Teaching English as a Second Language/Applied Linguistics


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: Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL); Language Assessment; English for Specific Purposes (ESP); Literacy; and Literature in ESL. Additional specializations planned to be offered beginning Fall 2016 (subject to approval) include the following: Teaching English to L1 Spanish Learners; Corpus and Computational Linguistics. 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.

Ph.D. Offered: None

Master's Offered: Master of Arts (M.A.)

Online Degrees: None

Area(s) of Specialization (will appear on all ISU transcripts after graduation): Literature in English as a Second Language (M.A.); Literacy in English as a Second Language (M.A.); Language Assessment (M.A.); English for Specific Purposes (M.A.); Computer Assisted Language Learning (M.A.); Corpus and Computational Linguistics (M.A.); Teaching English to L1 Spanish Learners (M.A.);

Master's Degree Outcomes

Career Placement Outcomes

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Contact: Teresa Smiley
Phone: 515-294-2477
E-mail Address:


ISU-wide: Academic Records, GPA, Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation

Application Deadlines: January 5 once per year for fall semester entry

Program Requires GRE: Yes

Program Requires GMAT : No

1. All nonnative speaking applicants must provide an audio/video of spontaneous spoken English emailed to englgrad@iastate.edu.
2. Three letters of recommendation (LOR)
3. Curriculum vitae/resume
4. Statement of purpose and personal goals
5. Writing sample according to our guidelines
NOTE: Nonnative speakers of English may NOT be required to submit English proficiency test scores (see below). Review International Application Instructions document by clicking HERE.

Additional International Requirements:

English Proficiency Minimum:

TOEFL Paper (PBT) 600
TOEFL Internet (iBT) 100
PTE 68

Program Will Review Without TOEFL or IELTS: No

Financial Statement: Application

Mailing Address if needed:

English Department
Graduate Studies Program, 203 Ross Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-1201