M.A. TESOL Program Objective

The M.A. TESOL is a professional degree designed for those who wish to work with learners of English. The educational objective is to prepare teachers of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) for work outside the American public school setting. The successful student will have theoretical and practical knowledge about those factors that constitute a sound ESOL program, for example, human language learning, language in its socio-cultural settings and uses, language program structures, and support for achievement of learner objectives. Starting in Spring 2023, we now offer both the graduate certificate and the MA in TESOL via a fully online option as well as through in-person courses. (Download a PDF describing our online options.)

You can contact us directly at ling.advisor@uta.edu for more information about admissions. 

Degree Plan

Starting in Spring 2023, we now offer both the graduate certificate and the MA in TESOL via a fully online option as well as through in-person courses. (Download a PDF describing our online options.) All M.A. TESOL students must demonstrate knowledge of a foreign language prior to unconditional admission to the degree program. Those without such background may pursue study of a foreign language at UT Arlington concurrent with probationary enrollment in the M.A. TESOL program.

The program includes course study and a comprehensive examination, for a total of 36 credits.

  1. The course study constitutes 12 courses (36 credits):
    1. 8 required core courses (24 credits); and
    2. 4 elective courses (12 credits).
  2. The comprehensive examination is offered twice a year: November and April.


There are 8 required courses (24 credits) in Linguistics and TESOL.

  1. In the area of Linguistics, there are 2 core courses (6 credits).
    1. LING 5300: Linguistic Analysis or LING 5309 Linguistics for Language Professionals
    2. LING 5305: Second Language Acquisition
  2. In the area of TESOL, there are 6 core courses (18 credits).
    1. LING 5301: TESOL Methodology
    2. LING 5302: TESOL Reading & Composition
    3. LING 5304: TESOL Pedagogical Grammar
    4. LING 5306: TESOL Curriculum Design
    5. LING 5307: Pedagogical Phonology of English
    6. LING 5393: TESOL Teaching and Observation

An Important Note about Course Sequencing

Students in the M.A. TESOL program are required to take courses in the appropriate sequence; doing so helps to ensure that they will have the necessary background to master the materials in more advanced classes. Key sequencings:

  • LING 5300 (or equivalent linguistics foundation) is prerequisite for LING 5310/-11/-51, and LING 5305.
  • LING 5301 or 5302 is prerequisite for LING 5303, LING 5304 and LING 5307.
  • LING 5301, 5302, and 5305 are prerequisite for LING 5393.

For course descriptions, go to the Graduate Catalog (Linguistics Courses section).

There are 4 elective courses (12 credits), to be selected in consultation with the graduate advisor. At least two of the elective courses must come from the Department of Linguistics and TESOL inventory. Examples include the following, but others may be taken, too. (Please consult your advisor before selecting electives):

  • LING 3330 – Phonetics and Phonology
  • LING 3340 – Grammar and Morphology
  • LING 5310 – Sociolinguistics
  • LING 5347 – Pragmatics
  • LING 5381 – Corpus Linguistics
  • LING 5395 – Graduate Internship
  • LING 6381 – Research Design and Statistics

Up to 2 of the remaining elective courses (6 credits) may be an appropriate course offered by another department. Examples include the following, but other courses may be eligible, too. (Please consult your advisor before selecting electives):

  • ANTH 3340: Anthropology and Education
  • COMM 4335: International-Intercultural Communication
  • EDAD 5309: Advanced Instructional Strategies
  • EDUC 5301: Current Applications of Technology in Education
  • ENGL 4339: Rhetoric and Composition
  • ENGL 5355: Studies in English Discourse
  • ENGL 5358: Principles and Methods of Evaluation
  • LING 5347: Pragmatics
  • LING 5311: Sociolinguistics of Society
  • LING 5351: Spoken Discourse
  • MANA 4323: Organization Analysis & Design: Culture, Process, & Structure
  • MANA 4324 or 5312: Organizational Behavior
  • MODL 5305: Methods of MLT
  • MODL 5307: Topics in Second Language Acquisition
  • MODL 5308: Technology and Language Instruction
  • READ 5357: Comparative Literacy Programs
  • READ 5362: Literacy Instruction in ESL/Bilingual Settings
  • SOCI 3327: Intercultural Interaction
  • SPAN 5302: Spanish Dialectology
  • SPAN 5303: Applied Spanish Linguistics

(Program requirements on your MyMav registration program will supersede the requirements posted on this page.)


The M.A. Comprehensive Examination should be taken during the final long semester of study; exceptions to this policy must be approved by your graduate advisor. Starting in the Fall of 2010, the TESOL examination format will consist of a portfolio of professional materials, a brief teaching demonstration, and an exit interview.

The Comprehensive Examination is given twice each year, in the fall semester (early November) and the spring semester (early April); a specific exam date will be announced at the beginning of each semester.

After receiving the results of their Comprehensive Exam, students must file a Final Master's Exam Report (pdf) cod with the Graduate School.

Learn More about the exam

Admissions Requirements

Before applying, please review this useful checklist (PDF) for all applicants to our graduate programs, which details the materials that you need to submit when applying.

If you're interested in pursuing this program of study, also be sure to read the Admissions Requirements (PDF) for Linguistics & TESOL graduate programs.

NOTE: Effective in the Spring Semester 2007, the M.A. Comprehensive Exam will be based on these Revised Degree Requirements, regardless of the student's catalog year.

These degree requirements are effective for students entering Spring 2011 or later. Older program requirements can be downloaded as PDFs: pre-2006 MA TESOL requirements and 2006-2010 MA TESOL requirements.