Department of Languages and Literatures

M.A. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Students interested in this program must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should contact the Department of Languages and Literatures for any other admission requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at 


The Graduate Record Examination (General Test) is not required for admission to the program.


This major is available on the thesis and non-thesis options, and requires a minimum of 33 semester hours. The thesis option includes 6 hours of TESOL 6299 Research; the non-thesis option requires an approved research paper. A minimum of 15 hours of 200/6000-level course work is required for either option.


Successful completion of a final written comprehensive examination is required for both thesis and non-thesis options, as specified by the TESOL/Applied Linguistics faculty. See the TESOL Graduate Coordinator for details.


All students who have not had the following courses, or the equivalent, must include these courses as part of their graduate major:


TESOL/Applied Linguistics: TESOL 4120 or TESOL 4110; TESOL 4350; TESOL 4540.


Students are required to meet with their advisors for a program approval interview. Students should complete this interview during the first semester of their course work. The department may require a student to complete course work in addition to the minimum of 33 semester hours required for a master's degree. In such cases, these hours will be specified at the time of the interview.




TESOL/Applied Linguistics (18 hours): TESOL 4120 or TESOL 4110;

TESOL 4350; TESOL 4540 or TESOL 4520; TESOL 4340; TESOL 4740; TESOL

4760; TESOL 6100; TESOL 6740 or TESOL 6760; TESOL 6289; TESOL 6510;

TESOL 6297


TOTAL: 33 hours


Students choosing the thesis option are required to complete 6 hours of

TESOL 6299, which added to the above required courses, as approved by the TESOL Graduate Coordinator. Students who have earned undergraduate credit for any of the required courses select electives in TESOL/Applied Linguistics, with the advice and approval of the TESOL Graduate Coordinator, to complete the required minimum total of 33 hours.


Native speakers of English must demonstrate proficiency in another language by earning at least a C grade in a second-semester, college-level course or by passing a specially designed examination. International students must have achieved a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 600 (paper-based)/250 (computer-based), or the IELTS equivalent, in order to demonstrate their proficiency in English. An international student may be required to take additional English language improvement courses at the discretion of the TESOL/Applied Linguistics faculty. Work taken to satisfy the language proficiency requirement does not count toward the 33 semester hours required to complete the major program.


Students who wish state licensure to teach should request information concerning licensure requirements from the Director of Teacher Education, University of Northern Iowa, or from the Department of Education in the state in which they plan to teach.