Teaching English to Speaker's of Other Languages (TESOL) Concentration Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) Program

The Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) with a concentration in TESOL is intended for professionals from a variety of backgrounds and with varied career interests. Some of our candidates are interested in teaching positions not requiring state certification such as jobs overseas, or in business settings, community agencies, college and university English language institutes, parochial or other independent elementary and secondary schools. Others are already certified to teach in a public school system in Pennsylvania and wish to learn how to better meet the needs of English language learners. Still others are from abroad and wish to develop their expertise in teaching English in their native country. The Master's degree program addresses all of these needs.

Please note that the Master's program in TESOL at Temple does not offer teacher certification. Those who are interested in teaching ESL in Pennsylvania public K-12 schools should first enroll in one of the teacher certification programs (the Post Baccalaureate Certification Program or the Graduate Certification Program) and concurrently pursue the ESL certificate program.

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Program Requirements

The Master's degree program in TESOL requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of formal course work and a culminating comprehensive exam. To remain in good academic standing a student must not accumulate more than two grades below B- or one F. In order to take the comprehensive exam and graduate, all students must have at least a 3.0 grade point average and may not have an incomplete remaining on their graduate record.

Students have four consecutive years from the semester of acceptance to complete the Master's degree. Students are expected to be continuously enrolled every fall and spring semester upon acceptance to the program. For any semester a student is not enrolled in courses, a fee of $25.00 is charged by the University and a leave of absence application must be filled out and approved by the TESOL program, the Teaching & Learning Department, and the Graduate School. The semester of a leave of absence still counts towards the 4-year time limit.

Skills and competencies: The Master of Science in Education degree in TESOL prepares students to teach English as a second or foreign language in a variety of contexts, including K-12 schools, colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad, and adult programs in North America, Europe, Japan, China, and the Middle East. The TESOL program offers a strong foundation in linguistics and emphasizes pedagogy that reflects cultural sensitivity and awareness of the language and cultural customs of speakers of foreign languages.

To teach ESL in Pennsylvania public, K-12 schools, you must first have a valid Instructional I or II certificate. The Program Specialist: ESL Certificate has been designed as an “add-on” to these certificates. You can find the application to the ESL Certificate Program at this site.

Required Core Courses (18 semester hours)

  • TESL 8611 - Applied Language Study I (3 s.h.)
  • TESL 8612 - Applied Language Study II (3 s.h.)
  • TESL 8614 - Approaches to Teaching English language learners (3 s.h.)
  • TESL 8616 - Curriculum and assessment in TESOL (3 s.h.)
  • TESL 8618 - Second Language Acquisition (3 s.h.)
  • TESL 8621 - Contexts for teaching and learning language (3 s.h.)

See detailed course description in the Graduate Bulletin.

TESOL Electives (6 semester hours)

Students are required to take at least two TESOL electives. They may also choose to take more than two TESOL electives and take fewer non-TESOL electives instead.

  • TESL 8625 Applied Linguistics (3 s.h.)
  • TESL 8626 Second Language Writing (3 s.h.)
  • TESL 8634 Bilingualism and Bilingual Education (3 s.h.)
  • TESL 8635 Educating English Language Learners: State of Knowledge (3 s.h.)
  • TESL 8636 Assessment of English Language Learners (3 s.h.)
  • TESL 8643 Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (3 s.h.)
  • TESL 8644 Current Issues in Applied Linguistics (3 s.h.)
  • English Education 8734 Discourse Analysis for Teachers (3 s.h.)
  • English Education 8736 (736) - Theories of Second Language Learning (3 s.h.)
  • English Education 8744 Current Issues in Language Education
  • English Education 8654 Issues in English Education

Other appropriate courses may be included in this category with advisor approval. Each fall, the department will announce which elective courses will be offered during the upcoming academic year.

Non TESOL Electives (6 semester hours)

Up to two courses outside of the TESOL Program may be taken from, but are not limited to, such fields as Literacy, Urban Education, English, Linguistics, Foreign Language Education, Secondary Education, Educational Media, Educational Sociology, or Anthropology to fulfill this requirement. Courses may be taken within the College of Education or in other colleges at Temple University.

Admissions Requirements

Candidates must meet the general admission standards of the College of Education and the Graduate School. Multiple criteria are used to determine applicant eligibility, including a baseline undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0. Applicants must take either the Millers Analogies Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and score at 50th percentile or higher. Non-native speakers of English must also obtain a score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL (iBT) exam. The program also accepts a IELTS score of 7 or higher in lieu of TOEFL.

Submitted Application Must Include:

  • A completed Graduate School Online Application When completing your online application, select "Education-MSED" under the "Application Type". Then, under "Planned Course of Study," select "Education-MSED" and indicate "Teaching English as Second Language" as the concentration
  • Scores on either the Miller Analogies Test or the Graduate Record Exam taken no longer than 5 years prior to application.
  • TOEFL or IELTS examinations scores for non-native speakers of English taken within the past 2 years.
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all accredited colleges or universities attended.
  • Two (2) professional letters of recommendation [pdf]: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from former and current professors who can provide insight into the applicant's abilities and talents and can comment on the applicant’s aptitude for graduate study.  If already working in the field, the applicant may include letters from professional colleagues
  • professional goal statement. The goal statement should be approximately 500-1,000 words in length and should indicate your goals and objectives for obtaining a master's degree in TESOL.  The statement should also include the following elements:  your specific interest in Temple’s program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.
  • A professional resume.

Students Wishing to Continue from Temple's ESL Certificate Program
Admission to the Master’s program for Temple's ESL Certificate Program students is not automatic; ESL Certificate Program students who wish to continue on with the Master’s program must formally apply in order to be considered for admission. Interested students should contact Dr. Kanno early while in the ESL Certificate Program. ESL Certificate Program students are waived the GRE/MAT requirement if they meet the following conditions:

  • They have taken at least three of the four ESL certificate courses (9 credits) by the time they apply.
  • They have earned at least two As in the ESL Certificate Program.
  • Their GPA in the ESL Certificate Program is at least –A.

If admitted to the Master’s program, ESL Certificate completers may transfer up to 12 credits towards their Master’s degree.

International Applicants from Our Affiliated Program in Korea
We are in partnership with the Sookmyung TESOL Program and the Hangyang-Oregon TESOL Program in Korea. Applicants who have completed either of these programs are waived the GRE/MAT requirement when they apply (they are required to submit their TOEFL score). Also, upon admission, they can transfer up to 12 credits from their Korean TESOL program to our Master’s program.

Non-Degree-Seeking Students
Students are allowed to take up to 9 semester hours (3 courses) prior to official acceptance in the program. In addition, up to 6 semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred into the program from another university provided they are recent, relevant, fit into the program requirements, and meet the approval of the program advisor. A “B” grade or higher is required in any course considered for transfer credit.

Submitting Your Materials

See the Application Checklist for complete details on how to submit your application materials. Required supplemental materials should be sent attention to:

Office of Enrollment Management 
College of Education, Temple University
150 Ritter Annex (003-00)
1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091

Please allow delivery and processing time before your application will be reviewed. For faster service, the College of Education at Temple University also receives supporting application materials for graduate admissions electronically via the Interfolio service.

It is the student's responsibility to see that everything is completed by the deadline date.

Deadline for Application:

  • For fall admission: April 1
  • For spring admission: October 1

We strongly encourage applicants to apply early and to periodically check TUPortal (Self-Service Banner) as to the status of their materials.

Visit the M.S.Ed. Program Information

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