2.4 MA in TESL/Applied Linguistics Degree Requirements

Search the Graduate POS Manual

POS Manual Home
Chapter 1 - General Information Chapter 2 - Master of Arts Programs Chapter 3 - Master of Fine Arts Programs Chapter 4 - Doctoral Programs Chapter 5 - Concurrent Bachelor's and Master's Degree Programs Chapter 6 - Certificate Programs

Students admitted to graduate study for the MA in TESL/Applied Linguistics (TESL/AL) can declare up to two of the seven elective disciplinary specializations or choose the Open Option and not declare a specific specialization:

  • Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL)
  • Language Assessment
  • English for Specific Purposes (ESP)
  • Literacy
  • Literature in ESL
  • Corpus and Computational Linguistics
  • Teaching English to L1 Spanish Learners

2.4.1 Degree Requirements

Requires 30 credits of coursework.

Area of CourseworkCoursesCredits
PREREQUISITES (or their equivalents)
These courses do not count towards degree requirement credits. Students who have not completed prerequisites upon entry into the program must complete them as soon as possible after admission. Previous coursework that meets prerequisites must be documented by submitting the Prerequisite Equivalency Petition.
Engl/Ling 220 or passing the online 220 test-out
Engl/Ling 219 or Engl/Ling 511
Engl/Ling 510
Linguistic Analysis and InterpretationEngl/Ling 514
Engl/Ling 537
Applied Aspects of Second Language Acquisition
Engl/Ling 512
Engl/Ling 524 or 525 (Literacy specialization must take 525)
Engl/Ling 519
Engl/Ling 588 or Engl 500 or Sp Cm 513
Students must choose electives designated as counting in each area of specialization and should consult with their assigned program advisor or major professor concerning "relevant electives."
Double specialization requires a minimum of 18 credits (9 credits of non-overlapping coursework).
Engl/Ling 510 or 511 can be counted as 3 credits of the specialization, but can be counted only once each if double specializing. 9 each
Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL)
Engl/Ling 526
Two courses in CALL with POS Committee approval
(Engl/Ling 517X, instructional technology, HCI, etc.)
Language Assessment
Engl/Ling 630 topic on Dev of Language Assessments
Resev 552 or Stat 587C (previously Stat 401)
One relevant elective
English for Specific Purposes (ESP)
Engl/Ling 527
Engl/Ling 528
One relevant elective
Engl/Ling 524
Two courses (6 credits) taken with prior approval from program advisor/major professor and chosen from relevant electives below:
*Suggested courses inside the English Dept include: Engl 503, any relevant graduate literature course
*Suggested courses outside the English Dept include: EDUC 554, EDUC I 553, any courses with a significant component relevant to research in and/or pedagogy in literacy
Literature in ESL
Three appropriate electives, two of which must be English Dept graduate literature courses
Corpus and Computational Linguistics
Three appropriate courses with a significant component relevant to either corpus-based analyses or language or the computational analysis of language.
*Relevant courses inside the English Dept include: Engl/Ling 516, 517X, 520, 527
*Relevant courses outside the English Dept include: Any courses in Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
Teaching English to L1 Spanish Learners
Three appropriate courses with a significant component relevant to research into and/or the teaching of learners of English whose first language (L1) is Spanish.
*Relevant courses outside the English Dept include: Span 554, 563X, 545
Open Option (no specialization declared)
Three appropriate course electives approved by the POS committee
Engl 699: Thesis Research
Engl 599: Creative Component
TOTAL 30 minimum

2.4.2 Curricular Policies and Guidelines

Language Requirement

Satisfying the MA TESL/AL Language Requirement may require additional coursework. The spirit of this requirement is that students, before they graduate, will have had a language-learning experience either in the recent past or concurrent with working toward their degree. All students are required to submit a Language Requirement Form indicating how this requirement is to be met signed by your assigned program advisor or major professor and submitted to the Graduate Program Staff Assistant for approval by the Director of Graduate Education in order to receive acknowledgement on your official academic record that a language requirement has been met.

Native speakers of English

The following are the most typical ways for native speakers of English to fulfill the requirement. Students who believe they have fulfilled the requirement in other ways should write a petition to DOGE explaining their situation. To satisfy the language requirement, students must

  • have completed one year (or its equivalent) of college-level study in a single foreign language with a grade of B or higher, as shown on a transcript, no more than ten (10) years before beginning graduate work in the TESL/Applied Linguistics program; students who finished at least one year of college-level language study more than ten (10) years before beginning graduate work in TESL/Applied Linguistics must complete one semester of college-level study of any foreign language with a grade of B or higher, concurrent with working toward the degree OR
  • complete one year or its equivalent of college-level study in a single foreign language, with a grade of B or higher in the second semester, concurrent with working toward the degree OR
  • demonstrate proficiency in a single foreign language by means of a CLEP exam available through the College Board equivalent to one year of college-level study OR
  • provide clear evidence of a bilingual background

Nonnative speakers of English

Nonnative speakers of English must pass the English Placement Test (EPT) as a graduate student or qualify for one of the EPT exemptions (see exemption information on their website); if students fail the EPT, they will be required to take and pass English classes.

All graduate students in the TESL/Applied Linguistics MA program whose first language is not English are required to pass the OECT as part of their program requirements. To pass, students must achieve a Level 1 certification or may be exempted from taking one or both of the OECT components. Check the OECT website for further information.

2.4.3 The Program of Study Committee and the POSC Form (MA)

Students should refer to The Program of Study Committee and POSC Form (MA) to begin establishing who their POS Committee members will be. See this section for more details and information on the POS Committee requirements and deadline for forming your POS Committee and submitting the Program of Study and Committee Form (POSC).

2.4.4 Thesis and Creative Component Options

In your last semester as a master’s student, you will complete a substantial research project—either a traditional thesis or a creative component (see more information here). The creative component option allows you to apply and display what you’ve learned in your coursework.

2.4.5 Final Oral Defense of the Thesis or Creative Component (Final Oral Examination)

Students should refer to Guidelines for Thesis and Creative Component (MA) as soon as they begin to establish their POS Committee and share their research interests. See the section on Graduation for more details and information on finishing up as well as resources with links to very helpful information.

2.4.6 Student Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes students in this program are expected to meet include:

  • Demonstrate independence, reflective practices and professionalism in teaching and assessment of English as a second language.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and confidence with the use of computer applications relevant to teaching English language teaching.
  • Formulate important research questions to for guiding investigations that contribute to theory and practice in one or more areas of applied linguistics.
  • Carry out research in one area of applied linguistics that will increase understanding of English language teaching.
  • Evaluate research in the field to identify its contribution to theory, research and practice in applied linguistics.
  • Communicate ideas, discoveries, and findings to others in a professional and creative manner.
  • Collaborate with other professionals to create and investigate new knowledge, practices and products for English language teaching.