The Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is designed to prepare teachers for careers in teaching English as a second or foreign language in the United States or abroad. Students study the formal aspects of language, its acquisition and use, and gain knowledge and experience in current theories, approaches, and methods of language teaching and language assessment. Graduates have gone on to teaching careers in the United States and in countries around the world, or have pursued doctoral degrees in applied linguistics or second language learning at prestigious schools in both the United States and the U.K.
Research Opportunities and Assistantships
True to our emphasis on the teacher-researcher, our students regularly attend and present at national and international conferences with financial support from the English Department, and several have also published in peer-reviewed journals. All of our students have the opportunity to work with English language learners at CMU's English Language Institute during their final semester of study in the practicum experience, and there are opportunities for graduate assistantships in the English Language Institute, the Writing Center and English freshman composition courses.
The program offers graduate assistantships on a competitive basis. All graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver and a stipend. Assistantships may be renewed for a second year. In addition to assistantships, the university awards a number of graduate fellowships.
Admission to the TESOL program requires:
- a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited university;
- a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0; and
- two years of college foreign language study (or its equivalent) and a B or better in a three credit introductory linguistics course.
Applicants with TOEFL scores of IBT 79 (20 writing), PBT 550 or above, or an IELTS score of 6.5 (6.5 writing) or above may be granted regular admission. Applicants with TOEFL scores from 61-78 IBT, 500 to 549 PBT, or IELTS scores of 5.5 or 6, or MELAB scores ranging from 69-77 may be granted conditional admission.
Application deadline for fall admission is April 15. Deadline for spring admission is November 15. Apply online at
In addition to the 30 credits hours required, students also must pass a comprehensive examination and complete a Plan B research paper.
For More Information
Dr. Cathy Hicks Kennard
Director of Applied Linguistics and Associate Professor