To acquire the degree, a candidate must complete 36 credit-hour graduate coursework (12 courses) and pass a comprehensive examination.


CORE – All students must take the following 8 required courses (24 credit hours):

TESL/GRED   5003    Research & Writing

            TESL   5013    Pedagogical Grammar 

            TESL   5103    Studies in Linguistics  

            TESL   5123    Second Language Acquisition (SLA)

            TESL   5423    Methods of TESOL     

            TESL   5513    ESL and EFL Assessment                   

            TESL   6873    Practicum in TESOL  

            TESL   6903    Methods of Research  


ELECTIVES – All students must take 4 elective courses (12 credit hours) from the following:

            TESL   5103    Technology in the Classroom

            TESL   5113    American English Phonology

ELED or GRED   5203    Engl. Language Learners in the Classroom

            TESL   5363    Second Language Writing 

            TESL   5463    Curriculum Design and Materials Development

            TESL   5713    Psycholinguistics        

            TESL   6103    Foundations of Reading

            TESL   5163    Issues in TESOL:  E.g., Discourse Analysis

Comprehensive Examination:
All candidates for the M.A. in TESOL are required to complete successfully a comprehensive examination, usually scheduled in the student’s last semester of course work. Format, times, and location will be announced early in the semester. Applications and instructions for the examination are available in the division of education office. Applications must be signed by the advisor and the program director. A copy of the completed application is required for entry into the examination room.

Thesis Option
Before electing the thesis option as part of the requirements for the M.A. in TESOL, a candidate must demonstrate the following qualifications:

  1. The candidate must possess a GPA of 3.75 or higher.
  2. The candidate must have completed Methods of Research with an A (not A-) both in the course and on the research proposal in the course.
  3. International student candidates must demonstrate an adequate writing proficiency by scoring 600 or above on the TOEFL (260 or above on the computerized version), scoring 5 or above on the Test of Written English, and performing acceptably on the essay examination administered by the division thesis committee.

Candidates who have met the above qualifications and elect the thesis option must fill out a thesis application and obtain approval from their advisors and the program director. A thesis advisory committee will then be formed for the student who has been approved to write a thesis. Candidates who choose the thesis option will be required to complete the minimum of 33 hours plus 3 hours of thesis.

Normally, students are expected to complete the thesis during the semester of enrollment. However, the research design for the problem may be such that one semester is Petree College of Arts and Sciences 45 not sufficient for completion of the study. In this case, the student must secure the approval of his or her thesis advisory committee, and an “X” will be recorded. Except for extreme extenuating circumstances, the extension may not exceed one semester. If the “X” is not converted to a grade by the end of the extension period, the student will be required to re-enroll in the Thesis in TESOL (TESL 6983).

Re-enrollment of more than one time will not be permitted without filing a new plan of study, which must be approved by the thesis advisory committee.

Thesis Submission and Style
Theses that have been approved by the thesis advisory committee must be submitted to the TESOL department at least three weeks before commencement. Exceptions must have prior approval of the thesis advisory committee. The writing style of the thesis must comply with the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Manual.


For certificate candidates, the following 6 TESOL core courses (18 credit hours) are the only requirement:

      TESL 5013: Pedagogical Grammar
      TESL 5103: Studies in Linguistics
      TESL 5123: Second Language Acquisition
      TESL 5423: Methods of TESOL
      TESL 5513: ESL/EFL Assessment
      TESL 6873: TESOL Practicum.