California State University, Sacramento

Based on real user feedback and statistics, csus.edu no longer supports Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Skip to Main Content

Department of English College of Arts & Letters

Support Page Content

TESOL Master of Arts

TESOL MA Program

The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) MA program, first established at Sac State in 1983, is designed for students who plan to teach English to non-native speakers in community colleges, in adult education programs, or abroad. The TESOL MA program also prepares students planning to pursue Ph.D. programs in applied linguistics or education.

The goal of the TESOL MA program is to provide students with a thorough grounding in the structure of English; to give students a solid background in language acquisition theory; to provide practical training, including a unique methodology series, a carefully designed practicum, and a large variety of for-credit and paid internships; and to offer multiple opportunities to gain teaching experience.

If you have further questions, please contact the graduate program administrative staff or the TESOL Coordinator. For more information about the university application process, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies.

The English department at Sac State also offers a Master of the Arts program in English.

Concentrations & Certificates

TESOL MA Program

For course requirements and further details, please review the TESOL MA flyer.

For useful, general information about the TESOL MA program, please review the TESOL Student Handbook.

For upcoming dates and preperation for the TESOL comprehensive exam, please review the Comprehensive Exam Dates Reading List;

The next exam is set for November 15 - 18th

  • 2020 TESOL Reading List (Coming Soon)
  • 2019 TESOL Reading List (Coming Soon)

If you have further questions, please contact the graduate program administrative staff at marianna.lilley@csus.edu or the TESOL Coordinator at tesol@csus.edu.

TESOL Certificate B

This 18-unit, supplemental program of study provides advanced training in language teaching. Certificate B prepares graduate students who want to teach English to speakers of other languages at the college level.

The TESOL Certificate B is not a degree program or teaching credential. However, it is recognized abroad as evidence of advanced training in language teaching. In conjunction with a bachelor's or master's degree or a state teaching credential, it may also be helpful in obtaining employment as an ESL teacher in the United States.

If you have further questions, please contact the English department TESOL Coordinator.

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from the MA TESOL program will be able to:

  • demonstrate advanced knowledge of various issues and research findings in SLA;
  • understand the theoretical issues underlying approaches to teaching reading, writing, grammar, and oral skills to second language learners;
  • assess the instructional needs of second language learners;
  • design appropriate and effective syllabi, lessons, and activities for reading, writing, grammar, and oral skills classes;
  • evaluate and use appropriately current ESL textbooks and other instructional materials;
  • competently read and critique research on second language acquisition considering the principles of qualitative/quantitative research design;
  • make informed decisions concerning the pedagogical applications of research;
  • demonstrate advanced knowledge of English phonology, syntax, morphology, and pragmatics;
  • apply advanced linguistic knowledge to teaching different language skills in order to help second language learners use language in a linguistically, pragmatically, and culturally appropriate way;
  • demonstrate advanced knowledge of language variation and change;
  • demonstrate effective oral skills in instructional and professional contexts;
  • demonstrate strong skills in instructional and academic writing.

Admission Requirements

TESOL MA applicants must meet all of the following requirements for admission to the program. Some of these requirements may be satisfied with equivalent coursework or experience; the TESOL Coordinator will review all application materials and approve equivalencies on a student-by-student basis.

Basic Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in any field, completed with
    • a minimum 3.0 overall GPA and
    • a minimum 3.0 GPA over the final 60 units
  • Prerequisite courses (or equivalents), completed with grades of 'B' or better as part of the applicant's undergraduate coursework:
    • English 110A: Linguistics & the English Language
    • English 110Q: Grammar for ESL Teaching
  • TOEFL score (for foreign student admissions only, see below)

The following additional qualifications are preferred, but not required, for admission to the TESOL MA program:

  • One year of college-level foreign language study or equivalent

TOEFL Score Requirement

Students from foreign universities must take the TOEFL test, which is administered in different formats; students need to take only one format of the exam. Required scores for each format are as follows:

  • Paper-based TOEFL: 600 or higher, with a minimum score of 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)
  • Computer-based TOEFL: 250 or higher, with a minimum score of 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)
  • Internet-based TOEFL (iBT): 100 or higher, with a minimum of 24 on the writing section.

How to Apply

The TESOL MA program is no longer accepting applications for Spring 2021 admissions.

Applying to the TESOL MA program is a two-step process. Both steps must be completed in full by the application deadline to be considered for admission to the program.

Step 1: University Application:

Review the TESOL supplemental application and then submit a university application to the Office of Graduate Studies via the Cal State Apply online application system, pay the application fee, and submit official transcripts for all undergraduate coursework completed.

Cal State Apply

Note: Do not upload materials to Cal State Apply. Uploaded materials will not be included in your application.

Step 2: TESOL MA Program Application: All Students

Submit the completed supplemental application packet directly to the TESOL Coordinator. Please review the application packet for complete details.

TESOL Supplemental Application Packet

Applicants are also required to submit three letters of recommendation using our TESOL Letter of Recommendation Form. The English Department does not utilize the online letter of recommendation system in Cal State Apply. We will accept letters of recommendation submitted in person if they are in a sealed envelope, by mail, or a recommendor may email their completed letter of recommendation form to shaun.kirby@csus.edu directly.

TESOL Letter of Recommendation Form

Application Deadline

The deadline for applications for Spring 2021 admission was September 15, 2020.

TESOL MA Exam

  • TESOL comprehensive exam: The next exam is set for November 29 - 23, 2020