Frequently Asked Questions

Where should application materials be sent?

Application materials should be sent to the Graduate Center

The Graduate Center
 3307 3rd Ave W, Suite 111
 Seattle, WA 98119-1022

How should transcripts be received by the Graduate Center?

To be considered official, transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope from the college or university. Transcripts may be delivered to our office in person as long as they remain in their original, unopened university envelope.

How long will it take me to complete the program?

A full-time student can complete the program in as little as seven quarters, but most students require eight.  We have many part-time students as well, who complete the program in 10-12 quarters.

When are classes offered? 

The majority of our classes meet once a week in the early evenings: 4:30-7:05 p.m.

Can I take classes online?

There are a couple of online classes in our program. However, the majority of the classes meet on campus.

Can I transfer credits into the MA-TESOL program?

We accept up to 12 credits for transfer. Only graduate level credits are eligible for transfer. Consideration of transfer credits is only made upon acceptance into the program. Undergraduate credits are not eligible for transfer.

What is Seattle Pacific University's partnership with The School of Teaching English (S-TESL)?

You can take up to 12 graduate level credits at S-TESL that transfer to the MA-TESOL program. For more information about S-TESL go to

Where do MA-TESOL graduates work?

Many of our students find employment teaching ESL in community colleges and language institutes. We also have students who are K-12 teachers who continue to work in Washington public schools.

Will the MA-TESOL degree grant me an ESL endorsement?

No, the MA-TESOL degree is not an ESL endorsement. An ESL endorsement is for certified public school teachers. 

Does the MA-TESOL degree certify me to teach in Washington public schools?

No, the MA-TESOL degree does not certify you teach in Washington public schools.  However, MA-TESOL students are able to work with SPU's School of Education to earn their teaching certificate concurrently with the MA-TESOL degree

When can I start the program?

You can start the standard MA-TESOL program any quarter.  However, the MA-TESOL + K-12 Certification can only be started in the fall.

Do I have to take the GRE?

Yes, however, the MAT is also an acceptable test. Non-native English speakers are not required to take the GRE, but must take the TOEFL.

Can I visit campus and meet with a professor?

Yes.  Email to request a visit. 

Is there a practical component to the MA-TESOL degree?

Yes, there is a two-quarter teaching practicum experience where our students work with existing ESL teachers.  The teaching practicum usually takes place at a local community college.

Can I receive financial aid?

SPU does not offer any scholarships or graduate assistantships for the MA-TESOL degree. However, students can apply for aid through FAFSA.

Is SPU a Christian university?

Yes. However, we welcome applicants of all faiths and none, and one of the great strengths of the MA-TESOL program is its great diversity.


Read reflections from our graduates.