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.

What Can You Do with an M.A. in TESOL?

As an internationally, nationally, and regionally recognized program of excellence, TESOL prepares teachers for the K-12, adult, college or university setting for teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Graduates will work with children in preschool through high school, in adult education programs with refugees and immigrants, or in college and university programs. 

Career Opportunities 

  • Instructional Coordinator 
  • ESL educators overseas and in the US 
  • International Program Coordinators 

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.

English: TESOL (MA) Degree Map

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

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:

  • A non-thesis graduate paper and comprehensive exam
  • A portfolio and comprehensive exam
  • A thesis and oral defense. 

(30 Hours)

Core Requirements
  • 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)
  • TL648 Foundations in Linguistics (3)
Choose 3 hours from the following:*
  • EN606 Topics, Issues and Trends in English (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
Choose one with advice of program coordinator
  • GR698 Master's Final Comprehensive Examination (0)
  • GR699 Master's Oral Examination (0)

* 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 fields may include composition, literature, education, foreign languages, etc. 

Recommended sequence of required coursework

The first year: TL525, TL648, TL585, TL601

The second year: TL620, TL630, TL530, TL625, EN686 

Summer classes are available. Students are encouraged to work with their advisor to design an initial study plan that is tailored to their specific needs based on their previous experience. 

Accelerated Program

The accelerated master’s degree program allows certain undergraduate students to take     classes in their senior year that count for both undergraduate credit and graduate credit.  Our Master of Arts in English and TESOL program’s were approved for this program.  We encourage you to consider this opportunity.

If you have ever considered working on a Master’s program, this may be an excellent opportunity for you to begin. 

Program Requirements:

  • Junior Standing with at least 75 credit hours completed 
  • Maximum of 12 hours (500 level) of EN, LI or TL can be transferred to the graduate program.
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0
  • In the final semester of the undergraduate program the formal graduate application must be submitted

Program Notes:

  • Tuition will be charged at the undergraduate rate.
  • Course will be initially recorded as undergraduate class at the end of semester.
  • After grades are submitted at the end of the semester, the courses will be added to your graduate course list for graduate credit. 

Required Courses

  • TL 525 ESL/EFL Learning and Teaching (required course)
  • TL 585: Methods and Techniques for TESOL (required course)
  • Then choose 2 courses from the following list –
    • EN 500 History of the English Language
    • EN 535 Rhetorical Theory and Written Discourse
    • EN 550 Style in Writing
    • LI 542 Literature for the Young Adult
    • LI 576: American Fiction of the 21st Century

Graduate Coordinator

Dr. Irina Ustinova (iustinova@semo.edu) MA TESOL

Dr. Sarah Dietrich (sdietrich@semo.edu) MA TESOL

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.

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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. 

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.

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