Our world is increasingly interconnected – and the demand for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is increasing throughout the US and abroad. In fact, English language learners are the fastest growing group of students in the United States today.
If you have a passion for teaching and for cross-cultural exchange, then a career working with English language learners will open a whole range of career opportunities. And a Master’s in English Language Learning will give you the skills and methodologies you need to help your students succeed.
What kind of English Language Learning degree should you get?
What setting do you want to work in? If your main goal is to teach ESL in a public, K-12 setting, then you need to look for a program that specifically states that it leads to an ESL endorsement. There are also many programs that will prepare you to work with adolescents or adults in a variety of other settings.
Whatever your career plans are, you’re sure to find a program that suits you – and your budget. And, thanks to the wonders of technology, you no longer have to interrupt your life to attend a master’s program on campus. There are many high-quality, accredited online programs that will give you the certification you need.
For more information on online learning, check out our ranking of the Best Online Colleges.
How much money do people make with an English Language Learning degree?
Your take-home pay will greatly depend on where you end up working. Abroad, wages in TESOL vary wildly. In the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual wage for adult literacy teachers as $50,000 per year. In a public high school setting, you can expect an annual mean wage of $62,890.
But teachers in any context with master’s degrees can expect to land on the high end of the salary range, benefitting from a significant annual premium for master’s-prepared teachers.
And with an advanced degree, you’ll be ready to take on higher paying administrative positions no matter what your context.
What can you do with a degree in English Language Learning?
A degree in English Language Learning will open doors to a wide range of job options. There is, of course, the public and private K-12 school setting which desperately needs highly-qualified teachers to work with the burgeoning population of English language learners.
But if you don’t want to work with kids exclusively (or at all) there’s still a plethora of possibilities. There’s a slew of adult education programs working with refugees and immigrants, as well as college or university programs – both within the United States or overseas.
Here are some other job titles your Master’s in English Language Learning might qualify you for:
- International Program Coordinator
- Language Program Administrators
- Language Tester
- Writers for Educational Materials
What are the requirements for a degree in English Language Learning?
Admission requirements vary widely depending on the degree program. At a minimum, all programs require students to have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. And more competitive programs will be looking for students with a proven academic record.
You’ll need to scour program websites for what your target school is looking for, but here are a few common requirements:
- Undergraduate GPA of 3.0
- An initial teacher’s license for admission to public school ESL endorsement programs
- Standardized test scores like the GRE
- Pre-requisite courses in English or Linguistics
If you’re lacking in an area, don’t give up! Contact the admissions team and see if there’s some way you can make up for your deficit. Many programs look at candidates holistically – so one problem area doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be accepted.
What are the best online English Language Learning degrees?
At College Choice, we keep our eyes peeled for the educational trifecta – academic excellence, competitive tuition, and student satisfaction. We know you’re looking for a program that will deliver the skills and the educational experience you need to have a competitive edge on graduation.
To find the programs that best fit our standards, our research team weighs criteria like reputation scores, tuition costs, early career earnings, and peer assessments. We then use that data to calculate our College Choice score and lay out our findings in an easy-to-digest ranking. We hope this helps you find a great program!
See our rankings methodology page.
University of Southern California
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $32,932
Located in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is the oldest private research university in California. Home to the Rossier School of Education, which U.S. News and World Report ranks in the top ten nationally, USC prepares teachers to achieve educational equity through practice, research, and policy.
USC’s Rossier School of Education offers an online Master of Arts in Teaching: TESOL program that will prepare you to meet the diverse needs of students – whether you are in an administrative or teaching role. As a graduate, you’ll emerge from the program prepared to work in a range of settings, both in the United States and abroad. Courses include:
- Framing the Social Context of High Needs Schools
- Classroom Teaching from a Comparative and International Perspective
- Instruction for English as a New Language
The University of Southern California’s online MAT TESOL program is a 24-credit program that includes readings, assignments, group-work, and interactive class discussions. You’ll also take part in structured fieldwork experiences in various settings that will allow you to put theory into practice. And by completing four extra credits, you can pursue a California Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential in the area of English Language Development.
College Choice Score: 92.79
Average Net Price: $22,676
Known as Minnesota’s first university, Hamline University is a private liberal arts college in the stately city of St. Paul. Historically affiliated with the United Methodist denomination, Hamline ranks at #16 among regional universities in the Midwest, according to U.S. News and World Report. And with small class sizes and an emphasis on experiential learning, graduates are well-prepared for life after graduation.
Hamline University’s School of Education offers an online Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages which will prepare you to work locally or internationally in a wide range of teaching contexts. Hamiline’s curriculum will give you the tools to enhance English skills that promote social and economic access and equity – while sustaining linguistic and cultural diversity. Two concentrations are offered:
- Teaching Adults
- Teaching K-12
Hamline University’s online MAT TESOL program is a 36-credit program with 28 credits of core coursework and eight credits in your chosen concentration. The program can be taken entirely online or in a hybrid format (if you live near St. Paul), and courses are delivered in accelerated, six to eight-week terms. Hamline’s program does not include a state teaching credential.
Kennesaw State University
College Choice Score: 92.57
Average Net Price: $17,441
Located in the small city of Kennesaw, GA, Kennesaw State University is a large public research university and a member of the University System of Georgia. The school is home to a vibrant and diverse campus culture and nationally ranked programs. Kennesaw delivers its programs through 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, including the highly regarded Bagwell College of Education.
Kennesaw State’s Bagwell College of Education offers an online, CAEP-accredited Master of Education in TESOL for teachers with a license in any P-12 area. The program is designed to provide training for Georgia teachers who are working with an increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse population in inclusive K-12 settings. You’ll study curriculum development, collaborative practices, and content area teaching strategies in reading and writing. Courses include:
- Cultural Issues for ESOL Teachers
- Applied Linguistics for ESOL Teachers
- Language Development and Literacy for English Learners
Kennesaw State’s online MEd in TESOL is a 36-credit program comprised of eleven required courses and an internship (which you can complete at your current work setting). This is a cohort-based program that will take you two years to complete – and there are no required campus visits. The program has been approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and students receive the ESOL Endorsement after the first two semesters in the program.
University of Northern Iowa
College Choice Score: 91.87
Average Net Price: $14,831
Located in Cedar Falls, IA, the University of Northern Iowa is a mid-sized public university that U.S. News and World Report ranks as the #2 public university in the Midwest. With a strong liberal arts curriculum and a personalized learning environment, UNI provides high-quality, highly affordable, and accessible education to students face-to-face and online.
UNI’s College of Education offers a Master of Arts in TESOL. The program is designed for individuals who wish to teach overseas, at community colleges and intensive English programs, and for K-12 teachers wishing to upgrade their skills and employability. You’ll learn from dedicated faculty members, and online courses at UNI are both highly interactive and user-friendly. Courses include:
- Cultural Aspects of Language and Language Teaching
- Introduction to Graduate Study in TESOL/Applied Linguistics
- Seminar in Language: Bilingualism and Bilingual Education
UNI’s online MA in TESOL is a 33-credit program which includes ten required courses and a practicum. If you’re interested in obtaining an Iowa ESL Endorsement, you’ll be able to apply credits from this program to the endorsement requirements. And UNI’s online courses are designed using “Quality Matters” – a set of professional standards based upon research, best practices, and national standards for course design.
College Choice Score: 91.68
Average Net Price: $24,717
Located in Webster Groves, MO (a suburb of St. Louis) and with campuses across the US and abroad, Webster University is a private university with a commitment to developing global citizens. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks Webster’s online graduate education programs among the best in the country – and the School of Education is a leader in cultivating globally-minded educators.
Webster University’s School of Education offers an online Master of Arts in TESL for education professionals with or without teaching experience. Whether you want to teach in the US or overseas, you’ll refine your knowledge of the English language system and second language acquisition. And Webster’s TESL students also focus on theory regarding culture, language structure, and teaching methodologies. The MA in TESL offers two tracks:
- ESL/EFL education emphasis
- K-12 English language learner education emphasis
Webster University’s MA in TESL is a 33-credit program comprised of 24 credits of required courses and nine credits of electives. All students complete a practicum, and for those interested in the K-12 ELL education emphasis, a valid teaching license is required for admission. Webster’s program also offers students the opportunity to obtain a Missouri ELL Certification.
Azusa Pacific University
College Choice Score: 89.47
Average Net Price: $28,506
Located near Los Angeles in suburban Azusa, CA, Azusa Pacific University is a private, Christian university that has ties to the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. One of the largest evangelical Christian universities in the country, the school ranks at #183 among national universities, according to U.S. News and World Report, and has robust online programs.
Azusa Pacific University’s School of Education offers an online Master of Arts in TESOL which you can complete from anywhere in the world. The program attracts a diverse student body due to its accessibility and its broad-based appeal. As a student, you’ll gain a strong foundation in second-language pedagogy as well as a faith-based approach to teaching English. Courses include:
- Second-language Acquisition
- Teaching English Grammar
- Intercultural Communication and Language Teaching
Azusa Pacific’s online MA in TESOL is a 33-credit program comprised of 11 required courses and a TESOL portfolio. There’s no practicum requirement for the program, which you’ll be able to complete in one and a half years. As you study online, you’ll complete courses sequentially in a cohort model, connecting to a learning community with a rich diversity of experiences. Azusa Pacific’s program does not include a California teacher certification.
College Choice Score: 88.75
Average Net Price: $23,329
Located in the Baltimore, MD suburb of Westminster, McDaniel College is a small, private, liberal arts college with a diverse, close-knit student body. With a commitment to both the traditional liberal arts and sciences as well as professional studies, students at McDaniel thrive in small classes with high level of interaction between students and faculty.
McDaniel College’s School of Education offers a Master of Science in TESOL which leads to Maryland TESOL certification. The program will prepare you for the Praxis II test in ESOL and equip you with leading-edge instructional strategies and classroom management techniques that work with all students. You’ll graduate with the skills to navigate multicultural classrooms with professionalism and confidence. Courses include:
- Foundations in English Learner Education
- Assessment of English Learners
- Principles of Language Acquisition
McDaniel College’s MS in TESOL is a 36-credit program comprised of eight core courses, three electives, and either a thesis or a portfolio. Core courses in the program are offered online only, with electives being offered online or – for those who live in the area – in a hybrid format. The program is approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and is intended for teachers with initial PreK-12 certification.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
College Choice Score: 88.67
Average Net Price: $15,349
Located in Baltimore, MD, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County is a mid-sized public research honors university. Garnering national attention for diversity, affordability, and student mentoring, U.S. News and World Report has cited UMBC as the #1 up-and-coming “school to watch” for several years in a row.
UMBC’s Department of Education offers a Master or Arts in TESOL which leads to Maryland K-12 ESOL certification. Designed to train both future and experienced teachers of English as a Second Language and English as a Foreign Language, the program provides a strong foundation – both theoretical and practical. Students become expert practitioners of cross-cultural studies, testing, and curriculum development. Program options include:
- Option 1: Master of Arts in TESOL – General
- Option 2: Master of Arts in TESOL with Thesis
- Option 3: Master of Arts in TESOL with K-12 Certification
- Option 4: Master of Arts in TESOL with Thesis and K-12 Certification
UMBC’s online MA in TESOL is a 36-51 credit program depending on the track you choose. The most comprehensive track is the MA TESOL option leading to K-12 certification, which includes 100 days of internship experience in public elementary and secondary schools over two semesters. This is a remarkably affordable program with flexible program options which cover pretty much anything you might be looking for.
Western Governors University
College Choice Score: 87.52
Average Net Price: $9,115
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, Western Governors University is an innovative, private, non-profit, online university. The school has a serious commitment to making high-quality education as accessible as possible for all students. To achieve this, they employ a competency-based learning model that makes learning flexible and efficient for adult students.
WGU’s Teachers College offers an online Master of Arts in English Language Learning which leads to an ESL/ELL endorsement. The program is intended for licensed teachers wanting to improve their effectiveness in linguistically diverse settings. You’ll gain the content knowledge, teaching skills, cultural background, and field experience you need to help students overcome language barriers. Courses include:
- Language Production, Theory and Acquisition
- Theories of Second Language Acquisition and Grammar
- Assessment Theory and Practice
WGU’s MA in ELL is comprised of 35 competency units, which most students complete in under 20 months of study. WGU charges a flat tuition rate per semester, so the faster you move through the program, the less you’ll pay. The program is nationally recognized by the TESOL International Association – and the National Council on Teacher Quality has ranked WGU at #1 for Best Value in Teaching Programs.
University of Kansas
College Choice Score: 86.70
Average Net Price: $18,014
Located in the college town of Lawrence, KS, the University of Kansas is a large, public research and teaching university that is home to several nationally ranked programs. U.S. News and World Report ranks KU’s School of Education among the best in the nation, and the school’s online Graduate Education programs have also received national acclaim.
KU’s School of Education offers an online Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in TESOL. No matter what your instructional background is, you’ll learn strategies and tools critical to supporting students’ language acquisition throughout their education. KU’s program incorporates practices for working with diverse learners in early childhood, K-12, or adult settings. Courses include:
- Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction
- Understanding Research in Education
- Reading and the English Language Learner
KU’s online M.S.Ed. in TESOL is a 30-credit program comprised of ten courses, which students complete in eight-week terms. There are two distinct program tracks – the Teacher track includes a practicum for those who intend to acquire a licensure endorsement. If you’re not pursuing work in a K-12 setting, the Non-Teacher track is for those that don’t need licensure and substitutes coursework for the practicum requirement.
Pennsylvania State University
College Choice Score: 86.21
Average Net Price: $25,055
With its flagship campus located in University Park, PA, Pennsylvania State University is a public research university known colloquially as one of the “public ivies.” Among its much lauded graduate colleges is the Penn State College of Education, which U.S. News and World Report currently ranks at #43 nationally.
Penn State offers an online Master of Arts in TESL for those wanting to teach English either in the US or abroad. The program does not lead to K-12 certification, but provides professional development for teachers and administrators. Integrating theory and practice from the field of applied linguistics and TESL, the program is problem-focused and emphasizes teaching English in a wide range of contexts. Courses are in the areas of:
- Professional Core
- Methods of Language Study/Research
Penn State’s MA in TESL is a 36-credit non-thesis program which includes a master’s paper and a teaching e-portfolio. The program allows for significant course choice for students – and you’ll get to put your learning to the test in field experiences. You can take the program entirely online, or if you live in the area, there’s the option of taking courses in a hybrid format, which allows you to mix face-to-face with online content.
Carlos Albizu University
College Choice Score: 85.40
Average Net Price: $20,464
With a core commitment to culturally sensitive research for multicultural communities, Carlos Albizu University is a private, non-profit university with a main campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and a branch campus in Miami, FL. The school specializes in providing high-quality professional training in the fields of psychology, education, speech and language, criminal justice, TESOL, and human services.
Albizu University’s Miami campus offers an online Master of Science in TESOL with a Concentration in Exceptional Student Education. Integrating studies in education and language acquisition – and with a focus on cultural diversity – the program will help you develop into a culturally competent educator. You’ll graduate with the tools to respond to the unique needs of students with limited or no English proficiency. Courses include:
- Advanced Theories and Practice of TESOL
- Applied Curriculum and Materials Development in TESOL
- Cross-Cultural Communication and Understanding
Albizu University’s online MS in TESOL is a 30-credit program with 21 credits of TESOL foundations courses and nine credits in the Exceptional Student concentration. The program is designed to fit the busy schedule of working adults and allows you to advance at a learning pace that works with your other commitments. And all classes are taught by an expert group of faculty with real-life experiences in the field of TESOL.
University of North Carolina Wilmington
College Choice Score: 85.35
Average Net Price: $16,218
Located in Wilmington, NC, the University of North Carolina Wilmington is a public university that U.S. News and World Report ranks among the top ten public universities in the South. With 42 educator preparation programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, UNC Wilmington’s Watson College of Education develops highly competent professionals to serve in educational leadership roles.
UNC Wilmington’s Watson College of Education offers a Master of Education in TESL for students who hold both a bachelor’s degree and an initial teacher certification. The program prepares students to complete the Praxis II in ESL and will expand your understanding of the field of ESL for your own teaching practice. Whatever your current licensure area, the program will boost your ability to meet the needs of English language learners in the classroom. Courses include:
- Introduction to ESL
- Linguistics for Teachers
- Second Language Acquisition Research and Theory
UNC Wilmington’s online M.Ed. in TESL is a 33-credit intensive program comprised of 27 credits of Professional core and ESL core courses and six credits of Electives. There is no practicum requirement for the program, but exit requirements include a teaching portfolio and an action research project. This is a great, affordable option for certified teachers in a variety of subject areas who want to add on an ESL certification.
Southeast Missouri State University
College Choice Score: 84.26
Average Net Price: $11,776
Located near the banks of the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, MO, Southeast Missouri State University is a public university with a long history in teacher education. The university ranks among the top 25 public regional universities in the Midwest and is home to one of the top 80 online graduate education programs in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Southeast’s College of Education offers an online Master of Arts in TESOL program which will equip teachers in a variety of contexts to teach English as a second language. The program attracts students both nationally and abroad and has a practical emphasis on the application of theory to classroom realities. You’ll design a program of language instruction for your own particular setting and then revise, adapt, and assess the program as you progress through your studies. Courses include:
- ESL/EFL Learning and Teaching
- Methods and Curriculum Design for Teaching
- Assessment Strategies for ELL
Southeast’s online MA in TESOL is a 36-credit program comprised of eight required courses, three electives, and a practicum. You’ll also complete a master’s paper, a portfolio, or a thesis as a capstone. And you’ll be able to meet with an advisor each semester to plan your degree and help keep you on track for completion. This is a highly affordable program, and graduates have taken on jobs in a wide variety of setting – from domestic K-12 schools to universities abroad.
The New School
College Choice Score: 84.25
Average Net Price: $45,504
Founded in 1919 as an institute for social research, The New School is a renowned private research university in New York City. Offering high caliber programs through its five divisions, The New School’s mission is to help students seek out ways to create a more just, beautiful, and better-designed world. Its educator training programs train students in equity-focused practices.
The New School’s School of Languages offers a Master of Arts in TESOL with a focus on social action and addressing the needs of adult students. With a progressive curriculum that connects theory to practice, students are mentored by an international faculty of experienced practitioners. The program grapples with issues of major political, social, and cultural concern and provides specializations in:
- Curriculum Development
The New School’s online MA in TESOL is a 30-credit program comprised of seven required courses, two electives, and a practicum. Unique to The New School’s MA in TESOL is the opportunity to take part in social action and outreach programs. These provide opportunities to teach and design curricula for communities in need, including food service workers in New York City, parents in multilingual families, and victims of violence.
St. John's University
College Choice Score: 83.67
Average Net Price: $26,582
Founded in 1870, St. John’s University is a private Catholic research university in New York City. With a deep commitment to academic exploration and service to those in need, St John’s provides opportunities for students to broaden their minds while they prepare for successful careers. St John’s School of Education ranks among the best in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report.
St John’s School of Education offers a Master of Science in TESOL designed to prepare teachers to work with English learners in K-12 contexts. The program offers a track for teachers who are already certified as well as a track for those seeking initial New York certification. All students will graduate equipped with the knowledge and strategies they need to be successful in the classroom. Courses include:
- Foundations of Bilingual and Second Language
- Psychology and Sociology of Language and Bilingualism
- Human Development in Cross-Cultural Perspective
St John’s University’s online MS in TESOL is a 33-credit program comprised of 27 credits of required courses and an elective. Both tracks take part in a practicum, and you’ll also be able to take part in a study abroad program that will allow you to experience other cultural contexts. Online students at St. John’s are well supported by faculty and co-learners and enjoy a wide range of student supports.
College Choice Score: 83.36
Average Net Price: $32,273
Located just outside Los Angeles, CA, Biola University is a nationally-ranked, private, evangelical Christian university. With programs in Linguistics, Anthropology, and Missions, Biola’s Cook School of Intercultural Studies has a mission to equip students to communicate, live, and work effectively in culturally diverse contexts.
Biola’s Cook School of Intercultural Studies offers an online Master of Arts in TESOL for those who want to integrate their faith with their profession as an ESL or EFL teacher. Through biblically-centered teaching, the program trains students to take on increasing responsibility in program development, student assessment, materials design, or teacher training. The program focuses mainly on postsecondary and adult education. Courses include:
- Structure of English
- Materials Evaluation and Preparation
- Ethics, Values, and Intercultural Communication for TESOL Professionals
Biola’s MA in TESOL is a 36-credit program comprised of eight required courses, electives, and a practicum. The program does not lead to certification to teach in K-12 settings in the US, but does prepare students to work with adults in a variety of settings. And if you already have a bachelor’s degree in TESOL, BIOLA also offers an accelerated one-year MA in TESOL that will propel your through your degree at a faster pace.
University of Missouri
College Choice Score: 83.19
Average Net Price: $16,317
Located in Columbia, MO, the University of Missouri is a large public research university, the flagship of the University of Missouri System, and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. Home to one of the top schools of education in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report, MU offers outstanding programs that prepare teachers for leadership.
MU’s School of Education offers an online, TEAC-accredited, Master of Education in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum with an emphasis in TESOL. The degree, which does not lead to an ESL endorsement, provides a solid foundation in the pedagogy of teaching and learning a second language – as well as best practices for the classroom. You’ll also take part in a practicum to solidify and apply your learning. Courses include:
- Second Language Acquisition
- Materials for and Assessment of English Language Learners
- Language and Culture for Educators
MU’s M.Ed. in TESOL is a very affordable, 33-credit program comprised of 27 credits of required courses and six credits of electives. Most students study part-time, taking two classes per semester, and earn their master’s degree in just two years. MU’s MA in TESOL does not, by itself, lead to ESL certification, but the school does offer a separate online Missouri K-12 certification preparation program for those seeking ESOL certification.
College Choice Score: 80.70
Average Net Price: $23,426
A private, Christian, liberal arts university in Nashville, TN, Lipscomb University currently ranks among the top 200 national universities in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. Lipscomb’s College of Education is devoted to preparing 21st-century educators to be flexible thinkers and unrelenting problem-solvers – and students graduate ready to impact the next generation.
Lipscomb University’s College of Education offers a Master of Education in ESL that continues the school’s mission to prepare caring and competent educational leaders. The curriculum examines the theory and practice of English language instruction for non-native speakers with a particular focus on the importance of culture and environment for this fast-growing population. And all Lipscomb graduate students take core courses in Leadership. Courses include:
- Leadership Behavior and Practice
- Theory and Practice in Second Language Acquisition
- Grammar for ELL Teachers
Lipscomb’s M.Ed. in ESL is a 30-credit program that you can complete in less than two years. The program leads to an English Language Learning endorsement – but Lipscomb also offers an online ELL endorsement program for students who don’t want to take the master’s degree program. This isn’t the least expensive program on our ranking, but if you’re a working teacher, you’ll be eligible to receive a 26 percent in-service scholarship for educators.
SIT Graduate Institute
College Choice Score: 80.59
Average Net Price: $24,510
Located in Brattleboro, VT, SIT Graduate Institute (formerly known as the School for International Training) is a private university with a unique mission to improve understanding across cultures and nations. Utilizing an experiential education model, SIT Graduate Institute prepares students from across the globe to be effective leaders, professionals, and citizens.
SIT Graduate Institute offers an online Master of Arts in TESOL which will help you learn to teach for social change. The curriculum delves deeply into the theoretical knowledge and professional competencies that are essential for effective language teaching. And the experiential teaching model means that theoretical knowledge is constantly being put to work in practical ways. Courses include:
- Approaches to Teaching Second Languages
- Language Analysis for Lesson Planning
- Intercultural Communication for Language Teachers
A unique facet of SIT’s program is the supervised observation, when faculty travel to the students’ classrooms anywhere in the world to observe and offer feedback. This is an intensive period of mentorship designed to support their development as a teacher through reflection and guidance. As a graduate from the program, you’ll be able to take advantage of SIT’s extensive TESOL network, which includes over 3,000 alumni who are working around the world in settings like universities, language institutes, nonprofits, and government agencies.
Sam Houston State University
College Choice Score: 79.30
Average Net Price: $12,365
Located in the town of Hunstville, TX (near the city of Houston), Sam Houston State University is a public university and a member of the Texas State University System. The school offers more than 20 online bachelor’s and graduate degrees, and U.S. News and World Report ranks its online Graduate Education program among the best in the country.
SHSU’s College of Education offers an NCATE-accredited, online Master of Education in TESOL. The program is intended for ESL/EFL teachers who work in a variety of contexts – from young children to adult settings. As a student, you’ll benefit from a curriculum that utilizes the theories of language instruction and incorporates research-based best practices for teaching English language learners. You’ll also earn a certificate in Second Language Instruction. Courses include:
- Second Language Acquisition and Development
- Applied Linguistics in ESL/EFL Settings
- ESL/EFL Methodology
SHSU’s online M.Ed. in TESOL is a 30-credit program comprised of four required courses and six electives. There is no practicum for this online program, and SMHU offers three start dates throughout the year – so you can start as soon as you’re ready. This is also a very affordable, nationally-accredited program, thanks to SMHU’s competitive tuition rates, so you’ll have a high return on investment.
College Choice Score: 79.18
Average Net Price: $14,471
Located in the town of New Castle, DE, Wilmington University is a private research university that places special emphasis on serving working adults. The school offers more than 150 career-oriented degree and certificate programs in person (on its main campus and educational centers throughout the state) and online. And all their programs are designed to meet the needs of nontraditional students.
Wilmington University’s College of Education offers an online Master of Science in TESOL which will prepare you for a variety of leadership positions in the field. Wilmington’s faculty have developed a practical, career-oriented career program that will provide you with comprehensive content knowledge and valuable instructional skills. You’ll be well prepared for a career in TESOL – either in the US or abroad. Courses include:
- Theories of Language Learning
- Foundations of TESOL Methods
- Linguistics for TESOL
Wilmington University’s MS in TESOL is a 33-credit program comprised of 11 required courses. The program doesn’t lead to a US teaching credential to teach in K-12 settings, but it will prepare you for many other TESOL settings. The program is 100 percent online with no practicum requirement or campus visits. And with Wilmington’s affordable tuition, you’ll get a private school education at public school rates.
Concordia University Chicago
College Choice Score: 78.59
Average Net Price: $19,980
Located just ten miles west of Chicago in River Forest, IL, Concordia University Chicago is a private, Lutheran-affiliated liberal arts college and a member of the ten school Concordia University System. The school offers high-quality graduate education programs on-campus and online. And the school’s highly trained faculty strive to equip students to lead with integrity, competence, and compassion.
Concordia Chicago offers a Master of Arts in TESOL designed for individuals wanting preparation to teach either adults or children. You’ll gain a theoretical framework as well as practical knowledge that will translate directly to classroom practice. Whether you want to teach at home in the US or abroad, you’ll acquire a range of practical skills for teaching English to adult and child learners. Courses include:
- Introduction to Distance Education for TESOL
- Applied Philology and World Englishes
- TESOL Curriculum Planning and Methodology
Concordia Chicago’s MA in TESOL is a 30-credit program comprised of nine required courses and a capstone experience. Depending on how much time you can devote to your studies, the program takes between 12 and 24 months to complete. You’ll learn from exceptional faculty who are ready to mentor students, and take part in an engaged, online learning environment.
University of North Dakota
College Choice Score: 77.55
Average Net Price: $14,693
Located in Grand Forks, ND, the University of North Dakota is a mid-sized public research university and the state’s flagship institution. UND ranks among the top 25 most innovative schools in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report, and their online graduate education programs also rank among the best nationally.
UND’s School of Education offers an online Master of Education that will help you meet the demand for English language teachers in K-12 settings and beyond. You’ll learn to design and implement instruction that integrates English language development with academic learning. And you’ll be prepared to address the needs of ELL/ESL students from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Courses include:
- Second Language Acquisition for ELL Teachers
- Assessment and Evaluation in ELL Education
- ELL Methods and Materials
UND’s M.Ed. in ELL Education is a 35-credit program comprised of ten required courses, a 90-hour practicum, and a scholarly project. The program takes around two years to complete, with courses delivered entirely online. On graduation, you’ll be eligible to receive a North Dakota ELL teacher endorsement – and you may completely or partially fulfill ELL, ESL or TESOL endorsement requirements in other states.
College Choice Score: 77.25
Average Net Price: $20,767
Founded in 1870 by German Jesuits, Canisius College is a private, Catholic, comprehensive university located in Buffalo, NY. A Canisius education is distinguished by close student-faculty collaboration and experiential learning opportunities. And all of the school’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs promote the Jesuit principles of excellence, service, and leadership.
Canisius College’s School of Education & Human Services offers an online, CAEP-accredited Master of Science in TESOL that will prepare you to teach in K-12 settings in the US and abroad. With both certification and non-certification tracks, you’ll be able to choose the program that best suits your career goals. And you’ll learn from faculty with extensive teaching experience in TESOL settings. Courses include:
- Cultural Perspectives in Multilingual Education
- Theory and Practice of Bilingual/Multilingual Education
- Linguistics, Literacy, & Second Language Acquisition
Canisius College’s MS in TESOL is a 30-credit program comprised of seven required courses, two electives, and a supervised practicum. The program is available entirely online and you can complete your practicum anywhere in the US or even internationally. The certification track will qualify you for New York State professional certification and initial certification as a TESOL specialist.
Concordia University, Nebraska
College Choice Score: 76.81
Average Net Price: $19,335
Another member of the ten-school Concordia University System, Concordia University, Nebraska is a private, Christian university located in Seward, NE. Affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, U.S. News and World Report ranks Concordia, Nebraska’s online graduate education programs among the best in the country.
Concordia Nebraska’s Education Department offers an online Master of Education in TESOL that will meet the needs of a variety of teacher candidates. If you want to teach ESL in a Nebraska K-12 setting, the program will provide ESL certification. But the program also equips students wanting to work outside the traditional classroom – either in the US or in EFL settings abroad. Courses include:
- ESL/ELL Instruction
- Contemporary Thought in Education
- Research Evaluation and Design
Concordia Nebraska’s M.Ed. in TESOL degree is a 36-credit program comprised of 11 required courses and a capstone. You can take courses online (or in a hybrid format if you’re in Nebraska), and all students take part in a 45-hour practicum. By taking one courses at a time, you can complete your degree program in 24 months – or you can opt to take the Fast Track option and complete this program in as little as 18 months.
College Choice Score: 75.97
Average Net Price: $22,877
Located near Philadelphia in St. Davids, PA, Eastern University is a private, Christian university affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA. Eastern has a deep commitment to nurturing faith, reason, and justice – and the school’s interdenominational mix of faculty and students creates a diverse educational experience. Eastern ranks among the top 100 regional schools in the North, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Eastern’s College of Education offers an online Master of Education in TESOL which will prepare you to work with people from all cultural backgrounds. As a student, you’ll learn to apply curricula, methodologies, and evaluation strategies that work in culturally diverse settings. Students have individualized programs of study which take into account previous coursework, and ESL program specialist certificate coursework is embedded in the curriculum. Courses include:
- Teaching English as a Second Language
- Theories of Second Language Acquisition
- Multicultural Education
Eastern University’s online M.Ed. in TESOL is a 30-credit program comprised of nine required courses and a TESOL field experience which you’ll complete close to home. You can complete the program in one year – or more, if needed. Eastern is passionate about serving those on the Autism Spectrum and students can add an Autism Endorsement to their coursework. And if you’re an Eastern alumni, you’ll receive a 20 percent tuition discount.
University of Mary Washington
College Choice Score: 69.87
Average Net Price: $20,499
Located in Fredericksburg, VA, the University of Mary Washington is a small, public, liberal arts college that ranks among the top ten public schools in the South, according to U.S. News and World Report. The school focuses on undergraduate education, but also provides select master’s programs in education, preparing students to take on leadership roles in the classroom.
UMW’s College of Education offer an online Master of Education in TESOL that leads to initial licensure in the state of Virginia. The curriculum covers both the theoretical foundations of language learning as well as practical components like instructional technologies and literacy strategies. Aimed at those planning on teaching in K-12 schools in the US, the program provides essential knowledge that can be used in a number of settings. Courses include:
- Teaching and the Development of the Learner
- Curriculum and Instruction Secondary
- Foundations of American Education
UMW’s online M.Ed. in TESOL is a 39-credit program comprised of 12 courses and a supervised internship. You’ll work closely with an advisor to map out an educational plan that fulfills all necessary requirements. All students working for licensure complete the semester long field-based teaching experience in a K-12 TESOL environment. It’s worth noting that though all courses in the program are available online, the internship takes place in schools that are local to the university.
Spring Arbor University
College Choice Score: 67.54
Average Net Price: $18,465
An evangelical Christian university in Spring Arbor, MI, Spring Arbor University is affiliated with the Free Methodist Church. Committed to excellence in the liberal arts, professional, and graduate education, students at SAU integrate faith with experiential learning. SAU ranks among top universities in the Midwest, according to U.S. News and World Report.
SAU’s School of Education offers an online, NCATE-accredited Master of Arts in TESOL for both US teachers and professionals who want to teach in countries abroad. As a student, you’ll be able to tailor your degree by choosing from two tracks – either K-12 or Adolescent and Adult Education. Both programs cover best practices in ELL education and provide a Christian perspective on the field. Courses include:
- Linguistics for Teachers of English
- Cross-Cultural Competence in Communication
- Assessment & Evaluation of Language Minority Students & Programs
SAU’s online MA in TESOL is a 33-credit program comprised of ten required courses and a field experience or practicum. The K-12 track is open to certified teachers and meets the requirements for an ESL Endorsement from the Michigan Department of Education. Graduates of the Adolescent and Adult track are prepared to teach in intensive English programs, community college English Language programs, and community-based ESL programs for adults.
Emporia State University
College Choice Score: 66.85
Average Net Price: $12,939
Located just east of Kansas’ Flint Hills, Emporia State University is a small public university which has gained national attention for its high-quality academic programs – both on campus and online. The school has a mission to create an accessible, student-centered learning environment where students interact in an atmosphere of freedom of inquiry and expression.
Emporia State’s Teachers College offers an online Master of Arts in TESOL that is the first of its kind in Kansas. Designed to serve the increasing need for teachers trained in TESOL methodologies, Emporia State’s program prepares graduates for many jobs in the area. You’ll be well prepared to serve in both American K-12 settings or internationally in private and public institutions. Courses include:
- TESOL Methodology
- Language Assessment and Evaluation
- Second Language Acquisition
Emporia State’s MA in TESOL is a very affordable 36-credit program comprised of 12 courses and a practicum. For students wanting to pursue doctoral studies, there is the option to complete a thesis in lieu of open electives. And for those wanting to teach in public K-12 schools, the program leads to teacher licensure. U.S. News and World Report ranks Emporia State’s online graduate education programs among the best in the country.
College Choice Score: 66.08
Average Net Price: $15,864
Located in Greenville, IL, Greenville University is a small, private, Christian university that was founded in 1892 by Free Methodists. Greenville students experience a transformative, Christ-centered education through nationally-ranked programs, both face-to-face and online. U.S. News and World Report ranks Greenville’s online graduate programs among the best in the country.
Greenville University’s School of Education offers an online Master of Arts in TESOL that will prepare you to teach and interact with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. The program is founded on the premise that teachers need to be able to communicate effectively in cross-cultural contexts. And, through courses that address everything from linguistics to methods and materials, students develop the skills to do just that. Courses include:
- Theoretical Foundations for TESL
- Linguistics for TESL
- Cross-Cultural Studies for TESL
Greenville University’s MA in TESOL is a 30-credit program comprised of eight courses and a two-part capstone project. This is not an initial licensure program, but licensed teachers who complete 100 hours of field experience, will meet the Illinois State Board of Education requirements for ESL approval/endorsement. And at Greenville University you’ll enjoy small class sizes and highly trained instructors – without paying a premium tuition rate.
College Choice Score: 64.89
Average Net Price: $19,900
Located in Grand Rapids, MI, Cornerstone University is a private Christian university which strives to provide an accessible education that fits the needs of all students. As a nationally-ranked university, Cornerstone prides itself on expert faculty and rigorous academics that equip students to thrive in both faith and work.
Cornerstone University’s Professional & Graduate Studies Division offers a Master of Arts in TESOL that will help you to reach across cultures. You’ll gain theoretical and hands-on knowledge with a blend of strong academics in the context of a Christian worldview. For licensed teachers, there is also an endorsement option that will qualify you to work in K-12 settings in the US. Courses include:
- Issues in TESOL
- TESOL Methodology
- Introduction to Linguistics
Cornerstone University’s online MA in TESOL is a 33-credit program which you can complete in two years, with the ESL endorsement taking an additional nine months. You can choose from a fully online program or a blended option which integrates week-long sessions on campus during the summer term. Graduates are equipped to teach adults in intensive pre-college programs, community colleges, four-year colleges and workplace programs at home and abroad.
Minnesota State University Moorehead
College Choice Score: 64.82
Average Net Price: $15,294
Located in Moorhead, a city in northwestern Minnesota, Minnesota State University Moorhead is a relatively small, public, four-year university. With multiple nationally-ranked programs, the school provides an accessible, affordable education to students in several areas – including outstanding education programs. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks MSUM’s online graduate education programs among the best in the US.
MSUM’s School of Teaching and Learning offers a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in TESL. The program provides both a theoretical base and practical application in the areas of educational foundations, curriculum theory, instructional best practices, and educational research. Designed for P-12 teachers wanting to find ways to help students reach their potential, courses include:
- Second Language Acquisition and Language Teaching
- Social, Cultural, and Political Contexts of Language and Literacy
- Pedagogical Grammar
MSUM’s online MS in Curriculum and Instruction is a 32-credit program with 19 credits in C&I, 13 credits in the TESL emphasis, and an action research project and integrated paper. Students also complete at least one supervised field experience or internship in a TESL setting. MSUM’s program will give you practical ways to help English language learners in your classroom, but it does not lead to a state endorsement in ESL.
College Choice Score: 63.51
Average Net Price: $22,093
A private, Christian university in Lakeland, FL, Southeastern University is affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination. With high-quality programs offered both on campus and online, Southeastern provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to reach personal and professional goals – while transforming lives through faith, learning, and leadership.
Southeastern University’s College of Education offers an online Master of Education in TESOL designed specifically for classroom teachers, career changers, and those who want to teach abroad. Students develop relationships with other Christian educators and faculty as they gain an advanced education in Second Language Acquisition. The program provides certification to teach abroad as well as Florida certification in ESOL. Courses include:
- Foundations of Educating English Language Learners and Second Language Acquisition
- Methods of Teaching English to English Language Learners
- Developing Literacy with ELLs through Applied Linguistics
Southeastern University’s online M.Ed. in TESOL is a 36-credit program which provides instruction in Education Research, Culture, Literacy, Linguistics, Pedagogy, and more. You can complete the program in 18-24 months, depending on your chosen pace of study. On graduation, Florida teachers will be ready to take the ESOL K–12 Subject Area Exam of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination.
Murray State University
College Choice Score: 53.38
Average Net Price: $10,529
A mid-sized public university in Murray, KY, Murray State University ranks at #32 among regional universities in the South, according to U.S. News and World Report. Murray State has a rich history of academic quality leading to student success – a legacy that is supported by a close-knit student body and caring, expert faculty. Online learning is now extending these programs to students well beyond the university’s traditional reach.
Murray State University offers an online Master of Arts in TESOL for working professionals. With course content in linguistics, language pedagogy, assessment, and culture, the curriculum is based on guidelines developed by TESOL – the international professional organization. Students learn from doctorally-prepared faculty in their fields, and will prepare students for a wide variety of TESOL settings. Courses include:
- Methods and Materials for Teaching ESL/EFL
- Teaching ESL/EFL Writing
- Foundations of Second Language Acquisition
Murray State University’s online MA in TESOL is a highly affordable, 33-credit program comprised of nine required courses, a practicum, and an internship. Certified teachers can also choose to add a Kentucky Department of Education endorsement in ESL by completing an additional four classes. For admission to the program, you’ll need to have completed an undergraduate major in English or another modern foreign language.