TESOL M.A. (in-person)

We prepare students for an exciting future

The Master's degree in TESOL is designed primarily for individuals who wish to teach overseas, at community colleges and intensive English programs, as well as for K-12 teachers wishing to upgrade their skills and employability.

A TESOL professional not only provides an invaluable service but also gains a richer understanding of both language and the many different cultures of our world. Perhaps no other academic program offers such a direct opportunity for multicultural and international experiences, as well as service to local communities. 

Student smiling while holding a book. Student smiling while holding a book.

Class Sizes

The program is small enough to foster a lively integrated community across our course and research options.



UNI's TESOL graduates are teaching around the world, in more than 25 countries. 



With an increasing demand for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers, our graduates will continue to have a wide variety of career possibilities.


Find out more about TESOL M.A.

Tell us more and we'll send information on how you can succeed with a graduate degree in Teaching English as a Second Language TESOL from the University of Northern Iowa College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences.

Hilal Ergül, Ph.D.

Graduate Program Coordinator

(319) 273-2729


Career Opportunities

Recent graduates have gone on to the following careers:

  • Teachers of English in the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia
  • K-12 teachers in the U.S. (licensure required)
  • English teachers in community colleges and in Intensive English programs in the U.S. and abroad
  • Professionals in government agencies and on grant-funded projects
  • Students and graduates of doctoral programs in second language acquisition, curriculum and instruction, linguistics, and other fields.

Courses & Curriculum

Our program is a full-time, on-campus program and offers both thesis and non-thesis options. Our classes can be:

  • Language Teaching Methods
  • Introduction to Graduate Study in TESOL/Applied Linguistics
  • Seminar in Language
  • TESOL Practicum
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Electives

Next Steps

Requirements for Admission

  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • 2.75 is the minimum GPA to be accepted without provision; applicants with a GPA lower than 2.75 may still be admitted provisionally, at the discretion of the program and the Graduate College
  • Application fee (this can be waived or deferred, see if you qualify).

Although the program has rolling admissions and admits students for both Fall and Spring semesters, applications must be on file by February 1st for full admission and funding consideration.

Program Policies

  • Only graduate courses (course numbers 5000 or above) will apply to a graduate degree, even if the undergraduate course number (4999 or less) is listed. No exceptions will be made.
  • This major is available on the thesis and non-thesis options, and requires a minimum of 33 semester hours for the non-thesis option, and 39 semester hours for the thesis option, which includes 6 hours of TESOL 6299: Research. The non-thesis option requires an approved research paper. A minimum of 15 hours of 6000-level course work is required for either option.
  • Successful completion of a teaching portfolio or presentation at a UNI-sponsored or other professional conference/symposia are required for both thesis and non-thesis options, as specified by the TESOL/Applied Linguistics faculty. See the TESOL Graduate Coordinator for details.

  • Students are required to meet with their advisors for a program approval interview. Students should complete this interview during the first semester of their course work. The department may require a student to complete course work in addition to the minimum of 33 semester hours required for a master's degree. In such cases, these hours will be specified at the time of the interview.
  • NOTE: Students who wish state licensure to teach at the K-12 level should request information concerning licensure requirements from the Director of Teacher Education, University of Northern Iowa or from the Department of Education in the state in which they plan to teach. The TESOL M.A. does not confer teacher licensure.


Contact Us

Department Head: Dr. Jim O'Loughlin
Phone: (319) 273-2821
E-mail: jim.oloughlin@uni.edu

Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Hilal Ergül
Phone: (319) 273-2729
E-mail: hilal.ergul@uni.edu

‌Secretary: Lexi Byrnes
Phone: (319) 273-5965
E-mail: lexi.byrnes@uni.edu