The curriculum of the Murray State University Master of Arts Program in Teaching English
to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is based on guidelines developed by TESOL,
an international professional organization and on recognized programs at other institutions.
It features instruction and experiences that contribute directly to competencies in
linguistics, language pedagogy, assessment and culture.
The MA in TESOL is offered by the Department of English and Philosophy of the College
of Humanities and Fine Arts. Doctorally-prepared faculty in linguistics, second-language
teaching, and related fields serve as the program's instructors. The TESOL Advisory
Committee is made up of the TESOL program director, the chair of English and Philosophy
and the TESOL faculty.
Choose the option that meets your needs
MA in TESOL
Earn your master of arts degree in TESOL. The traditional two-year program can be
completed on-campus or 100% online.
The MA in TESOL is the recognized teaching degree in English as a Second Language
(ESL) instruction, a field that has shown phenomenal growth in recent years. This
degree is regularly cited in position announcements for:
Community college and university teaching positions in pre-college English programs
for international students
Industry positions in training programs for non-English speaking employees
Positions to teach English in secondary schools and colleges all over the world
The Murray State program collects information about internship and employment opportunities
and makes it available to program participants. At the end of the program, you will
complete a credit-bearing internship experience. In many cases, the internship can
be an actual paid position in the United States or abroad.
Applying to the program
Applicants must comply with Murray State University's general admission requirements
for graduate students (see the Graduate Bulletin).
Following are the additional requirements for unconditional admission to the TESOL
an undergraduate major in English or a modern foreign language or approval by the
TESOL Advisory Committee;
at least 6 semester hours in one modern foreign language or demonstrated proficiency at that level (permission may be granted to complete this
proficiency during the program; for non-native speakers, language may be English);
for non-native speakers of English, a TOEFL score of 20 for each section of the iBT, an IELTS score of 6.5 with no band
lower than 6.0 or a previous degree earned from an accredited U.S. institution or
successful completion of Level 6 of the MSU ESL program.
Note: Admission to the program does not guarantee graduation. Students are expected to hold
to the ethical standards expected of the teaching profession, and unethical conduct,
such as violations of the MSU Academic Honesty Policy, may result in dismissal from
Students who have a minimum of 18 for each section of the iBT, an IELTS score of 6.0
with no band below 5.5 or successful completion of an in-house language exam (decided
on a case-by-case basis), but meet all other conditions for admittance may be admitted
conditionally by the TESOL Advisory committee.
Under these conditions, students will have their English language skills assessed
by the director of the TESOL program immediately after they arrive on campus to determine
if further classes are needed to develop English language proficiency.
After assessment the students may be assigned to full-time language study in the English
as a Second Language Program, may be permitted to take graduate-level classes on a
conditional basis along with further designated language study or may be permitted
to begin graduate study without further restrictions.
Apply for admission to the Graduate School at Murray State University. The graduate
admissions office will send a copy of your application materials to the TESOL program
If you live in the United States, we recommend you apply three months before the desired
start term. The fall semester is typically August to December and the spring semester
is January to May.
Application deadlines for international students are April 30 for the upcoming Fall semester, and October 15 for the following Spring
semester to allow sufficient time to process all required documents before arrival