Mar 31, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages / TESOL [M.A.]

In the MA TESOL program, candidates explore language learning and teaching theories and practices in various sociocultural settings, both locally and globally. Candidates reflect on their beliefs about language teaching and learning as they develop language awareness, greater empathy, cross- and inter-cultural competencies, advocacy skills for working with linguistically and culturally diverse English learners and a commitment to continued professional development growth. Candidates have opportunities to engage in applied research, academic service-learning projects, study abroad, and various teaching practicum options in the university or local or global communities. 

Why our program?

  • Community-based, university-based, and international practicum opportunities 
  • Academic service-learning courses
  • Study Abroad offerings
  • Grant and award-winning faculty with diverse backgrounds, expertise, and leadership in the field
  • Faculty-student collaborations in instruction and research
  • Award-winning students (recognized by the Michigan and International TESOL organizations)


The MA TESOL program at Eastern Michigan University prepares graduates for a career in teaching English to speakers of other languages both in the US and abroad or work in related fields such as language testing and assessment, materials development, publishing, or non-profit organizations. Students might also pursue doctoral studies in Second Language Education, Multicultural Education, Applied Linguistics, Language Assessment, Educational Leadership, etc…

Program Admission

Admit Terms and Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in the Summer, Fall, or Winter. See Application Deadlines.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program. Conditional admission may be available to applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements. Requirements may be more stringent than the minimum graduate school requirements.

  • Submit a statement of the applicant’s reasons for pursuing this degree
  • Submit at least two letters of recommendation
  • Have at least one year’s college-level study of a foreign language or the equivalent as determined by the World Languages Department
  • For regular admission, non-native speakers of English must submit a recent (no older than one year) official test score showing a high level of English language proficiency. This requires a minimum TOEFL IBT score of 92 (with minimum subsection scores of 24 on reading, 24 on writing, 22 on speaking, and 22 on listening) or an IELTS minimum score of 7 on every subtest. Applicants with the minimum required scores on TOEFL or IELTS may be advised to take ESL/EAP courses.

Conditional Admission 

Conditional admission may be granted to students who do not meet the above admission requirements. These students will be required to take deficiency courses to meet these requirements and regular program requirements.


Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application.

Domestic Applicants Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript from all previously attended institutions.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at as they may differ from general program requirements.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Department Information

World Languages 219 Alexander, 734.487.0130

Jeff Popko, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

Cynthia Macknish, EdD, Associate Professor, 330 King Hall, 734.487.3347

Fellows Program

Paul D. Coverdell (PDC) Fellows Program in TESOL

Eligibility: Returned Peace Corps Volunteers accepted into the MA-TESOL program will be considered for the PDC Fellows program on a competitive basis.

Benefits: PDC Fellows receive program-specific advising and support, and a ½ graduate assistantship (10 hours per week) each semester they continue in the program.

Requirements: PDC Fellows must remain in good standing (GPA 3.0+), attend regular meetings, support local Peace Corps recruiters, and complete a structured internship teaching ESL in local non-profit organizations (10 hours per week). Accepted PDC Fellows who do not continue to meet the requirements will lose their benefits but may continue in the MA-TESOL program

Degree Requirements: 33 hours

The M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages requires 33 hours of coursework to be distributed among required courses, cognate courses and restricted elective courses as follows:

Critical Graduation Information

Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.

In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement:
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere). 
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
    • Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
  • Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.