The Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages 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. 

Application deadlines:

April 15th for Fall admission

November 15th for Spring admission

Admission Requirements

Regular Admission: 

To be admitted to the M.A. TESOL program, a student must have:

  • An undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale and a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.  
  • 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.  
  • Two years of college foreign language study (or its equivalent) and a B or better in a 3 credit introductory linguistics course.

Conditional Admission:

Conditional admission may be granted to applicants who meet the minimum GPA requirement, but do not meet the additional language and linguistic coursework requirements. Those applicants may be required to take additional coursework to meet these requirements before being granted regular admission status.

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.  Upon arrival at the university, they will be required to take an English proficiency test administered by CMU's English Language Institute (ELI). The results of the test will be used to determine the number of courses they will be required to take through the ELI. Such conditionally admitted students will be allowed to take a restricted number of courses in their academic disciplines concurrently with the ELI courses and must complete all required ELI courses by the end of their first year at CMU. ELI courses must be passed with a B or better to demonstrate proficiency for this program.  Once satisfactory proficiency in English has been demonstrated, as determined by ELI policies, these restrictions will be removed. Please note that students are required to pay tuition for ELI courses just as they would for any other CMU course.

Degree Requirements 

Students must complete 30 semester hours, 24 hours in core courses, and 6 hours in electives. Students must pass a comprehensive examination. A Plan B paper is required.

Required Courses (24 hours):

ENG 571: TESOL Methodologies (3)
ENG 574: TESOL Materials, Assessment, Curriculum (3)
ENG 577: Introduction to Second Language Acquisition (3)

ENG 672: Applied Linguistics in Written Communication (3)
ENG 673: English Phonology for Language Teachers (3)
ENG 674: English Grammar for Language Teachers (3)
ENG 675: Seminar in English Linguistics (3) (rotating topic)ENG 690: Practicum in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) (3)

Elective courses include:

ENG 510: Writing Center Practicum (3)

ENG 520: Diachronic Linguistics and the History of English (3)

ENG 578: Applied Sociolinguistics (3)

ENG 618 Empirical Research Methods in English (3)

ENG 675: Seminar in English Linguistics (3) (can be repeated with different topic)
Courses in Education, Psychology, or other disciplines as approved by the student’s advisor.


For more information about degree requirements, visit the CMU Academic Bulletins.