Program Length

TESL Master's Program

Program length is generally determined by the number of courses that you are taking and the program options that you have chosen:  TESL MA vs. TESL MA with K-12 ESL licensure.

For the TESL MA, a full-time student could complete the program as fast as in two 15 week semesters and two ten week summer sessions.  We have actually had one on-campus student complete the program in such a 15 month program, but most student on-campus and online would complete four 15-week semesters completing courses and then spend one more summer finishing the thesis, as a general rule.

But most TESL MA students choose to be part-time students as they jobs and other responsibilities that have led them to decide to take the program online.  Typically, a student working or teaching full-time only take one course a semester or term or three courses a year:  one in Fall, one in Spring, and one in Summer.  On this schedule, it would take four years to complete the TESL MA.  If one took two courses a term for all three terms, one would still be able to complete the degree in approximately two years.  If one took one course a semester and two a summer or four year, then the student would be able to complete the degree in three years.

For the TESL MA and the K-12 ESL license, students with a previous Minnesota state teaching license in another area should be able to complete the course work for both programs in the same period of time, but there would be several other requirements:  1)  Praxis II:  ESOL, and 2)  student teaching.  If you actually had to student teach through SCSU, these nine to twelve credits could be completed in one semester.  If you were teaching ESL on a variance in Minnesota, then you might be able to use this experience to count as essential equivalent experience for student teaching at no cost to the student but only within specific guidelines and with specific requirements outlined in the section on Student Teaching.

If you do not have a Minnesota teaching license in another area and sought the K-12 ESL license, you would also be required to take 37 credits of education courses most of which are on-campus courses without online equivalents.  In other words, such students could not complete the K-12 ESL license completely online.

For more information email the TESL Director, Jim Robinson at:

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