College of Arts and Letters2013-2014

Department of English

Teaching English as a Second Language - Language Teaching, Master of Arts

This plan will not be available to new students after Summer 2014

This program of study covers a blend of theoretical and practical issues, ranging from applied linguistics, to practical ESL methodology, to assessment of second-language skills. Students complete a one-semester supervised teaching experience and become familiar with research modes and methods for this intriguing field.


What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language - Language Teaching?

Northern Arizona University English department offers a Master of Arts degree in the Teaching of English as a Second Language (MA-TESL). This degree combines a strong theoretical foundation in applied linguistics with practical training in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. The principal goals of the program are to provide the linguistic theory necessary for ESL/EFL teachers, to equip teachers with the practical skills needed for effective language teaching, and to prepare students for further study in English language teaching, applied linguistics, and related fields.

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

Minimum Units for Completion 37
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.


  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement or essay
Master's Requirements
      • This may include up to 6 units of ENG 699, upon petition to the applied linguistics faculty, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis.
      • Please note that you may end up taking more than the 6 units of thesis credit you can count toward your degree because you must register for ENG 699 each semester while you are working on your thesis.)
  • You must also:

    • Have your writing skills evaluated during your first year of study; and
    • Take a comprehensive exam.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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