Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA

College : Arts and Humanities Degree :MA
Department : Modern Languages and Literatures Option : Thesis, Nonthesis
Program Websites : http://mll.cah.ucf.edu/graduate/tesol.php


The Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) provides students a strong foundation in language acquisition, use, and pedagogy.

This graduate program partners with the Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program. If you are a returning Peace Corps volunteer, see Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows for more information about attending graduate school at UCF.


The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA program requires 30-36 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree dependent on whether students select a thesis or nonthesis option. The thesis option consists  of 30 credit hours that includes 24 credit hours of core courses, 3 credit hours of electives, and 3 credit hours of TSL 6971 Thesis. The nonthesis option requires 36 semester hours and includes 24 semester hours of core courses and 12 semester hours of electives. All students, both thesis and nonthesis, must take a written final comprehensive examination covering the core TSL courses.
Total Credit Hours Required:
30-36 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

Most students complete the nonthesis option so that they can focus more on course work related to specific aspects of TESOL, pedagogy, or education. The thesis option is appropriate for those students wishing to research current issues in the discipline or eventually pursue a doctoral program in TESOL or related language field. By the end of the second semester, students wishing to pursue the thesis option should speak with the program director to seek approval and a recommendation for a thesis committee chairperson.

Our courses are focused on theory into practice and, therefore, often have a service-learning, practical, or applied project as an integral part of the curriculum. The TSL 6640 Research in Second Language is required and should be taken in the first semester of study. A final cumulative course, TSL 6642 Issues in Second Language Acquisition, is also required. TSL 5325 will help students prepare for their comprehensive exam.

All students must take a comprehensive written examination covering the core TSL courses. This examination is normally taken in the last semester of graduate work and will be reviewed by members of the TESOL Graduate Committee. A student may take the comprehensive examination only twice, and a second examination will not be given in the same semester in which the first attempt occurred.

Required Courses—24 Credit Hours

Eight required core courses provide a strong foundation in the content of the discipline.

  • TSL 5525 ESOL Cultural Diversity (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 6142 Critical Approaches to ESOL (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 6250 Applied Linguistics in ESOL (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 6350 Grammar for ESOL Teachers (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 6440 Problems in Evaluation in ESOL (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 6642 Issues in Second Language Acquisition (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 6640 Research in Second Language (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 5345 Methods of ESOL Teaching or TSL 6940 ESOL Practicum (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—3 Credit Hours

All students must take at least 3 credit hours of electives. Electives provide for three distinct areas of interest: TESOL, linguistics, and multicultural education. Students take their elective credit in one of these areas depending on their interests. 

  • TSL 5325 ESOL Strategies (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 5380 Computers and Technology for ESOL (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 5376 Reading and Writing in a Second Language (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 5940 Issues in TEFL (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 6252 Sociolinguistics for ESOL (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 5601 Second Language Vocabulary Learning (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 5907 Directed Independent Study (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 6374 TESOL Listening, Speaking and Pronunciation (3 credit hours)
  • LIN 5137 Linguistics (3 credit hours)
  • LIN 6932 Problems in Linguistics (3 credit hours)
Multicultural Education and Pedagogy
  • EDF 6886 Multicultural Education (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 6940 ESOL Practicum (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 6305 Teaching and Learning in the Community College (3 credit hours)
  • SPA 6474 Assessment of Culturally and Linguistically Populations (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 5085 Teaching Language to Minority Students K-12 (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 5276 Writing/Consulting: Theory and Practice (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 5705 Theory and Practice in Composition (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 6401 Statistics for Educational Data (3 credit hours)

Thesis Option—3 Credit Hours

  • TSL 6971 Thesis (3 credit hours)

Nonthesis Option—9 Credit Hours

Nonthesis students must take an additional 9 credit hours of electives from the list of electives above. 

Independent Learning

All students in the program are required to take TSL 6640 Research in Second Language and TSL 6642 Issues in Second Language Acquisition. Both classes have as a final project a research paper that organizes and summarizes knowledge in a chosen area of study. All classes in the program require a research paper/project allowing students to engage in independent learning.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Background questionnaire (After an application is received, the graduate program will send the background questionnaire to the applicant. The purpose of this questionnaire is to gain as much information about an applicant's reason for wanting a graduate degree in TESOL. The questionnaire also asks about the applicant's teaching experience, education, research courses, foreign language experience, and cross-cultural background.)

Admission to the UCF MATESOL program is competitive, and meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant's abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant's career/academic goals, and the applicant's potential for completing the degree.  We strongly recommend that applicants submit their applications and all materials well before the published due dates.

Application Deadlines

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15Jul 1Dec 1Apr 1
International Applicants Jan 15Jan 15Jul 1Nov 1
International Transfer Applicants Jan 15Mar 1Sep 1Dec 15
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.