Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages/TESOL [BA]

Location(s): In-person/hybrid

The Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is designed for students who want to engage with international populations in the US or abroad. It is rooted in a desire to communicate with people from different languages and cultural backgrounds from the dual perspective of teachers who wish to serve international sojourners in the US and those who want to journey abroad to engage with students in their home cultures. It is meant to improve the teaching and learning of English as an additional language, encourage reciprocal communication between people worldwide, and promote global citizenship.


Beginning classes focus on language (LNGE). You will hone your knowledge of English language structures and discover how language and culture influence each other in various settings in the U.S. and worldwide. After exploring how students learn a language, upper-level classes focus on English language teaching methodology and practice. You will also have opportunities to plan and implement language teaching activities.


A major in TESOL will allow you to enter a career teaching English to speakers of other languages in the US or abroad or work in related fields such as language testing and assessment, publishing, or non-profit organizations.

Department Information

World Languages 219 Alexander, 734.487.0130 

Jeff Popko, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

Ildiko (Ildi) Porter-Szucs Ph.D., Professor, 317 Alexander Music Building, 734.487.6487

Program Admission

Lower-division classes (LNGE 202 , 223 242 , and TSLN 251 ) are open to all students. Students may complete any or all of these classes before applying to the major. Students seeking admission to the major should contact the TESOL Advisor before registering for TSLN 325W , the major’s Writing Intensive course.

Before officially entering the major, students must have:

  1. Sophomore standing
  2. Superior English test scores (e.g. New SAT 1250, ACT 22, TOEFL iBT 88, IELTS 6.5) OR a cumulative GPA of 3.0 with at least 24 credit hours completed
  3. Students must complete two semesters (minimum of six credits) of a World Language at the university level.

Students who wish to be certified to teach ESL in Michigan must double major, completing a Teaching Major concurrently with the BA-TESOL.

General Education Requirements:

For specific requirements, see General Education  or view the General Education Worksheet [PDF] .  

Major Requirements: 36 hours

The coursework below is offered primarily face-to-face/in-person. Coursework may also be offered in hybrid, hyflex, and online (synchronous or asynchronous) modes. In some cases, a course may only be offered entirely online. Click on the courses below to see when and how they are offered.


Program Total:

Students must earn a minimum total of 120 credits at the 100-level or above.

Critical Graduation Information

Each undergraduate student will be responsible for fulfilling the requirements (or their equivalents) of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration at a college or university or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

In the event an undergraduate student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration at a college or university, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their major/minor in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

Minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University

Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult this catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.

  • Earn a minimum total of 120 credit hours at the 100-level and above.
    • Courses numbered below 100 are not counted toward this degree requirement.
    • At most, eight credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses are counted toward this requirement.
  • Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below), including completing a Writing Intensive (GEWI) course in the student’s major.
  • Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details).
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
  • Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
  • Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor. A double major automatically satisfies the need for a minor unless one of the two majors requires a specific minor. Students should check the requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required. 
  • Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits over the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 120 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
    • Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
  • Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; individual departments/schools conduct the internal review of such courses within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credit for transferred courses; grades are not used to calculate an EMU GPA.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses a student takes at EMU and those applied to their major or minor are used to calculate their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)

General Education Requirements - EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education  section of the catalog.

Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.