FAQ (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS) FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
How long does the program take to complete?
If you attend full time, it will take you two years (four semesters) to complete the program. If you are pursuing a B.A. in linguistics from MSU, you may be eligible for the linked program, in which case, the M.A. degree can be completed in three semesters. It is also possible to attend as a part-time student, but you must finish within six years. The six-year period begins with the semester of the first course you plan to apply to the degree.
Can I take M.A. TESOL classes through Lifelong Education?
Yes, with permission of the instructor, Lifelong Ed students can take M.A. TESOL classes. You can transfer up to 9 credits from Lifelong Education if you are eventually accepted into the M.A. TESOL program although taking courses through Lifelong Education does not imply acceptance into the program. We usually recommend that you begin by taking either LLT 807 or LLT 895. For further information, contact Lifelong Education. It is advisable to discuss your interests and objectives with the M.A. TESOL program director before requesting an instructor’s permission to enroll in a course.
Is it possible to start the M.A. TESOL program in the Spring semester?
Students begin the TESOL program in the fall in order to follow a logical sequence of courses. For example, LLT 895 is a prerequisite for LLT 896; LLT 895 is only offered in the Fall semester, and LLT 896 is offered in the spring. Exceptions are rarely made, but please contact the TESOL Director if you wish to start in the spring.
Can I transfer credit from other institutions?
If you have taken graduate courses at another university that you would like to count toward your M.A. degree, you must speak with the Director of the TESOL Program and provide her with a copy of the syllabus for each course when you took it. If she approves, you may transfer up to 9 credits. If you have credits in a course for which we do not have an equivalent, but it is clearly related to TESOL, you may be able to count such a course as an elective.
In some cases, students have taken courses that they cannot or do not wish to transfer, yet are equivalent to an M.A. TESOL course requirement. In this case, a course will be waived without transfer credit and may be replaced with an additional elective.
Can I get the practicum requirement waived?
The practicum requirement can be waived if you can provide documentation of having had the equivalent of two years full-time supervised teaching experience.
Can I get the GRE for domestic students waived?
To request a waiver of the requirement applicants should contact the M.A. TESOL program director.
After graduating from the M.A. TESOL program, what sort of a job will I be able to get?
Many of our graduates who have been interested in working abroad have found full-time positions teaching overseas. Some graduates have gone on to direct programs, coordinate EFL education, or work full-time in U.S. institutions. Full-time positions in Michigan, as in the rest of the US, are highly competitive. As with most things, the ability to find a good position often depends on how much you put into your education and whether you are prepared to go that extra mile by participating in activities such as giving conference presentations, working on teacher-education research projects, designing curricula and materials etc. There are many opportunities for such extra curricular CV-enhancing activities in the M.A. TESOL program.
What is the background of the students in the M.A. TESOL program?
The TESOL program has a mix of domestic and international students, including Fulbright scholarship recipients. In terms of undergraduate work, some students have backgrounds in English, a foreign language, linguistics, psychology, or education. If you have an unrelated undergraduate major, it is generally helpful to demonstrate at least some experience in language teaching in your application such as tutoring English learners.
Where can I get information about funding?
Teaching Assistantships are available through the English Language Center (ELC). The application process for an assistantship is separate from the application for admission to the M.A. program. In addition to a stipend, assistantships include a tuition waiver of 9 credits per semester. Applications for assistantships must be received by the ELC by February 1st for the following Fall semester and are available through a link on the ELC website. To be considered for an assistantship, applicants must first be accepted by the M.A. TESOL program; therefore, your application materials should be submitted to the graduate program well in advance of the February 1st deadline for the assistantship application. Because funding support is not guaranteed, applicants are also encouraged to explore other sources of funding for their graduate studies. A few fellowships are also available through the Center For Language Teaching Advancement. Finally, there are occasionally assistantships available through the department, and all applicants are automatically considered for these. Information on financial aid for US citizens can be found in the Office of Financial Aid.
How much does the program cost?
Information is available from the Office of the Controller – Student Accounts.
Can I take a short course or get a certificate in TESOL?
We only offer an M.A. degree in TESOL. Students may take individual courses through Lifelong Education with the permission of the instructor but this will not result in any kind of certificate. The English Language Center offers an online certificate.
Where can I find information about housing?
Contact University Housing.
Can I complete the program by taking courses only in the evenings?
No, it is not possible to complete the program by taking evening courses. Nearly all M.A. TESOL courses are offered during the day. LLT 896, the TESOL Practicum, is an evening course.
What institution and department code should I give to ETS to have my test scores reported?
MSU’s institution code is 1465. For GRE scores, select code 2903 “Humanities and Arts – Other – Linguistics”. For TOEFL scores, the department code is 04 (linguistics).
Can I get the TOEFL/IELTS requirement waived?
To request a waiver of the requirement to submit recent test scores to demonstrate English language competency, applicants should contact the M.A. TESOL program director. Generally, students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in the US (or other English-speaking country) may submit English language competency scores that were used for admission to the bachelor’s program (i.e., they may be older than 2 years). The bachelor’s degree program must be a regular 4-year degree, the majority of which was earned in the US (or other English-speaking country).
It is advisable for applicants to submit English language competency scores (may be older than 2 years) with their application even if they have earned a master’s degree at an AAU institution on a U.S. campus. AAU institutions include 60 large research universities in the US and 2 in Canada (http://www.aau.edu).