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M.A. TESOL Graduate Degree
M.A. TESOL Graduate Degree with K-12 Certification
Time Schedule
Course Descriptions
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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: TESOL (MA)

Marston Hall 227

Seattle Pacific University MA-TESOL program and the MA-TESOL with K-12 certification will prepare you for leadership and service in the field of teaching English as a second or foreign language. Close interaction with faculty committed to excellence in teaching and scholarship is integrated with active involvement in the ESL community.


A low faculty-to-student ratio is a hallmark of the programs, which also offer the following:

  • Theory made practical
  • Balance between academic preparation and teacher training
  • Strong emphasis on ethical and intercultural sensitivity
  • Practica to ensure your success and confidence in the classroom


The MA-TESOL program and the MA-TESOL with K-12 certification are rooted in a four-strand approach:

  • The first strand, academic preparation, includes courses in phonology, morphology, syntax, and second-language acquisition.
  • The second strand, pedagogy, includes methods courses that serve as a bridge between theory and practice.
  • The third strand, practica, includes a language-learning practicum in which you reflect on the frustrations and rewards of learning another language. This strand also includes a two-quarter teaching phase during which, when your near the end of your program, you're placed with seasoned "host teachers" for classroom observation and teaching experience.
  • The fourth strand, electives, gives students a chance to explore individual interests in the TESOL field, including courses in technology.

The MA-TESOL program is 54 credits. The MA-TESOL program with K-12 certification is 71 credits.


The 3-credit courses generally meet once a week for two-and-a-half hours. TESOL courses are usually held during afternoon and evening hours, Monday through Thursday. This makes full- or part-time employment possible.

You are also free to take only one or two courses per quarter as other obligations must be met, or to take up to 9 credits per quarter. All coursework must be completed within six years.


  • Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or its equivalent.
  • Submit letters of recommendation from at least two people. The letters submitted must come from unrelated individuals familiar with your intended field of study.
  • Submit an official copy of transcripts from the college or university that granted your bachelor's degree and any institution attended since that time.
  • Present a GPA of at least 3.0 (4.0=A) in the last 45 quarter credits of coursework completed before applying for admission or in all undergraduate work, whichever is higher.
  • Present an acceptable score on the appropriate entrance examination (for GRE, a minimum score of 155 on the verbal portion (500 for exams taken prior to August 1, 2011) and 3.5 on the analytical writing portion; for MAT, a minimum of 35).
  • Submit an essay in response to questions provided in the online application packet.
  • Provide proof of English proficiency if English is not the first language (TOEFL score of at least 100 on the Internet-based test or 600 on the paper-based test). The TOEFL replaces the GRE or MAT in this case.
  • Provide an affidavit of support reflecting financial support covering each year of intended enrollment if the applicant is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Complete the online application for the MA-TESOL program.
  • Include the $50 application fee.

Most students may enter the program at the beginning of any quarter. However applicants for the MA-TESOL with K-12 enter the program only in Autumn Quarter. The completed application packet must arrive in the MA-TESOL office by the applicable deadline below for admission to that quarter:


Autumn: August 1
Winter: December 1
Spring: March 1
Summer: May 1

Note: If you plan to enter the MA-TESOL with K-12 certification program, you must apply by March 15 for an Autumn Quarter start.


Our program prepares you to teach in colleges and universities, and in various language institutes within the United States and abroad. The program may be completed in seven quarters of full-time coursework. Practica scheduling and other considerations may extend this period.

Many ESL programs run on a limited and shortened basis during Summer Sessions; practicum placements are typically unavailable at that time.


Proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to at least one year's study at the college level and one or more basic courses in linguistic theory (e.g., LIN 2100) are required. With the approval of the program director, you may take these courses concurrently with the master's coursework as you begin the program.

If you wish to apply coursework that you completed prior to application, you must provide applicable transcript data. You may transfer up to 12 comparable graduate credits into the SPU program with the director's approval.

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