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.

Doctoral Degrees Offered: None

Master Degrees 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 for fall semester entry, with applications accepted and evaluated beginning October 15. Early applications are encouraged. October 15 for spring semester entry (no assistantships, scholarships, or fellowships available with spring admission) *Note: GRE scores are not required for nonnative speakers of English who are not requesting consideration for assistantships, fellowships, or scholarships.

Program Requires GRE: Yes

Program Requires GMAT : No

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