Teaching English as a Second Language/Applied Linguistics


Program Information:

Program Statement:
    The MA in TESL/Applied Linguistics prepares students for careers in teaching English to nonnative speakers of English, either in the U.S. or abroad. Students with MA degrees in TESL teach adults and younger learners in a wide variety of contexts, supervise language programs, work for testing organizations, and create language teaching materials. Students choose among optional specializations listed. The degree requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credits, including a final thesis or creative component (3 credits) and meeting a foreign language requirement that may be fulfilled in a number of ways.
Degrees Offered:
  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
Area(s) of Specialization: (may appear on ISU transcripts after graduation)
  • Computer Assisted Language Learning (M.A.)
  • Corpus and Computational Linguistics (M.A.)
  • English for Specific Purposes (M.A.)
  • Language Assessment (M.A.)
  • Literacy in English as a Second Language (M.A.)
  • Literature in English as a Second Language (M.A.)
  • Teaching English to L1 Spanish Learners (M.A.)
Program Handbook(s):
Learning Goals:
  • Demonstrate independence, reflective practices and professionalism in teaching and assessment of English as a second language
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and confidence with the use of computer applications relevant to teaching English language teaching
  • Formulate important research questions to for guiding investigations that contribute to theory and practice in one or more areas of applied linguistics
  • Carry out research in one area of applied linguistics that will increase understanding of English language teaching
  • Evaluate research in the field to identify its contribution to theory, research and practice in applied linguistics
  • Communicate ideas, discoveries, and findings to others in a professional and creative manner
  • Collaborate with other professionals to create and investigate new knowledge, practices and products for English language teaching
How long does it take to earn a degree?
  • Median time to earn the master’s: 1.9 years (Methods)

Program Contact:

Contact: Graduate Program Office
Phone: 515-294-2477
E-mail Address:

Mailing Address:

    English Department
    Graduate Program Office
    Iowa State University
    227 Ross Hall
    Ames, IA 50011-1201

Admission Requirements:

Graduate College Requirements:
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.
Program Specific Requirements: International Requirements:
  • Financial Statement: Application
  • English Proficiency Minimum:
    TOEFL Paper (PBT) 587
    TOEFL Internet (iBT) 95
    IELTS 7
    PTE 68
    Duolingo (approved through spring 2025) 115

Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
    January 5 for fall semester entry with financial support consideration. Early applications are encouraged. April 1 (fall entry) and October 15 (spring entry) with no consideration for assistantships, scholarships, or fellowships.
Application Details:
    This program is open to domestic and international students.

People who viewed this program also viewed: