Best Online Master's in English Language Learning Programs

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By and large, schools design their online master's in English language learning programs for teachers and administrative leaders interested in obtaining or strengthening their teaching skills. Learners discover how to instruct and create a curriculum for English as a second language (ESL) or English language learning (ELL) programs. As the nation becomes more multicultural, the need for ESL teachers continues to increase. Schools must also learn to create programs and initiatives that engage students who are not native English speakers. The BLS reports that demand for teachers is growing by 7%. In addition to a career in education, graduates from master's in English teaching programs may find work in a variety of industries, such as tutoring or translating.

WILL THIS PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

The best online master's degree in English language learning programs are designed for teachers interested in expanding their ESL skills. Currently licensed teachers learn new techniques that they can incorporate into their daily interactions with students. Administrators learn the art of creating an effective ESL curriculum. Both teachers and administrators develop a unique perspective that helps them connect to ESL students. They also learn the differences between teaching English in foreign countries and teaching in countries where English is the native language.

DO I NEED PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE TO GET IN?

Most online master's in English language learning programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree and a valid teaching license. Applicants should have some experience with instructing a class. Administrators interested in applying to this program should also have a valid administrator's license. State law requires teachers to have work experience prior to applying for a teaching license. Typically, prerequisites vary according to the school and online program. Some programs offer certification and degrees simultaneously.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO EARNING MY ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING DEGREE ONLINE?


An online degree program provides the flexibility and convenience ESL teachers need. Learners can work individually at their own pace or within a group. Learners can also work full or part-time while completing a program. Most programs require students to dedicate a certain number of hours per week to coursework. Instructors work with students to provide direction and help when necessary. Academic advisors are always available to guide students and ensure they stay on track to graduate.
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Rank School Name Ranking Score Location Description
1 University of Southern California RANKING SCORE 75.54 COST % Enrolled Online 25% LOCATION Los Angeles, CA

Located in Los Angeles, USC delivers a master's of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) that interweaves theoretical underpinnings with practical fieldwork. The online program, designed for novice and experienced faculty, features coursework organized across four categories: foundations, teaching methods, language and literacy, and field experience/capstone portfolio. Field experience includes a teaching practicum for new teachers or a capstone project for veteran educators. Students begin fieldwork by tackling an ethnographic case study of an ESL (English as a Second Language) learner. The next term, candidates design and administer a classroom-based assessment and lead an English workshop for English language learners. In their final term, students undertake a professional development project.

Earning USC's master's in ESL online takes 15-20 months for full-time students or up to three years for part-time students. Program sessions begin in January, May, and September with applications accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree with a GPA above 3.0 and submit a completed application along with a $90 fee, three personal essays, a resume, and two letters of recommendation.

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2 American University RANKING SCORE 71.71 COST % Enrolled Online 20% LOCATION Washington, DC

American University, in the District of Columbia, offers a master of arts in teaching English as a foreign language; students have the option to earn this ESL master’s online.

American designed its teaching English as a foreign language program for students who want to work in secondary schools, universities, and private language schools outside the United States. Participants receive online theoretical instruction along with practical teaching experience. Students take one course during each eight-week session and can earn their degree in 11 sessions, which is the equivalent of fewer than six semesters.

Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their undergraduate major and submit a statement of purpose and two letters of recommendation. Native English speakers should have some background in at least one other language. Applicants who do not speak English as their native language must demonstrate proficiency in the language by passing the TOEFL exam.

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3 Texas A & M University - College Station RANKING SCORE 70.64 COST % Enrolled Online 15% LOCATION College Station, TX

More bilingual education teachers graduate from Texas A&M University than anywhere else in the state. Located in College Station, A&M features a 36-credit bilingual education master's (of science or education) program covering theory, methodology, and application. Required courses include bilingual assessment and monitoring students, teacher action research in bilingual education, and techniques of research. The program also provides students with abundant fieldwork opportunities. To graduate with their ESL degree online, students must choose between a thesis and oral defense, or a comprehensive exam. At students' preference, classes may be 100% online or consist of a hybrid format that includes face-to-face meetings, video conferencing, and online content. Graduates leave the program prepared for the Bilingual Education Supplemental Exam.

Applicants should have at least a 3.0 GPA and submit letters of recommendation along with a personal biographical profile. A&M's admissions committee will consider other factors, including foreign language fluency, interpersonal skills, life and work experiences, and career goals. Application deadlines are October 15 and March 15 for spring and summer/fall admissions, respectively.

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4 Azusa Pacific University RANKING SCORE 67.26 COST % Enrolled Online 25% LOCATION Azusa, CA

Prospective and experienced teachers may be interested in APU's master of arts in TESOL. The program can be completed entirely online, in the field, or on campus. The MA program prepares graduates to teach ESL to diverse populations in various environments. The program encourages students to consider their identity, including Christian or other faith identity, and how it impacts their practice.

Courses in the program explore language learning through technology, acquisition of a second language, sociolinguistics, and second-language pedagogy, among other topics. Students progress through the curriculum as a cohort. Full-time students usually take two courses each session and finish in 16 months. Part-time students generally finish the program in about three years. To earn their ESL master's online at APU, all students must create an online portfolio that demonstrates their competency in 12 areas.

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5 Webster University RANKING SCORE 65.93 COST % Enrolled Online 45% LOCATION Saint Louis, MO

Webster features a master's of arts in teaching ESL wherein candidates develop practical classroom strategies and competitive problem-solving skills to meet the needs of English learners through coursework in curriculum development, ESOL methodology, second language acquisition, language testing, language & culture, and language planning & policy. Throughout the program, students develop a solid theoretical understanding of second language acquisition and language structures to make content comprehensible to school-age learners and prepare adults for using English in the workplace. Students pursuing Webster's master's in ESL online can choose between two tracks: an ESL/EFL education emphasis, which requires no prior teaching experience, or a K-12 English language learner education emphasis, which requires licensure. Each emphasis consists of 33 credits with 24 required courses and nine elective credits.

To be eligible for admission to the program, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and must submit transcripts along with an essay describing their teaching philosophy. Webster highly recommends two semesters of a foreign language with a "B" or better for native English speakers. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to graduate.

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6 University of Northern Iowa RANKING SCORE 64.41 COST % Enrolled Online 39% LOCATION Cedar Falls, IA

UNI's master's of arts in TESOL is designed for those who want to teach overseas or at community colleges, and for K-12 teachers who want to boost their employability. Throughout the program, students learn about cultural aspects of teaching language, linguistics, and common problems in English grammar.

UNI delivers its online courses through a combination of video conferencing using Adobe Connect and eLearning using the Blackboard learning management system. During the fall and spring semesters, the university structures courses in eight-week modules with sessions on Thursday evenings. Students progress through the curriculum in a cohort. Graduates find that UNI's master's in TESOL prepares them for a variety of ESL jobs. Currently, program graduates teach in more than 25 countries across five continents; others are U.S.-based K-12 teachers.

Prospective applicants should have a minimum 3.0 GPA, though a GPA as low as 2.76 may lead to provisional admission. Students can transfer graduate credits earned within the past seven years with a grade of B- or better. Unlike most ESL master's programs online, UNI's program has no entrance exam requirements.

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7 Nova Southeastern University RANKING SCORE 63.64 COST % Enrolled Online 51% LOCATION Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nova Southeastern, founded in the 1960s in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offers a master of science in education with a specialization in elementary education. This program also includes ESOL and reading endorsements. Students can complete this TESOL master’s program entirely online.

This program provides future teachers with a foundation in classroom management, instructional strategies, and curriculum development. All course content is research-based and uses best practices while complying with the Florida Department of Education’s elementary education certification requirements. Curriculum includes topics like classroom management and organization, psychological foundations in education, and literature for children and adolescents. Students also complete a 12-week teaching internship seminar at the end of the program.

Applicants to the program should have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5. They also must have passed the CLAST, PRAXIS I, or General Knowledge Test or scored a 1,000 or higher on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE.

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8 Western Governors University RANKING SCORE 63.30 COST % Enrolled Online 100% LOCATION Salt Lake City, UT

Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, WGU was one of the first institutions of higher learning in the nation to offer a competency-based learning model. In that vein, the university's online master's of arts in English language learning (ELL) allows students to progress through the program by demonstrating their knowledge on assessment tests. Candidates study subjects like curriculum development, design, and evaluation. Additionally, students complete more than 15 hours of field experience that includes supervised teaching at elementary and secondary levels. They must also write a research-based curriculum unit that demonstrates their instructional capabilities. Students work with faculty mentors to develop personalized degree plans that determine their pace through the program. Those who spend 15-20 hours a week on coursework can graduate in about two years.

WGU does not grant transfer credits for professional experience, but will consider previous coursework. Unlike with most ESL master's programs online, the university charges a flat tuition rate regardless of how many courses students take each term, so those who accelerate their studies save both time and money.

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9 Carlos Albizu University - Miami RANKING SCORE 63.23 COST % Enrolled Online 31% LOCATION Miami, FL

Located in Miami, Florida, Carlos Albizu University boasts a strong Puerto Rican heritage. The school offers a master of science in teaching English to speakers of other languages with a concentration in exceptional student education.

This ESL master's online program prepares individuals to meet the growing demand for educators who can respond to the needs of students with limited or no English proficiency. Curriculum and coursework incorporate sound pedagogy, practice, and research methods. Students also learn to use methodologies that enhance English language learning based on proven ESOL concepts. Graduates from the online TESOL program can pursue positions as teachers in public and private schools, government agencies, and higher education institutions.

Carlos Albizu University holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school also has a campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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10 Pennsylvania State University RANKING SCORE 62.00 COST % Enrolled Online 7% LOCATION University Park, PA

Founded in 1855 and located in State College, Penn State University is the only land-grant university in Pennsylvania. The school boasts a variety of educational programming and offers a master of arts in teaching English as a second language. This program ranks as one of the top ESL master's programs online.

The program’s curriculum integrates theory and practice from applied linguistics to help students overcome common issues in the field. The 36-credit program also requires students to complete a master's paper and develop an electronic teaching portfolio. 18 credits must be completed at the 500 level or above, and individuals complete six credits of field experiences.

To gain admittance to the program, prospective students must submit their GRE scores and hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. International students must also take and submit their TOEFL scores.

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11 University of Maryland - Baltimore County RANKING SCORE 61.91 COST % Enrolled Online 60% LOCATION Baltimore, MD

Like other online ESL master's degree programs, UMBC's master's of arts in TESOL program features an optional, substantial internship component for those seeking hands-on experience. In completing the required 36 credits, students can choose to complete a thesis, an internship/practicum, and/or add on K-12 ESOL certification. UMBC's noncertification, paid internships involve three to six months of teaching in the U.S. or abroad, where the university has internship agreements in Ecuador, Mexico, Bolivia, and Peru.

Distance learners at UMBC study at their own pace. Full-time students typically earn their degree within 18 months, while part-time students generally finish in 30 months. Those who choose to participate in an internship or add on K-12 ESOL certification might need an extra semester to complete the program. UMBC students can transfer up to six credits toward their master's in ESL online. Prospective students can take a few courses that count for credit once the student is admitted. The program's application deadlines are August 1 for the fall semester, January 1 for spring, and May 1 for the summer session.

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12 University of San Francisco RANKING SCORE 60.77 COST % Enrolled Online 15% LOCATION San Francisco, CA

The University of San Francisco was founded by Jesuits in 1855 as the first university in the city. The school currently offers a master and certificate of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages, allowing students to earn a TESOL master’s degree completely online.

The program boasts small class sizes to facilitate strong relationships with faculty and more individual learning opportunities for students. Classroom pedagogies address inequities based on race, language, class, gender, religion, sexual identity, and nationality. Graduates of this program can pursue teaching positions in a variety of settings, including international institutions, local community colleges, and nonprofit organizations.

During the program, students take nine credits of foundational coursework, nine credits of methods courses, three credits of social and cultural studies, and six credits of electives. They also complete a three-credit TESOL field project. Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75.

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13 University of North Carolina Wilmington RANKING SCORE 60.77 COST % Enrolled Online 42% LOCATION Wilmington, NC

Founded in 1947, UNC-Wilmington endeavors to integrate teaching and mentoring with research and service. The university offers an online master of education in teaching English as a second language.

Graduates of this master's in TESOL online program demonstrate effective communication skills when interacting with colleagues, families, and administrators. They can also establish classroom environments that are sensitive to the cultural and linguistic needs of all students and possess knowledge related to the policies and regulations that affect ESL populations. This 18-credit graduate program features six courses, including methods for second language learners and introduction to ESL, both of which have built-in field experience components. Successful completion of this program prepares candidates to take the Praxis II ESOL and apply for North Carolina K-12 certification. Individuals seeking admission to the program should follow the admission guidelines outlined on the school’s graduate program website.

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14 Concordia University - Nebraska RANKING SCORE 59.15 COST % Enrolled Online 85% LOCATION Seward, NE

Seward, Nebraska's Concordia University delivers a 36-credit master's of education in TESOL. The program prepares students to teach ESL and ELL in environments outside the classroom, such as refugee and migrant centers, and is also appropriate for those seeking to teach English abroad. Throughout the program, students learn about key concepts, theories, and research associated with language acquisition and the ways culture affects language development. Courses cover topics like psychological foundations, curriculum and assessment, linguistics, culture, acquisition, and word study. Armed with this knowledge, graduates are able to build supportive learning environments for their students.

The program includes a 45-credit practicum requirement, fulfilled at various intervals. Students take twelve courses, one at a time, during eight-week terms and can finish their degree in 24 months. If they choose, students can accelerate the program by doubling their course load and earn their degree within 18 months. Unlike some ESL master's programs online, Concordia-Nebraska allows applicants to transfer up to 25% of their required credits from another institution. The university does not require GRE or GMAT test scores.

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15 Liberty University RANKING SCORE 58.85 COST % Enrolled Online 96% LOCATION Lynchburg, VA

Liberty University is a large, Christian institution that emphasizes faith throughout its programming. The school offers a master of education degree in teaching and learning with a concentration in English as a second language. Students can enroll in this program and earn their master’s in ESL entirely online.

This program consists of 36 credit hours, up to half of which can be transferred from another approved college or university. Upon completion of the program, graduates may pursue leadership roles in ESL in public or private school systems; coursework focuses on training students to work as K-12 educators.

Students seeking admission should have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Applicants who do not speak English as their native language must pass the TOEFL exam to demonstrate English fluency.

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16 Biola University RANKING SCORE 58.72 COST % Enrolled Online 33% LOCATION La Mirada, CA

Located in La Mirada, California, Biola's master's of arts in TESOL may appeal to Christian teachers of ESL who want to enhance their current skills. The program, available entirely online, consists of nine credits in foundational courses like the Bible/theology, 23 credits from core courses, three credits of elective courses in the Bible/theology, and six credits of electives in TESOL.

For most students, Biola's program begins in the fall, with specified start and end dates for each course and weekly assignments that require interaction with classmates in an asynchronous format. Students generally complete Biola's program in two to five years. All students must take a writing proficiency exam and have a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate. Prospective students should have at least one year of experience teaching ESL and identify themselves as evangelical Christians. While candidates aren't required to hold current ESL jobs, they do need access to an ESL class for purposes of observation. Distance learners in Biola's TESOL master's program automatically receive a one-third in tuition when registering for TESOL classes online.

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17 Arizona State University - Tempe RANKING SCORE 58.69 COST % Enrolled Online 95% LOCATION Tempe, AZ

Arizona State University is home to nearly 72,000 students across five campuses in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The university offers a master of teaching English to speakers of other languages and a master of arts in curriculum and instruction for English as a second language. Both programs allow students to earn a TESOL master’s degree entirely online.

These 30-credit programs feature 10 classes, each of which lasts about 7.5 weeks. Students learn strategies to engage communities and families as learning partners and develop ESL skills for reading, listening, and writing. Beyond the required classroom coursework, students also complete a practicum to gain field experience.

Students seeking admission into this program should have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Any applicants who do not speak English as their first language must provide proof of English proficiency.

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18 University of Missouri - Columbia RANKING SCORE 58.08 COST % Enrolled Online 29% LOCATION Columbia, MO

The University of Missouri, located in the city of Columbia, opened its doors in 1839 to become the first U.S. public university west of the Mississippi River. Today, Mizzou offers a master of education program in learning, teaching, and curriculum with a concentration in teaching English to speakers of other languages. This program ranks among the top online TESOL master's programs in the country.

Mizzou’s online TESOL master's program can be completed without ever visiting campus and consists of 33 credits. It is particularly well-suited for individuals who want to become English language instructors, language program administrators, or writers of educational material. Coursework covers the structure of the English language; how individuals use and learn languages; and the design and implementation of tasks, assessments, and curricula. Most students study part time, taking two classes per semester, and earn their master’s degrees in two years.

Individuals who wish to enroll in the program should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and submit their GRE scores. Students who do not speak English as a native language must earn a TOEFL score of at least 80 or an IELTS score of at least 6.5.

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19 SIT Graduate Institute RANKING SCORE 57.10 COST % Enrolled Online 55% LOCATION Brattleboro, VT

Located in Brattleboro, Vermont, the School for International Training Graduate Institute is a global institution that offers a variety of programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels, including a master of arts in TESOL.

This master’s in TESOL online program features collaborative, cohort-based experiential learning and is designed to meet the career goals of current teachers seeking a master’s degree in teaching, EFL, ESL, ELT, TESL, or TESOL. Although the majority of coursework in this two-year program can be completed online, students must visit the Vermont campus for three weeks each summer for intensive face-to-face sessions. Students also participate in an interim-year teaching practicum, during which time an SIT faculty member travels to their classroom for one-on-one engagement to provide reflective and interactive feedback. Additionally, learners complete an independent thesis before graduation.

Prospective students seeking admission should have a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of experience teaching English as a second language.

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20 Lipscomb University RANKING SCORE 56.87 COST % Enrolled Online 29% LOCATION Nashville, TN

Founded in Nashville, Tennessee in 1891, Lipscomb University is a Christian school that offers 78 bachelor’s degrees and 25 master’s degrees, including master of education in English language learning. This program is designed to allow individuals to earn a master’s in ESL completely online.

The curriculum features both core coursework and advanced educational experiences targeted toward teaching English language acquisition. The 30-credit program contains required foundational courses, a 15-credit leadership core, and major courses in English language learning. Students can earn their degrees by completing 18 months of part-time study.

To be admitted, students must submit their GRE or MAT scores and demonstrate proficiency in the English language. The school also offers an education specialist degree in English language learning as well as an English language learning endorsement.

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21 University of North Dakota RANKING SCORE 56.29 COST % Enrolled Online 53% LOCATION Grand Forks, ND

UND delivers a 35-credit master's in ELL education with an option to specialize in rural ELL/ESL education. Graduates are able to help ELL and ESL populations reach their full potential and advocate for them in schools and society. This part-time program is appropriate for certified teachers or noncertified professionals in related positions. Students learn from faculty who hold doctoral degrees and have backgrounds in the Peace Corps or teaching ESL to refugee, immigrant, and Native American populations. UND's two-year ESL master's online program requires 90 hours of supervised practicum experience in a K-12 public school. The university also advises students to attend an in-person seminar each semester.

Prospective students need a minimum 2.75 GPA, three letters of recommendation, an essay, and, for those not currently working, an issue-free criminal background check. The program has start dates in August and May. Online students pay the same tuition as in-state students, regardless of their state of residence.

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22 Concordia University - Chicago RANKING SCORE 56.18 COST % Enrolled Online 72% LOCATION River Forest, IL

Concordia Chicago's online master's of arts in TESOL was developed for those who wish to acquire subject matter knowledge and practical skills essential for teaching English in the U.S. and abroad. The university's 30-credit program will prepare students to find ESL jobs in community organizations, intensive English programs, colleges, and private companies. Courses in curriculum planning, second language acquisition, and applied philology culminate in a capstone project and a seminar in reflective practice, each demonstrating the candidate's mastery of the material. Students can complete the program in 12 or 24 months, taking one eight-week course at a time.

To begin studies in the fall, spring, or summer semesters, prospective students should submit an online application along with a statement of educational goals, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. To be considered for admission, applicants should have a minimum 2.85 GPA. Notably, Concordia Chicago guarantees that students without interruptions in their study will never be subject to any tuition increase.

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23 Concordia University - Portland RANKING SCORE 55.43 COST % Enrolled Online 83% LOCATION Portland, OR

Oregon's Concordia University delivers a variety of Lutheran-based educational programs, many of which can be completed online. Among these online options is a master of education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in English for speakers of other languages.

Students enrolled in Concordia's TESOL master’s online program learn the skills and knowledge needed to effectively teach English as a second language. They also gain a thorough understanding of the various issues and challenges second-language English speakers face on a daily basis. The program consists of 30-33 credit hours.

The university also offers several scholarships, grants, and other benefits to online students. Alumni of the school, or any other Lutheran college or university, qualify for grants of up to 20% off tuition on most of the school’s graduate programs. Concordia holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

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24 McDaniel College RANKING SCORE 55.03 COST % Enrolled Online 41% LOCATION Westminster, MD

Respect for diversity and individual language rights is an integral component of the master's of science in TESOL at McDaniel in Westminster, Maryland. The 36-credit program stresses collaboration in a global community, respect for multiculturalism, and synergy between research and practice in improving the teaching of ESL. Required courses explore linguistics, grammar, assessment of learners, methods of teaching reading, and principles of language acquisition. Core courses are available entirely online, and students can choose to complete electives online, in a hybrid format, or in person. McDaniel holds in-person class sessions in the evening, Monday through Thursday, and on Saturday mornings.

McDaniel accepts applications for this ESL degree online year-round, but advises students to submit them well before due dates for enrollment in fall, spring, and summer sessions. Admission requirements include prerequisite courses in cross-cultural studies and a foreign language. Those applicants who lack a teaching certificate will need additional prerequisites in education and reading methods, in addition to evidence of proficiency in K-12 science and math and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better.

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25 Sam Houston State University RANKING SCORE 54.69 COST % Enrolled Online 63% LOCATION Huntsville, TX

With the motto, "The measure of a life is its service," SHSU tries to honor its historical roots through the academic excellence of its programs. The Huntsville, Texas-based institution boasts 50 master's programs, including an online master's of education in TESOL. The 30-credit program addresses language instruction theories and best practices. Students review the psychological, linguistic, cognitive, and sociocultural premises of language and literacy, and learn how to incorporate technology to enhance instruction. Required courses make up 12 credits and students choose another six courses that may include gaming and literacy, English for specific purposes, or building relationships with diverse families and children. SHSU provides flexibility for its distance learners, offering classes online and at night.

Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and complete their master's in ESL online within six years. SHSU allows students to transfer up to six credits (earned with a grade of B or better) toward their degree. Prospective students should submit a completed application along with a nonrefundable $45 fee, a writing sample, and two letters of recommendation.

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26 Newman University RANKING SCORE 54.44 COST % Enrolled Online 38% LOCATION Wichita, KS

Newman University is a Catholic school that accepts students of all faiths and traditions. It offers a master of science in education in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in English for speakers of other languages.

This online master’s in TESOL program features eight-week courses taught in a flexible delivery model, including options to use webcam/streaming video and online learning modules. The entire 33-credit program (11 classes) can be completed in fewer than two years and teaches working teachers fundamentals in educational research, professional writing, and curriculum preparation. Students also participate in an ESOL practicum. Students must earn a 3.0 GPA or above to receive their diploma.

Newman University is located in Wichita, Kansas and holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

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27 Asbury University RANKING SCORE 54.41 COST % Enrolled Online 85% LOCATION Wilmore, KY

Located in Wilmore, Kentucky, Asbury seeks to preserve its commitment to evangelical Christianity through its master's of arts in teaching ESL P-12. The part-time program is designed for those who already have teacher certification. The curriculum is ethically grounded in educational inquiry and professional competence, with a focus on Christian educational leadership. Students must complete coursework in subjects like intervention, instructional technologies, language sound systems, and grammatical structure. Candidates learn to assess student needs, analyze learning, and implement suitable interventions.

Asbury delivers its online courses in an asynchronous format using Adobe Connect. Open enrollment allows students to begin project-based, collaborative courses in the fall, spring, or summer. Each course lasts for seven weeks. Candidates need six semesters and a minimum 3.0 GPA to obtain their ESL degree online. Students can transfer nine semester hours of graduate-level credit with a B grade or better toward their degree. To be eligible for admission, applicants need a minimum 2.75 GPA, PRAXIS exam scores, transcripts, three references, proof of teaching licensure, and to complete an interview with the chair of Educational Specialties.

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28 Canisius College RANKING SCORE 53.22 COST % Enrolled Online 61% LOCATION Buffalo, NY

A Jesuit school located in Buffalo, New York, Canisius delivers a fully online, 30-credit master's degree in TESOL with an optional track that prepares students for certification to teach ESL to K-12 grades in the state. Courses cover topics like measurement and statistics, adolescent literacy, and emergent literacy. The program includes a supervised fieldwork requirement, which students can fulfill anywhere in the U.S. or internationally.

Like nearly all ESL master's programs online, Canisius' program features a flexible schedule, with sessions that begin in January, May-June, and late August and no application deadlines. To be eligible for admission, applicants must have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and submit a 300-word essay, test scores, two letters of recommendation, teaching certification, and 12 credits of a foreign language if they intend to pursue certification.

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29 Eastern University RANKING SCORE 53.05 COST % Enrolled Online 39% LOCATION Saint Davids, PA

Eastern University is a Christian college with about 3,500 students. The school offers a comprehensive master of education in teaching English to speakers of other languages that prepares future educators to work with students from all cultural backgrounds and provide instruction to learners in the U.S. and internationally.

Graduates of this TESOL master’s online program learn to comprehend the complexities of cultural diversity and how these issues impact student achievement. Individuals also investigate different methodologies and strategies proven to be effective for teaching students of diverse backgrounds.

Applicants may transfer up to nine credits toward this program upon review and approval from the program director. Those who do not speak English as their first language must submit passing TOEFL scores to demonstrate their proficiency before starting the program. Eastern University is located in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania and receives regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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30 St John's University - New York RANKING SCORE 52.98 COST % Enrolled Online 20% LOCATION Queens, NY

Students enrolled in SJU's master's of science in TESOL embark on a research-centric journey toward becoming multicultural ESL educators. This 33-credit program provides teachers with advanced knowledge of K-12 instructional programs for students with different linguistic and sociocultural backgrounds. SJU's master's in TESOL features two tracks: one designed for students with New York state certification, and one for those without it. Each track includes nine credits in foundational courses, 18 credits in professional core courses, and three credits each in special education and technology.

Students may choose to apply for a graduate assistantship or university fellowship within SJU's Education Department. These positions are awarded based on academic merit, and the university expects applicants to have at least a 3.20 GPA. Students enrolled in SJU's ESL degree online share access to financial aid, library resources, career services, and even tuition rates with on-campus students. Applications should include a statement of goals, transcripts, and results of either the GRE, MAT, or PRAXIS Core exam.

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31 Hamline University RANKING SCORE 52.32 COST % Enrolled Online 41% LOCATION Saint Paul, MN

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Hamline's School of Education helps current and prospective teachers learn how to motivate students while assessing and developing their capabilities in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The university's master of arts in TESOL degree is a 36-credit program that prepares educators to enhance skills in English that promote social and economic access and equity—while also sustaining the linguistic and cultural diversity that enriches the communities. The 28 core credits include courses on applied phonetics and phonology, introduction to applied linguistics, and English teaching practices. Students must also enroll in 8 credits in a concentration area, either teaching adults or teaching children. All courses are available in both online and on-campus formats.

Students can begin Hamline's ESL master's online program in the fall, spring, or summer term. The program takes six to nine terms to complete. Transfer students can apply as many as 12 semester credits of graduate work from another institution toward the degree’s requirements. To apply for the program, prospective students need to complete an online application and submit transcripts with at least a 3.0 GPA (2.5-2.9 for possible provisional admission), two recommendation letters, and a two-page essay describing their career goals.

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32 Wilkes University RANKING SCORE 51.72 COST % Enrolled Online 80% LOCATION Wilkes-Barre, PA

Located in Pennsylvania, Wilkes delivers a 30-credit master's of science in TESOL as one of 16 online master's degrees. The program prepares students for a range of education careers and qualifies graduates for ESL jobs in public or private schools, community colleges, universities, intensive English programs, and corporate English programs, in the U.S. and abroad. Students learn about the application of linguistic terminology, the role of intercultural communication, and modern research in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. A required course on computer-assisted language learning (CALL) asks students to demonstrate what they've learned by developing a CALL project for second language learners.

To apply, prospective students need a minimum 3.0 GPA and undergraduate transcripts, along with two letters of recommendation. Wilkes allows students to transfer up to six credits toward their degree, provided they were completed within the past six years with a grade of B or better. The university accepts applications on a rolling basis.

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33 Kennesaw State University RANKING SCORE 51.50 COST % Enrolled Online 55% LOCATION Kennesaw, GA

Located in Georgia, Kennesaw prepares teachers to educate an increasingly diverse student population. The university's master's of education in TESOL program covers teaching strategies in reading and writing, collaborative practices, and curriculum development. Students can complete the 36-credit program, which is available entirely online, in five semesters. Sample courses include collaborative practices, which helps candidates build effective family, school, and community partnerships to facilitate research-based instruction. The program also boasts a field experience component, centered on developing and implementing a lesson plan.

Content delivery for this ESL degree online may be asynchronous or synchronous, with an average course load of three courses in each of the first two semesters and two courses in the remaining three semesters. Kennesaw allows students to transfer nine credits toward their degree. Applicants must submit an online application with a $60 fee, valid teaching certificate, transcripts, a personal statement, resume, and two recommendations by July 1.

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34 Emporia State University RANKING SCORE 51.07 COST % Enrolled Online 84% LOCATION Emporia, KS

ESU's 36-credit master's of arts in TESOL explores topics like instructional methodologies, language assessment/evaluation, research methods, sociolinguistics, computer-assisted learning, and cross-cultural communication. The degree ranks among top ESL master's programs online partially because its curriculum is designed to ensure that graduates leave with an appreciation for the rich diversity of cultures in the United States.

Thesis and non-thesis candidates must complete core courses totaling 21 credits and electives totaling 12 credits, all with a minimum 3.0 GPA. To graduate, students must also pass the TESOL Content PRAXIS Exam with a grade of 138 or better. Prospective students need three references, a resume, statement of purpose and a minimum 2.75 GPA. In their admission essay, applicants must describe their own ESL methodology, reflecting on language, how it is acquired and how it can be taught.

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35 Mercy College RANKING SCORE 50.74 COST % Enrolled Online 54% LOCATION Dobbs Ferry, NY

At Mercy in the Bronx and Dobbs Ferry, New York, future teachers dedicate themselves to serving the needs of English language learners from diverse cultural backgrounds by earning a master's of science in TESOL on one of two tracks. Those seeking first teaching certification take the 36-credit track, where they undertake a 15-week, supervised student teaching experience. Those possessing a NYS teaching certificate in another content area take the 33-credit track, where they complete a 20-day clinical practice experience in a pre-K-12 ESL school setting. Students on either track take courses like linguistics and language development and modern English structure.

Full-time candidates in the ESL degree online program enroll in nine to 12 credits each semester; part-time candidates take three to six credits. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate. Applicants can transfer up to six credits for prior courses taken. Admission to either track requires 12 credits of college-level work in a language other than English and a developmental psychology course. Students seeking their first teaching certificate must have an undergraudate major or its equivalent in the sciences or liberal arts. Both tracks can also be completed fully online.

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36 Spring Arbor University RANKING SCORE 50.71 COST % Enrolled Online 79% LOCATION Spring Arbor, MI

Located just south of Lansing, Michigan, Spring Arbor University is a Christian liberal arts school that currently teaches more than 3,000 students. The university offers an online master of arts in TESOL with two tracks: K-12 and adolescent & adult education.

In the K-12 track, teachers learn to better serve ESL students in the classroom or become ESL specialists in a school; these graduates meet the requirements for ESL endorsement. Alternatively, in the adolescent and adult education track, enrollees learn to teach intensive English programs, community college English language programs, and other community-based ESL programs in school and ministry settings. Featured courses in these programs include linguistics for teachers of English, cross-cultural competence in communication and assessment, and evaluation of language minority students and programs. Prospective students applying to this TESOL master’s online program do not need to submit their GRE or GMAT scores.

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37 MidAmerica Nazarene University RANKING SCORE 49.41 COST % Enrolled Online 43% LOCATION Olathe, KS

MidAmerica Nazarene University, in Olathe, Kansas, is a small Midwestern school that boasts an “unflinching commitment to a Christlike mission.” The university also offers an online master of education in English as a second language.

MNU’s program features classes based on ESOL and NCATE standards, and the coursework prepares students to take the ESOL Praxis test, which is needed in the state of Kansas to add the ESOL endorsement to a teaching license. Faculty enhance their online lessons by using podcasts, videos, social networking, wikis, and other technology-driven methods. The 33-credit program features 11 courses that cover topics such as multicultural awareness in education and technology-enhanced learning environments. Individuals also complete a practicum with English language learners. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.

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38 North Greenville University RANKING SCORE 49.13 COST % Enrolled Online 90% LOCATION Tigerville, SC

Located in Tigerville, South Carolina, North Greenville University provides students with an education in a Christian environment, preparing graduates for a successful life of service. The school offers an online master of arts in teaching English as a second language.

This master’s in ESL online program helps current and future educators gain the skills needed to teach and interact with culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. Enrollees who hold teaching licenses also complete 100 hours of field experience as part of the program. The 30-credit curriculum includes fundamental coursework and a capstone project that must be completed by all students. This project requires learners to demonstrate their newfound knowledge by leading the design and implementation of an improvement effort in a school district or educational organization. Applicants to the program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution.

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39 University of Mary Washington RANKING SCORE 48.88 COST % Enrolled Online 10% LOCATION Fredericksburg, VA

The University of Mary Washington, located in in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is a public institution that prepares critical thinkers to succeed in a variety of future careers. The small college offers a master of arts with an emphasis in teaching English as a second language. Students can complete this ESL master’s program online, allowing them to complete coursework at their convenience.

Enrollees take a series of required graduate courses, including classes pertaining to curriculum and secondary instruction, ESL literacy strategies, and foundations of American education. Students also complete six credits of a modern foreign language as either a prerequisite or corequisite to the 27 credits of professional studies coursework. Additionally, learners undertake an initial licensure internship. This semester-long, field-based internship must be supervised; therefore, student teaching placements are made in schools local to the university. Candidates for licensure through this program must hold a bachelor’s degree.

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40 Minnesota State University Moorhead RANKING SCORE 48.35 COST % Enrolled Online 69% LOCATION Moorhead, MN

Minnesota State University Moorhead offers a master of science in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in teaching English as a second language. This TESOL master’s program can be completed entirely online. Through this program, students gain a theoretical base of knowledge as well as the opportunity to practically apply what they've learned within the areas of curriculum theory, educational foundations, and educational research.

Teaching English as a second language is one of seven areas of emphasis students may choose in this 32-credit program. Students in the TESOL track complete 13 credits specific to their major, including seven from required classes and six TESOL-related elective credits, which include internship opportunities. Applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and at least one year of documented teaching experience or comparable human service experience.

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41 Cornerstone University RANKING SCORE 48.31 COST % Enrolled Online 47% LOCATION Grand Rapids, MI

Cornerstone University, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a private, Christian college that boasts a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Among these is a master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages, which can be earned online.

The online format of this TESOL master's degree provides students with added flexibility when completing coursework. The program requires students to participate in two TESOL conferences and/or seminars, but the remainder of the coursework can be completed entirely online. Students typically earn their degrees in 22-24 months. Graduates of the program can go on to work in missions or serve as K-12 or adult ESL teachers. Coursework gives students the foundational skills and knowledge needed to instruct people of diverse cultural and language backgrounds.

Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 2.7 or higher. Those who do not speak English as their primary language must submit sufficient TOEFL or IELTS scores to demonstrate their English proficiency.

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42 Southeastern University RANKING SCORE 47.96 COST % Enrolled Online 82% LOCATION Lakeland, FL

Southeastern University offers a master of education in teaching English to speakers of other languages. The school designed this program for classroom teachers, individuals looking to enter the field, and/or those who wish to work abroad. This comprehensive TESOL master’s program can be completed online without ever needing to visit the Lakeland, Florida, campus.

Through this program, students develop a deep understanding of TESOL and education as a whole as they prepare to serve abroad and/or become certified to teach English to speakers of other languages. Instruction covers topics such as foundational ESOL, educational research, culture, literacy, pedagogy, and assessment.

The program consists of 36 credits and can be completed within 18-24 months. Full-time students typically take nine credits per semester, while part-time learners complete 3-6 credits each term. Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and non-native English speakers must submit current TOEFL scores to demonstrate their English proficiency.

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43 Murray State University RANKING SCORE 47.69 COST % Enrolled Online 62% LOCATION Murray, KY

Murray's master's of arts in TESOL program features opportunities in graduate assistantships to help students gain invaluable experience. The part-time ESL master's online is designed for working professionals, offering course loads of one or two classes per term. Program content covers topics like applied linguistics and professional practices, testing and evaluation in second language teaching, and computer assisted language learning.

Distance learners are eligible for in-state tuition. All candidates must complete an internship, paid or unpaid, in the U.S. or abroad. Murray's 33-credit master's program takes 24 to 36 months to finish. Prospective students who are native speakers of English will need to have completed an undergraduate major in English or a modern foreign language and have at least 12 credits in one modern foreign language. Applicants submit a $40 fee with their online application and transcripts showing an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better.

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44 Worcester State University RANKING SCORE 47.01 COST % Enrolled Online 25% LOCATION Worcester, MA

Worcester State University is a liberal arts and sciences school that offers a variety of undergraduate majors and minors as well as 29 master’s degrees and additional post-baccalaureate programming. Among these programs is the school’s master of education in English as a second language.

The school’s master’s in ESL online program leads to a professional license in ESL and is designed for individuals who already hold an initial teacher license in ESL. Graduates of the school's post-baccalaureate certificate ESL program can transfer all of their credits into the master’s program. Students apply the theories they learn in class to practical settings, observing and implementing effective teaching strategies in classrooms across central Massachusetts. At the end of the program, learners also complete an individual research project related to ESL pedagogy. Those seeking admission to the program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited postsecondary institution with an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75.

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45 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin RANKING SCORE 46.78 COST % Enrolled Online 60% LOCATION Odessa, TX

Odessa's UTPB delivers an online master's of arts in bilingual or ESL education. The program's bilingual option prepares Spanish-speaking students to work as educators in a bilingual setting, covering topics like cultural diversity, philosophical perspectives on learning, and the politics of bilingual education. Successful completion of the program for those with a teaching certificate in Texas readies graduates to take the bilingual supplemental exam. Those who choose to pursue their ESL master's online learn how to teach students whose native language is not English. Students who complete this option can take the ESL supplemental test in Texas.

Sample required courses for both options include educational psychology, issues and advanced problems in ESL, and methods of teaching ESL. Courses last nearly eight weeks each, with six start dates throughout the year. Students can complete the 36-hour program in two years. Applicants should submit evidence of a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better, an essay describing their interest in the program, and two letters of recommendation.

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46 Greenville College RANKING SCORE 46.49 COST % Enrolled Online 93% LOCATION Greenville, IL

Founded in 1892 by the Free Methodist Church, Greenville College offers students a Christian-based education. The school hosts an online master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages, allowing learners to obtain an ESL master’s degree at their convenience.

Courses cover a variety of foundational ESL-related topics, including graduate studies in education, methods and materials for TESL, and linguistics for TESL. Students also complete a capstone project at the culmination of the program. Individuals with an Illinois state teaching license can complete an additional 100 hours of field experience to meet the Illinois State Board of Education’s requirement for ESL endorsement.

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution and a teaching certificate; however, certification is not required for individuals interested in pursuing the the non-endorsement track. Located in southern Illinois, Greenville College holds regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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47 Southeast Missouri State University RANKING SCORE 45.80 COST % Enrolled Online 50% LOCATION Cape Girardeau, MO

Southeast Missouri State University, with a main campus in Cape Girardeau, offers more than 75 graduate programs, including a master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Students can complete this program online to earn a TESOL master’s degree from a distance.

Graduates of SEMU’s program gain the skills needed to work in preschool through high school ESL settings, in adult education programs with immigrants and refugees, and in college and university programs. While pursuing their degree, individuals can design their own language instruction program and receive practical feedback about how to revise, adapt, and assess their program. Learners also receive assistance with job placement upon graduation. Students applying to the program must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5.

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48 Middle Tennessee State University RANKING SCORE 45.25 COST % Enrolled Online 33% LOCATION Murfreesboro, TN

Middle Tennessee State University, located in the city of Murfreesboro, offers more than 100 degree programs in its college of graduate studies, including a master of education in curriculum and instruction in English as a second language. Students interested in earning their TESOL master’s degree can complete this program online.

This program’s curriculum includes 33 credits; 15 of these relate to core educational courses while 18 cover major-related topics such as literacy and content instruction for ELS, fieldwork and professional collaboration in ESL classrooms, and assessment and evaluation of English language learners. Students also complete at least nine credits of directed student teaching before they graduate from the program. Graduates can pursue work in public schools, private schools, and faith-based learning environments. The program also prepares teachers to work with early ESL learners in preschool settings, nursery school settings, and early learning classrooms. Applicants to this program must submit their GRE or MAT scores.

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49 Southwest Minnesota State University RANKING SCORE 43.98 COST % Enrolled Online 42% LOCATION Marshall, MN

Southwest Minnesota State University boasts a high student success rate. Approximately 99% of graduates from the school are employed, with 93% working in their field of study. SMSU offers several distance learning programs, including the hybrid master of science in education with an emphasis in teaching English as a second language.

The curriculum includes 36 credits of core courses and 15 credits of TESL courses. Notable classes include understanding second language acquisition, teaching literacy, assessment in TESL, and TESL methods. Instead of the full master’s degree, students may complete a TESL licensure. Licensure students take 27 credits of TESL courses and a student teaching experiences. Applicants must submit official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statements. Candidates should have a 3.0 GPA, although students with a lower GPA may receive conditional admission. SMSU boasts an exceptionally low tuition rate and does not charge out-of-state tuition.

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50 Salem State University RANKING SCORE 42.55 COST % Enrolled Online 10% LOCATION Salem, MA

Established in 1854, Salem State University is one of the oldest and largest public institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. The school’s master of arts in teaching English enables students to earn preliminary, initial, and professional licenses throughout the course of one program. Education courses meet Tuesday evenings on campus, while content courses meet on alternative week day evenings, weekends, or online.

The 42-credit curriculum includes four education courses, five content courses in teaching English, two methods courses, a 300-hour practicum, a seminar, and one elective. Notable classes include TESOL methods in PreK-12 schools, methods of teaching ESOL in varied contexts, and sociolinguistics. Applicants to the MAT must have a bachelor’s degree in English. Students without a degree in English may enroll in the 57-63 credit MAT/MA program. Candidates should also have a passing score on the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure communication and literacy portion and content test for English.

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The best master's degree in English learning language programs prepare professionals for the challenges inherent in teaching English as a second language. Each school has specific credit requirements and courses tailored to fit the needs of ESL and ELL teachers. Read below for more information about obtaining a master's degree in English learning online.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER'S DEGREE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING

Each online master's degree program is carefully curated by the school. While details vary by program, learners can expect to encounter some variation of the following courses:

  • Language Production, Theory, and Acquisition: In this course, learners study how human beings employ, comprehend, and interpret language. The class takes a scientific look at ESL/ELL students and how they relate their own language to English.
  • Planning, Managing, and Implementing Instruction: Learners explore the keys to building an effective ESL/ELL curriculum. Coursework centers on helping learners better understand the thought process of ESL students, and how best to tailor coursework to their specific needs.
  • Assessment Theory and Practice: The material in this course largely focuses on standardized testing. Learners examine the structure of tests and how ESL students approach English-based assessments. Course instructors provide information regarding grading assessments and how to offer feedback. ESL teachers learn assessment strategies that provide positive learning outcomes.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER'S IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING?

As mentioned above, online master's in English language learning programs vary according to a number of factors, such as a program's curriculum and graduation requirements. Schools develop their curriculum based on credit hours, prerequisites, the aims of instructors, core courses, and electives. Applicants may be able to transfer credits depending on their school's transfer credit policy. An enrollment counselor will be able to assist students with planning. On average, a student completes a master's program in two years. Program start dates also vary, providing students with significant flexibility.

Individually paced programs focus on the student. Students work by themselves to complete coursework and projects. Instructors provide a syllabus and are on hand to answer questions. Cohort learning programs are primarily group-focused. Students work in groups to complete assignments and conduct discussion. Group members help each other stay on track to graduate. By design, cohort learning provides a more interactive experience for the student.

Regional and national accreditation are the two most popular forms of postsecondary accreditation. Accreditation agencies are tasked with monitoring schools, including their degree programs. These agencies ensure that schools provide students with the skills they need to be successful in their fields after graduation. To guarantee that educational institutions continue to meet their academic standards and guidelines, accreditation agencies review a school's accreditation every three to five years.

Every student should understand the difference between regional and national accreditation. Six agencies award regional accreditation throughout the United States. Regional accreditation agencies ensure that nonprofit and for-profit post-secondary educational institutions uphold high academic and operational standards. National accreditation is usually reserved for vocational, trade, and career schools and nationally accredited programs are sometimes less expensive than regionally accredited programs. However, regional accreditation is by far the most popular and prestigious form of accreditation. Credits from regionally accredited schools are easily transferable and degrees from regionally accredited institutions are widely recognized by schools and employers throughout the country.

The United States Department of Education (ED) is a federal agency that oversees the country's school system. The ED distributes funds to public and private schools and loans money to individual students. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is the primary accreditation agency for secondary schools. The CHEA works with the ED to monitor school programs and propose improvements within the accreditation process. The CHEA consists of thousands of schools, a list of which can be found on the Agency's website. The ED also offers a list of accredited institutions on their website.

MASTER'S IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING CAREERS

Graduates who hold an online master's in English language learning often go on to pursue careers in education in the public or private sector. Students can work on curriculum development or course instruction. They may take jobs as school administrators, principals, superintendents, teachers, counselors, or district leaders. Graduates may also work as interpreters or translators for a variety of companies. Leaders interested in working with students one-on-one often enjoy a career as an ESL teacher. Professionals who plan on entering the corporate workforce can work for public or private companies as an interpreter, and may also work for government agencies. Consider the following positions:

  • Instructional Coordinator: Instructional coordinators use online master's in English learning programs to study the mind of a student. Their job is to create a curriculum that will engage and educate learners. They work closely with ESL teachers to identify key objectives and learning outcomes. They also help teachers coordinate standardized testing and learning assessments.
  • ESL Teacher: ESL teachers interact with students daily to prepare them for the workforce. Instructors teach core subjects such as math, reading, science, and history. Teachers work with students to develop their English reading and speaking skills. ESL teachers are multilingual and they communicate with students using English and foreign languages.
  • Guidance Counselor: Guidance counselors at the middle and high school level assist students with career planning and navigating the school system. They may also provide mental health counseling. Guidance counselors help students apply for ESL/ELL classes and prepare for standardized tests.
Position Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate
Instructional Coordinator $62,460 7%
ESL Teacher $58,030 6%
Guidance Counselor $54,560 8%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION

Certification is an extremely important component of a degree. Certification programs have rigorous standards. These programs are designed to ensure teachers are well-equipped to handle leading a school classroom, curriculum, or working with foreign language speakers. Each state has its own set of requirements for ESL teachers. Applicants must apply through the state's board of education for a teaching certificate and subsequent certification. ESL Teacher certification requires a set amount of teaching hours.

  • Teaching English As a Foreign Language (TEFL): TEFL certification designed for for ESL instructors working in non-English speaking countries. It prepares teachers to instruct non-English speaking students and teach English as a foreign language.
  • Teaching English As A Second Language (TESOL): Instructors teaching English in a native-English speaking country should apply for this certification. TESOL certification provides them with the knowledge they'll need to lead non-English speaking students and help them improve their conversational skills.

MASTER'S IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING SALARY

Salaries for the best online master's degree in English language learning students continues to grow. Graduates in the field of education make the same amount or more than their non-ESL teaching counterparts. They also have the ability to work as translators or interpreters in industries outside of education. The need for interpreters and ESL teachers continues to grow as the cultural landscape changes. Salary varies based on years of experience, certification and degree, as well as state of employment.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Instructional Coordinator $59,961 $42,000 $54,000 $66,000
ESL Teacher $40,658 $39,000 $40,000 $52,000
Guidance Counselor $53,931 $44,000 $52,000 $68,000
Translator $45,438 $40,000 $46,000 $56,000
Adult Education Teacher $39,228 $38,000 $56,000 $70,000

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Professional Organizations provide unmatched resources and support to ESL educators. Several organizations focus on bilingual and multilingual education and issues. Members benefit from the opportunity to network with ESL educators in the United States and beyond. They also have access to online courses, career centers, and teaching materials. These organizations are also advocate for the rights of multilingual students. The membership process for each organization varies (see their websites for more information).

Post-secondary education can be costly and students pay for their degrees through a variety of ways. The most common way to finance an education is a loan and students often take out public loans from the ED or private loans through a bank or third party. These loans provide students with immediate funds to pay tuition. Students can apply for funds given by the ED by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Master's in English Language Learning Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
2 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX
3 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, TX
4 Dominican University River Forest, IL
5 Hamline University Saint Paul, MN
6 The New School New York, NY
7 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
8 University of Maryland-Baltimore County Baltimore, MD
9 McDaniel College Westminster, MD
10 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
11 Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA
12 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
13 Concordia University-Nebraska Seward, NE
14 Emporia State University Emporia, KS
15 Wilkes University Wilkes-Barre, PA
16 Concordia University-Chicago River Forest, IL
17 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
18 Asbury University Wilmore, KY
19 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
20 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA
21 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY
22 Murray State University Murray, KY
23 St John's University-New York Queens, NY
24 Biola University La Mirada, CA
25 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, TX