Oct 21, 2021  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), MA



The MA TESOL prepares students to assess and systematically build the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of students from other language backgrounds who wish to learn English or to improve their skills in English. The Department of Linguistics and Language Development  (LLD) strikes a balance between theory and practice. Students in the department are part of an ethnically and linguistically diverse student body, taught by nationally and internationally recognized faculty. Graduates from the MA TESOL program staff many of the area’s English as a Second Language programs at the university, community college, adult school, and private program level. In addition, a number of TESOL graduates have chosen careers in international settings, teaching English as a Foreign Language in universities, schools, and companies in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and other regions. MA TESOL graduates are also eligible to teach abroad through the U.S. government-sponsored Fulbright and English Teaching Fellow programs. Any undergraduate major is appropriate preparation for this degree. (Note that the department does not have a credentialing program.)

Requirements for the MA TESOL include those established by the department. For information concerning university requirements, see the Academic Requirements section of this catalog.

Requirements for Admission to Conditionally Classified Standing

Students holding an accredited baccalaureate degree and who otherwise satisfy the graduate level admissions requirements  of San José State University (in the case of students with baccalaureate degrees from a university where English is not the principal language of instruction the minimum score of 577, computer score of 233, or Internet-based score of 90 on the TOEFL or 7.0 on IELTS) are eligible for admission as conditionally classified students. Students must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units.

Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing

In addition to the above requirements for conditionally classified standing, students in the MA TESOL program are eligible for admission as classified graduate students if they have completed two prerequisites, equivalent to LING 101 - Introduction to Linguistics  and LING 107 - Patterns of English , which must each be completed with a grade of “B” or better.

Students admitted as conditionally classified may complete the requirements for classified standing after admission to the program; however, a “B” grade must be achieved in all prerequisite courses. Additionally, the granting of classified standing is subject to the coordinator’s review of the conditionally classified student’s work.

Advancement to Candidacy

The requirements for advancement to candidacy for the MA TESOL are those established by the university and the department. For information see the Graduate Policies and Procedures  section of this catalog.

Graduation Requirements

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements  section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures .

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) . In the MA TESOL, this is satisfied with the core course LLD 250W - Becoming a Professional in Linguistics/TESOL .

Culminating Experience

Plan A (with Thesis)

Completion of 30 units; approved thesis proposal and thesis. The thesis option allows a student to pursue research in an area of common interest to the student and a faculty member. A thesis proposal may grow out of a course or be developed in LLD 298 - Individual Studies , and must be approved by the student’s advisor and thesis committee members. For more information, visit the Thesis and Dissertation Information website.

Plan B (without Thesis)

Students are required to complete a total of 30 units (27 required; 3 electives); in addition, students must pass a comprehensive examination. 

Master’s Requirements (30 units)


Total Units Required (30 units)


Elective courses must be planned in consultation with the Graduate Advisor.

The maximum number of upper-division undergraduate units that can be applied toward the master’s degree is 15.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU Cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate.