M.A. Teaching English as a Second Language

Master of Arts

Teaching English as a Second Language


Train to teach English as a second language in a variety of settings or as a foreign language abroad.

About the Program

Our M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language program is designed for current and future professionals in teaching English as a second/foreign language, and applied linguistics. The program offers a balanced emphasis on theory, research, and practice.

You'll learn the theory and practices of teaching, learning, language, the contexts of teaching and learning, and professionalism.

See the Spring 2024 Newsletter for current program events and see our Student Handbook for more details about the program.

Internationally Respected Faculty

Because of our relatively small size (yearly cohorts of 8-12 individuals), you can count on individualized attention from professors. You'll take courses focused on theory, research, and practice taught by professors whose research specialty corresponds to the course topic. Many of these courses will also include doctoral students in SLAT and other programs. Our faculty members are internationally respected experts in the fields of socio-cognitive approaches to second language acquisition, second language writing, corpus linguistics, classroom discourse analysis, and technology-enhanced language teaching.

Program of Study

The degree requires 33 credit hours of coursework, traditionally completed in 4 semesters. See degree requirements.

In your final semester, you'll complete the Applied ESL seminar, which includes completion of a teaching portfolio and an action research project, presentation of the project, and professional development and job preparation activities.

Graduate Student Funding

Graduate teaching assistantships will be available to a small number of incoming MA TESL students.

Career Pathways

About a third of our graduates go on to Ph.D. studies at universities around the United States and the world. Some are accepted into the Graduate Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT).  

Another third of our M.A. graduates secure employment as adult ESL instructors in the United States, for example at intensive English programs or at community education centers. Another third teach English as a foreign language outside of the United States. Job opportunities are plentiful, especially in East Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. 

Contact Us

For general information about the program, please contact the program assistant.

English Applied Linguistics Program
Department of English
1423 E. University Blvd. Rm. 445
Tucson, AZ 85721-0067 U.S.A.

Specific inquires can be directed to Jonathan Reinhardt, Program Director.