MA in TESOL Program

The 31-credit hour Master of Arts degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is a professional degree that prepares graduate students to become effective teachers of English to adult learners who speak other native languages, both in the U.S. and abroad. The M.A. in TESOL provides both a strong theoretical foundation as well as hands-on practical experiences. Download a brochure here.

For information about the program, contact:

Estela Ene, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Program Director
English Department
(317) 274-3908

To contact the Graduate Office:

IUPUI Graduate Office
University Library, Room 1170
755 W. Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 274-1577

Applying to the MA in TESOL Program

Applications for the M.A. in TESOL degree are accepted on a rolling-basis and should meet all applicable requirements as described below. Final admission is based upon the approval of the admissions committee, which is comprised of the English Department’s Director of Graduate Studies, the Director of the M.A. in TESOL, program faculty members, and departmental administrative staff.    

Undergraduate Degree

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. A minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), or the equivalent, in the student’s undergraduate major, documented by an official transcript, is highly recommended.

Official transcripts may be sent electronically (preferred) directly from the registrar of your undergraduate institution to Terri Crews, Graduate Programs Team Member, at Official transcripts can be sent via ground mail as a sealed copy to:

IUPUI School of Liberal Arts Graduate Team
425 University Blvd., Cavanaugh Hall 513
Indianapolis, IN 46202

We cannot accept scans of transcripts or unsealed transcripts from applicants.


TOEFL or IELTS official scores are required for nonnative speaking applicants only and must be reported directly to IUPUI. Test scores are not required if the applicant has earned (or will earn) a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a country where English is the official language (please refer to the Office of International Affairs website.)  The department will only consider applications once the required minimum score is met and does not offer admission to applicants not meeting the required minimum scores.

  • Please have ETS submit your scores directly to IUPUI, as we cannot accept self-reported scores. The IUPUI Institution Code for ETS is #1325.
  • Recommended minimum scores for applicants who are nonnative speakers of English: 100 TOEFL iBT; 7.0 IELTS.

Additional information about international admissions can be obtained from the Office of International Affairs.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must request three letters of recommendation using the electronic letter of recommendation option in the online application system. These letters should be from persons qualified to comment on your preparation for graduate study in TESOL. All recommendations must come directly from the recommenders. We cannot accept scanned or otherwise unofficial recommendations from applicants.

Personal Statement

Applicants must submit a 500-750 word personal statement in the following format:

  • Paragraph 1: Reasons for Applying to Our Program.

Describe your reasons for applying to graduate school in general and our program in particular. What aspects of our program do you see as being a good fit for you and your objectives?

  • Paragraph 2: Education and Other Experiences.

What has prepared and/or motivated you to do graduate work in TESOL? These might include academic, work or other experiences, study or travel abroad, research or writing projects, etc.

  • Paragraph 3: Goals in the Program.

Beyond the core coursework of 16 credit hours, is there a specific area of TESOL in which you want to gain experience? Do you plan to study full or part-time? Do you see yourself writing a thesis, and if so, on what topic?

  • Paragraph 4: Career Objectives.

What are your long-term career and/or personal goals, and how do you see your M.A. in TESOL degree helping you to achieve those goals?

  • Paragraph 5 (Optional): Program Opportunities and Funding.

Describe any specific opportunities you want to be considered for, including fellowships, assistantships, study abroad opportunities, etc.

Application Instructions

Follow the IUPUI application process as defined by the IUPUI Graduate Office. More information may be found here.

Online Application and Fee

Follow the IUPUI application procedureNote: If you have already submitted an application for a graduate or certificate program in English at IUPUI, please contact to obtain an application fee waiver. Application fee is $70 USD.



Applications for fall semester financial aid (including university fellowships) are due January 29 of the same year.

Applications for the fall semester are due August 1 for domestic students and May 15 for international students (June 15 for international students already in the U.S.) of the same year.

Applications for the spring semester are due December 31 for domestic students and October 1 for international students (November 1 for international students already in the U.S.) of the preceding year.

Applications for any summer session are due May 1 for domestic students and February 15 for international students (March 15 for international students already in the U.S.) of the same year.

Financial Aid

Departmental support and professional development opportunities are available on a competitive basis. These include teaching, tutoring, or research in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP), the Program for Intensive English (PIE), ESL Tutoring Center, International Center for Intercultural Communication (ICIC), the University Writing Center, or writing and literature courses in the English Department.

IUPUI is part of the Midwest Student Exchange Program, which was established to increase interstate educational opportunities for students in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin to enroll at IUPUI at a reduced cost. 

Information about other sources of financial aid available to most graduate students can be found at the Office of Student Financial Services.

The Program

The 31-credit hour M.A. in TESOL is comprised of core courses, elective courses, and the completion of either a thesis or internship.  Please click on the tabs above for more information. Course descriptions may be found here.

Core Courses (16 credit hours/5 courses)
  • ENG-G 500 Introduction to the English Language (4cr)
  • ENG-Z 520 Second Language Development (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 523 TESOL Methods (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 541 English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and Materials Development (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 545 TESOL Practicum (3cr)

Elective courses (At least 15 credit hours/5 courses)

  • ENG-G 625 Discourse Analysis and Introduction to Research (4cr)
  • ENG-G 652 Sociolinguistics (4cr)
  • ENG-Z 536 Pedagogical Grammar (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 570 Second Language Writing (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 575 Second Language Learning and Technology (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 598 TESOL Internship (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 600 Seminar in TESOL (variable topics) (3cr)
  • ENG-Z 690 Advanced Readings in TESOL (1-4cr)
  • ENG-Z 699 M.A. Thesis – TESOL (3cr)
  • Other graduate courses in literature, writing, and literacy, or related fields as approved by the director. No more than six credits may be transferred from or taken outside the department.

Students should select one of two program options:

Thesis Option

Required Courses: Students must take the five core courses for a total of 16 credit hours, as well as ENG-Z 690 Advanced Reading in TESOL (1-4 credits) and ENG-Z 699 M.A. Thesis (3 credits)

  • Electives: Students choose at least three courses (at least 8-11 credits)
  • Total: 31 credit hours

Internship Option

Required Courses: Students must take the five core courses for a total of 16 credit hours, as well as ENG-Z 598 TESOL Internship (3 credits)

  • Electives: Students choose at least four courses (at least 12 credits)
  • Total: 31 credit hours


M.A. students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B average).

No courses with a grade of C or lower will count toward graduation requirements.

Affiliated IUPUI Programs

English for Academic Purposes Program (EAP Program)

The English for Academic Purposes Program is designed to provide the language support and assistance needed to undergraduate and graduate students who are not native speakers of English so that they can fully participate and succeed in their respective fields. More information about the EAP Program can be found on their website.

International Center for Intercultural Communication (ICIC)

The International Center for Intercultural Communication (ICIC) studies English language and intercultural communication through the use of linguistic science; implements practical and customizable education and training in English language and culture for specific purposes; and applies its research to benefit the local and global community. More information about the ICIC can be found on this website.

Program for Intensive English (PIE)

The Program for Intensive English offers English language instruction to students who have not yet been admitted into degree programs.  The PIE has seven levels ranging from beginning to advanced academic English, offering courses on listening & speaking skills, reading & writing skills, and ‘structure in use’ (grammar). More information about the PIE can be found on their website.