Jun 05, 2023  
University Catalog 2012-2013 
University Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), M.A.

The Master of Arts Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL) prepares teachers for a wide variety of positions both in the U.S. and abroad. Students may select coursework that prepares them for several career choices, including the following: English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) instruction in the U.S. or in a non English-speaking setting abroad; K-12, adult education, or post secondary settings; and research in Applied Linguistics. The program emphasizes language acquisition processes, teaching methodology, linguistics, language testing, research, and sociocultural influences.

Admission to the Program

In addition to University requirements for admission to graduate study, applicants must have a 2.75 grade point average in the last 90 quarter units attempted. Students must first apply for admission to the University in graduate standing. Then, they must make formal application to the Charter College of Education and the TESOL Program. Once they gain admission to the university with graduate status, they must consult a faculty adviser for program planning.


All Students:

  • ENGL 401 English Language in America (4) or TESL 400 Linguistics in Language Education (4) with grade of B or better.
  • One year of college level study in a foreign language or equivalent.

For Visa Students (in addition):

  • Minimum 600 (paper-based or 250 computer-based) score on TOEFL, with at least 60 on each of the sections, or 550 score on TOEFL and minimum 5 score on Test of Written English.

Requirements for the Degree (45 units)

A total of 45 units is required, with at least 23 units in 500- level courses. A comprehensive examination, or a thesis or project is also required. There is a limit on credit that may be earned in variable-unit courses. See Restrictions on Credit Earned in Variable Unit Courses.


*May be waived for students with substantial ESL/EFL teaching experience who successfully demonstrate their teaching competency (must be certified by a TESOL program faculty member).

** Students who choose to write a thesis are required to obtain an adviser’s approval and must take a second course in statistics, EDFN 452.


*May be repeated once for credit with prior approval of a TESOL adviser.

Comprehensive Examination or Thesis or Project (0, 7 units)


*Students should expect to take the comprehensive examination (TESL 596) during the Fall or Spring Quarter and must comply with College and division requirements.

**Students who do a thesis are required to obtain adviser approval and are required to take a second course in statistics (EDFN 452). Selection of an appropriate thesis or project topic may allow students to substitute thesis or project units for other course work in the program, with adviser approval.