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Degree Programs
Master of Arts in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The 31-credit hour Master of Arts in Teaching Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is a professional degree that prepares graduate students to become effective teachers of English to adult learners who speak other native languages, both in the U.S. and abroad. Far more than just a program for “teaching grammar,” the M.A. in TESOL degree provides both a strong theoretical foundation as well as hands-on practical experiences.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the TESOL M.A. will able to:

  • Describe the features of both second language and first language discourse.
  • Explain the theoretical principles of second language learning from linguistic, psychological, and social perspectives.
  • Explain the principles, strategies, and features of second language teaching in a variety of contexts.
  • Describe how learning a second language differs from learning one's first language.
  • Exemplify the theory-to-praxis connection in second language teaching in a variety of contexts, modes, and genres.
  • Devise and use instruments for adequately and appropriately assessing language learners’ educational needs and language development in diverse contexts.
  • Design and implement pedagogically-sound lesson plans, teaching materials, courses, and curricula for second language learners in a variety of contexts with respect to reading, writing, listening, speaking, and culture.
  • Evaluate and refine (one's own) teaching practices on the basis of second language learning research and specific students’ learning outcomes using the tools of self-reflection and classroom observation.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale in the student’s undergraduate major, documented by an official transcript. Applicants are normally expected to have been English majors, but admission will be considered also for those who otherwise demonstrate the competency necessary for successful graduate work in English.
  2. Applicants must have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test; preference is given to those who have earned a score of 160 on the Verbal exam. Applicants seeking financial support are encouraged to take the examination by December of the year prior to admission.
  3. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation.
  4. Applicants must submit a 500-750 word personal statement. 

Foreign Language Requirements

TOEFL or IELTS official scores are required for nonnative speaking applicants only and must be reported directly to IUPUI. Test scores are not required if the applicant has earned (or will earn) a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a country where English is the official language (please refer to the Office of International Affairs website.)  The department will only consider applications once the required minimum score is met and does not offer admission to applicants not meeting the required minimum scores.

  • The IUPUI Institution Code for ETS is: #1325
  • Recommended minimum scores for applicants who are nonnative speakers of English: 100 TOEFL iBT; 7.0 IELTS.


M.A. students must maintain a 3.0 (B) grade point average.

Course Requirements

The 31-credit hour M.A. in TESOL is comprised of core courses, elective courses, and the completion of either a thesis or internship.  Please click on the tabs above for more information.

Core Courses (16 credit hours/5 courses)

At the beginning of your graduate career, you will take two core courses that provide an introduction to major areas in the discipline of English:

  • ENG-G 500: Introduction to the English Language (4cr)
  • ENG-Z 520: Second Language Development (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 523: TESOL Methods (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 541: English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and Materials Development (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 545: TESOL Practicum (3cr)

Elective Courses (At least 15 credit hours/5 courses)

  • ENG-G 625: Discourse Analysis and Introduction to Research (4cr)
  • ENG-G 652: Sociolinguistics (4cr)
  • ENG-Z 536: Pedagogical Grammar (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 570: Second Language Writing (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 575: Second Language Learning and Technology (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 598: TESOL Internship (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 600: Seminar in TESOL (variable topics) (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 690: Advanced Readings in TESOL (1-4cr)
  • ENG-Z 699: M.A. Thesis – TESOL (3cr)
  • Other graduate courses in literature, writing, and literacy, or related fields as approved by the director. No more than six credits may be transferred from or taken outside the department.

Students should select one of two program options:

Thesis Option

Required Courses: Students must take the five core courses for a total of 16 credit hours, as well as ENG-Z 690: Advanced Reading in TESOL (1-4 credits) and ENG-Z 699: M.A. Thesis (3 credits)

  • Electives: Students choose at least three courses (at least 8-11 credits)
  • Total: 31 credit hours

Internship Option

Required Courses: Students must take the five core courses for a total of 16 credit hours, as well as ENG-Z 598: TESOL Internship (3 credits)

  • Electives: Students choose at least four courses (at least 12 credits)
  • Total: 31 credit hours