Learn to teach English as a second language: You’ll do that here.

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) degree have the opportunity to work with children in pre-school throughout high school, in adult education programs with refugees and immigrants; or in college or university programs. The student's place of employment may be within the United States or overseas. This program emphasizes the practical application of theory to the classroom.

What You’ll Do

As a Master of Arts in TESOL student at Southeast, you’ll receive training in all subfields of the discipline: sociolinguistics, research methods, approaches to the teaching of grammar and a practicum.   

  • Acquire basic knowledge of linguistics with emphasis on English structure, its usage(s), and role(s) in society.
  • Learn to design a program of language instruction for students’ own setting and learn to revise, adapt and assess the program as you progress in your studies.
  • Learn to apply theory to practice, taking a hands-on approach to the development of curricula and assessment.
  • Engage in a practicum teaching experience.
  • Receive professional attention from faculty with expertise in the field of TESOL and linguistics and guidance for and preparation with the job search process.

Graduate Assistantships

The graduate assistantship (GA) is designed to provide support during full-time graduate study. It’s an opportunity for the graduate students to serve in a professional role while establishing a professional relationship with faculty and administrators. In addition to a per year stipend, GAs gain valuable experience. There are two kinds of assistantships: teaching and administrative.

Outcomes & Careers

  • 96%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of English report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $60k

    ESL Instructor

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for an ESL Instructor is $59,810.

  • $81k

    English Teacher Postsecondary

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a postsecondary English teacher is $81,340.

  • $58k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for an interpreter is $58,140.

What You’ll Study 

With a master’s degree in TESOL, you’ll complete a minimum of 33 credit hours.

In addition to the criteria established for general admission to graduate studies, applicants must have the following:

  • An undergraduate GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale

Degree Requirements

The TESOL program requires practical experience before completion of the program. Candidates meet the 33-hour requirement through course work and complete one of the following capstone options:

  1. A non-thesis graduate paper and comprehensive exam
  2. A portfolio and comprehensive exam
  3. A thesis and oral defense

English: TESOL
(33 Hours)

Required Courses

  • EN686 Sociolinguistics (3)
  • TL525 Theories of ESL/EFL Learning (3)
  • TL530 Practicum in TESOL (3)
  • TL585 Methods and Curriculum Design for ESL/EFL (3)
  • TL601 Research Methods in TESOL (3)
  • TL620 Approaches to the Teaching of Grammar (3)
  • TL625 Materials Development & Assessment Tools for TESOL (3)
  • TL630 Special Problems in TESOL (3)
  • TL648 Foundations in Linguistics (3)

Choose 6 hours from the following:*

  •  EN606 Topics, Issues and Trends in English (3)
  • TL610 Developing Intercultural Awareness and Competence (3)
  • TL650 Strategies and Techniques for Teaching Academic Language Skills to English Language Learners (3)
  • TL652 Computer-Assisted-Language Learning (3)
  • XXxxx Appropriate course in the field of interest, chosen with advisor

*The elective hours may not be confined to the courses listed above. Students will be advised to select courses that are appropriate to their field of interest. These files may include composition, literature, education, foreign languages, etc.

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College of Humanities and Social Sciences 

This degree is housed within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The College prepares students for lifelong careers. We boast programs that train students in problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, organization, and adaptability. Skills employers value, so we prepare you for basically any career field.

Graduate Coordinators 

Graduate coordinators serve as the contact for graduate programs. The coordinators are most often faculty within the college that houses the program, helping you to get questions answered and first-hand knowledge of the degree requirements and placement opportunities. 

English: TESOL (MA) Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

Contact Us
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Mailing Address

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Cape Girardeau, MO 63701