Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


Students in classroom with teacher.

Admissions requirements

  • Bachelor's degree with GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • One-page statement explaining applicant's interest in this master's degree program.
  • Three references - contact information only.
  • Meet university requirements for graduate level admissions for domestic and international students.
  • For international students, minimum iBT TOEFL score of 89 with a minimum subscore of 20 for writing or a minimum IELTS score of 7 with a minimum subscore of 6 for writing. Provisional admission would require a minimum iBT TOEFL score of 79 and a minimum IELTS score of 6.5.


  • Deniz Toker
    "I believe there will be many opportunities for me to practice my skills and apply everything I've learned here at WMU."Deniz Toker, alumnus

Program overview

This program is offered online.

The M.A. in TESOL program is designed to prepare educators to meet the unique needs of English as a Second Language (ESL) learners in K-12 schools and in colleges/universities in the United States and abroad. Graduates of this master’s program will be eligible for the Michigan Department of Education’s ESL endorsement.

Why TESOL at Western Michigan University?

  • Program completion leads to a Michigan ESL endorsement for teachers with initial teaching certificate.
  • Provides a comprehensive program to meet the needs of culturally- and linguistically-diverse students in K-12 settings and colleges/universities based on current theory and research.
  • Prepares educators to collaborate and engage in dialogue with content area and general education colleagues to better serve the academic and linguistic needs of ESL students.
  • Equips educators with knowledge of effective instructional methodologies to address ESL students’ academic and linguistic needs.
  • Develops educators who can analyze and modify instructional materials and assessments depending on students’ English proficiency.
  • We are the only institution in the U.S. that includes an optional co-curricular designation known as the WMU Signature. Pathways include: Teaching & Student Success, Leadership, Health & Wellbeing, Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice, and more! 

Who should apply?

Teachers who:

  • Are seeking to advance in their careers by obtaining a master’s degree.
  • Would like to learn about second language acquisition theories and teaching methodologies.
  • Are interested in becoming ESL teachers in K-12 schools and/or colleges and universities in the United States and other countries.
  • Desire to teach in schools with a significant population of English learners.
  • Desire to become a district ESL coach or coordinator (requires MDE ESL endorsement).
  • Plan to teach in English language institutes for international students in colleges and universities.

Program requirements

Students will complete a planned program of study consisting of 30 credits of coursework for the master’s degree, 24 of which would lead to the Michigan Department of Education’s ESL endorsement to be added to an initial teaching certificate. An overall program grade point average of 3.0 or better is required to continue in this master’s program.

Course number and  titleCredits
TEL 5150: Introduction to ESL/Bilingual Education3
TEL 5200: Linguistic Principles for ESL and Bilingual Education3
TEL 6210: ESL Teaching Methods4
TEL 6220: Standards and Assessments in ESL Education3
TEL 6310: Advanced ESL Teaching Methods4
TEL 6320: Advanced Standards and Assessments in ESL Education4
TEL 6350: Research Methods in TESOL3
TEL 6450: Capstone in TESOL3
Elective (choose one of the following):
LS 5100: Diversity in Literacy
LS 6300: Language and Learning
Teaching Reading in a Diverse Society
TEL 6700: Special Topics in TESOL

Total Credits:30


Employer tuition reimbursement

If your employer has a tuition reimbursement program, find out about WMU’s deferment program for employer paid tuition. 

Cost & Funding

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