One Year MA in TESOL

This one-year MA in TESOL will give you attractive credentials to teach English as a second or additional language, particularly abroad.


Fall Term

  LING 2145 Testing and Assessment in TESOL  (3 credits)

        or, Instruction & Learning 2253

  LING 2144  Research Methods (3 credits)

  LING 2142  Second Language Teaching (3 credits)

  LING 2150 Language Learning and Technology (3 credits)

  LING 2194  Practicum/Observation  (2 credits)

  LING 2579  Graduate Seminar (1 credit)


Spring Term

   LING 2738  Structures of English (3 credits)

   LING 2143  Materials Development (3 credits)

   LING 2146  Second Language Acquisition (3 credits)

   LING 2141  Teaching English across Cultures (3 credits)

   LING 2195  Practicum  (3 credits)


The LING 2195 Practicum (Fall and Spring) includes observation of classes in English as an additional language (EAL) in higher education contexts, supervised practice teaching of adult English language learners, application of course-work content and tools to teaching contexts, and interactions with EAL teaching faculty and students outside the classroom.


Requirements for entry

- Baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent with a minimum grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4-point scale).

- An undergraduate degree in linguistics is not required.

Native Speakers of Other Languages:

Recommendations for applicants who are non-native speakers of English are as follows:

Recommended TOEFL Score:  95 or higher on the iBT TOEFL (Skill Requirements: Reading and Listening – 22 or above; Speaking and Writing – one skill must be at the level of Advanced)  Please go to to review the Performance Descriptors for the TOEFL iBT Test).

Recommended IELTS Score:  7 or higher on the IELTS (Skill Requirements: Speaking and Writing – combined minimum of 13)

English Language Proficiency: In recognition of physical and financial constraints experienced by many international applicants with regard to conventional test options, the Dietrich School will accept the Duolingo English Test as an alternative to TOEFL and IELTS for the 2020/21 application season. The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken on demand in ca. one hour (requires computer with camera, microphone, speakers, internet connection). It involves an adaptive test via a graded section that evaluates applicants’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills (45 mins) and a video interview recording answers to open-ended questions (10 mins).Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session. For more information, please visit Duolingo’s website. The minimum Duolingo score acceptable for admission to Department of Linguistics MA programs in AY2021 is 120.  (Candidates with very strong preparation in linguistics and or Teaching Experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis if they have at least 115 on the Duolingo test.) Applicants must share their Duolingo test results either by uploading them as a PDF under ‘Additional Information’ in their online application (preferable) or by sending the test results in PDF format to the Graduate Administrator for the admitting program.

- Deadline for applications: March 15, 2021.

Questions about whether the one-year MA/TESOL is right for you? Contact Dr. Scott Kiesling, Chair,


Frequently Asked Questions

Are the application requirements the same as the other graduate programs, as outlined in the department’s FAQ section?

        YES, but now there is no GRE requirement.

Will this program qualify me to teach in the state of Pennsylvania, or will I need to become a certified educator in addition to gaining TESOL credentials?

       No -- you would need to already have an Instructional I Certificate.  The ESL endorsement can be awarded if you already have an Instructional I certificate or if you also complete masters in the School of Education. See here:

What are tuition costs?  Are there any merit scholarships, fellowships, or assistantships offered for this program?

         The tuition costs are the same as all Dietrich School graduate programs. The current fee structure is here: This year they are $23,530 for in state for one year. This amount does not include required fees. Unfortunately, as of now, we are not aware of any tuition scholarships or remission. 

Does the program have resources available to assist students in gaining employment abroad?

      We make every effort to connect students to overseas teaching opportunities. In recent years, our graduates have gone to China, S. Korea,  Japan and the Middle East, either with Universities or through the State Department English Language Fellow program.



Alumni Profile: Hillary Schepps

Hillary Schepps received the MA in Applied Linguistics (SLA) and TESOL Certificate in 2014. She is currently Director of studies and co-owner of Intuition, a language school in Bologna, Italy. Hillary writes:

"My linguistics graduate work included not only the MA and TESOL certificate but also a teaching assistantship at the English Language Institute. Teaching at the ELI while I earned my degree allowed me to put theory into practice, instantly verifying the utility of everything I was studying. It also helped me generate research questions about L1 influence on EFL development which ultimately became the topic of my thesis and is still a critical consideration in my current role. A lot of the courses required for TESOL are directly applicable to my current position: Materials, Assessment, Linguistic Structures of English, and so on. In fact, I apply the principles I learned at Pitt on a daily basis. Just this morning I referred to Bloom’s taxonomy when justifying to a client why a student’s level of English isn’t quite as high as she maintained!"