Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master’s in TESOL Online for 2021

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tesol masters programs online

If you are employed in the field of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), you may have considered increasing your set of skills. Obtaining a Master’s in TESOL will open more doors to teaching English as a second language in the United States or teaching English as a foreign language in another country. In addition to teaching careers, you may seek other positions, such as academic advisor for an educational institution, the administrative staff at an English language center, director of administrative staff for an English as a second language program, or a government language advisor.

The projected job growth for the TESOL profession is 7%, which is about as fast as the average. Greater demand is expected as the numbers of those who wish to learn the English language or improve their skills will rise in places where the immigrant population is high. In 2011, TESOL teachers with master’s degrees earned about $51,350. The average wage was $24.69 an hour.

Obtaining an online Master’s in TESOL may fit your schedule better than returning to college at a traditional institution. In online classes, you may complete your coursework on your own schedule. You will receive the exact same diploma at graduation that traditional students are given. Many schools offer discounted tuition rates to online, out of state students. In most cases, 24/7 technical support is available.

Specific Degrees Featured in this Ranking

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in TESOL
  • Online MS in Education: TESOL
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in TESOL
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Applied Linguistics
  • Online MA in English Language Learning
  • Online Master of Education: Teaching English Language Learners
  • Online MEd in Secondary Education: TESOL
  • Online Master of Education: English as a Second Language

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Graduate Tuition

  • Below   $5,000: 4 points
  • Below $10,000: 3 points
  • Below $15,000: 2 points
  • Below $20,000: 1 point

20-Year Net ROI

  • Above 400,000 – 3 points
  • Above 300,000 –2 points
  • Above 200,000 – 1 point
  • Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item
  • Student Support Services for Online Students—1 point each
  • Wow Factor: awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us – 1 point

Rating and Ranking the Top Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in TEFL

To develop this ranking, our editors first conducted an extensive online search to identify the available online master’s in TESOL programs in the United States. This initial search yielded 29 results. We then applied a tuition filter, eliminating any program associated with annual tuition costs of over $30,000 per year. Finally, the above rating and ranking methodology was applied using information from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and PayScale. In the case of a tie, the more affordable program was awarded the higher ranking.

#25—St. John’s University

Queens, New York

Online MS in Education: TESOL

Website

Points: 4

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online St. John's University

The online master’s in TESOL option from St. John’s University is a fully online Master of Science option with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The curriculum for the program is comprised of 33 credit hours of coursework, including foundation courses such as:

  • Human Development in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Foundations of Bilingual and Second Language Education
  • Psychology and Sociology of Language and Bilingualism

However, the bulk of the curriculum can be found in the TESOL professional core, which features classes like:

  • Content Area Instruction for Linguistically/Culturally Diverse Learners
  • Linguistics for Teachers of English Language and Exceptional Learners
  • Methods of Language and Academic Assessment for English Language and Exceptional Learners
  • The Structure of the English Language

A special education component and technology course are also required for successful program completion. St. John’s University holds institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to confer the master TEFL online credential. The school has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top 35 colleges and universities for an online graduate program in education.

Graduate Tuition: $28,569

#24—University of Massachusetts-Boston

Boston, Massachusetts

Online MA in Applied Linguistics

Website

Points: 5

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online University of Massachusetts- Boston

The University of Massachusetts-Boston offers a versatile and affordable online master’s in TEFL with three available concentration options:

  • Bilingual Education
  • ESL Instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs)
  • Foreign Language Pedagogy (English as a Foreign Language)

Technically a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics, the program features courses such as:

  • Curriculum Development in Bilingual Education
  • Teaching ESL: Methods and Approaches
  • Integrating Culture into the Language Curriculum
  • Dual Language Pedagogy

In addition to online coursework, students enrolled in the program must also complete a field experience and capstone exercise before graduation. The New England Commission of Higher Education has extended the necessary institutional accreditation to UMass Boston to confer the master’s in TESOL online program. The school has been ranked among the top 35 colleges and universities nationwide for an online master’s in education.

Graduate Tuition: $18,433

#23—Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, California

Master of Arts in TESOL Online

Website

Points: 5

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for an Online Master's in TESOL Azusa Pacific University

The affordable master’s in TESOL online program from Azusa Pacific University is a 33-credit hour MA offering. The online option mirrors the university’s on-campus and field-based TESOL programs and can be completed in just 18 months of study. The program’s curriculum is mostly prescribed and features course titles such as:

  • Intercultural Communication and Language Teaching
  • Language Program Design
  • Teaching English Pronunciation
  • Language Learning Through Technology

In addition to coursework, students must also complete a TESOL portfolio in order to be considered for graduation. Azusa Pacific University holds institutional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award this online master’s in TEFL.

Graduate Tuition: $17,592

#22—Mercy College

Dobbs Ferry, New York

Master of Science in TESOL Online

Website

Points: 5

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online Mercy College

Offered through its School of Education, the online master’s in TESOL from Mercy College is a rare MS option. The program requires a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework and offers tracks for both licensed teachers and those pursuing certification. Courses comprising the curriculum for the program include:

  • Methods and Materials of Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Linguistics and Language Development
  • Theory and Practice in Bilingual Education
  • Cultural Perspectives and the Teaching-Learning Process

Though coursework for the program can be completed entirely online, a field or clinical experience is also required as a capstone. Mercy College is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to confer the online master’s in TEFL. It has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top colleges and universities in the country for an online master’s degree in education.

Graduate Tuition: $16,146

#21—Campbellsville University

Campbellsville, Kentucky

Online MA in TESOL

Website

Points: 5

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University offers a comprehensive online master’s in TEFL program that requires a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework. A Master of Arts option, the program is comprised of eight-week courses and features both thesis and non-thesis tracks. Sample courses included in the degree plan span titles like:

  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Modern English Grammar
  • Language and Culture

Non-thesis students are required to complete a research paper as a capstone element of the program. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Campbellsville University to award this affordable master’s in TEFL online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among some of the nation’s leading schools for an online graduate program in education.

Graduate Tuition: $12,240

#20—Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

MA in TESOL Online

Website

Points: 5

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online Grand Canyon University

Offered through the school’s College of Education, the affordable master’s in TESOL online from Grand Canyon University is an MA option that requires 32 credit hours of coursework. The curriculum for the program is prescribed and features core courses such as:

  • ELL and Bilingual Curriculum and Methods of Instruction
  • Foundations of Instruction for English Language Learners
  • Literacy in Bilingual Settings
  • ELL and Bilingual Assessment

A TEFL practicum is also required for successful program completion. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited GCU to award this master’s in TESOL credential. The school has been named a top national university by U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition: $10,175

#19—Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Online MA in Teaching English as a Second Language

Website

Points: 5

Liberty University

Liberty University offers an accelerated, fully online master’s in TESOL program. Offered through the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, this MA option requires 30 credit hours of coursework and can be completed in just one year of study. The curriculum for the program is prescribed and features core courses such as:

  • Applied Linguistics
  • Teaching Grammar, Lexicon, and Pronunciation
  • English as a World Language
  • Methods and Materials for TESL

In addition to coursework, students must also complete an internship prior to graduation. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to confer the affordable master’s in TESOL online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among some of the nation’s top schools for an online master’s in education degree.

Graduate Tuition: $7,980

#18—Valley City State University

Valley City, North Dakota

Online Master of Education: Teaching English Language Learners

Website

Points: 5

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online Valley City State University

Valley City State University offers one of the cheapest online master’s in TESOL programs in our ranking. A Master of Education offering with an emphasis in Teaching English Language Learners, the 34-credit hour program is comprised of four core courses:

  • Supervision and Assessment of Teachers and Learners
  • Exceptionality, Diversity, and Differences
  • Issues in School, Community, and Family
  • Research in Education

Other required classes include:

  • Methods of Teaching ELL
  • Foundations of Bilingual Education
  • Assessment Strategies for ELL
  • Second Language Acquisition

A capstone course is also required for the successful completion of the program. VCSU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award this affordable master’s in TESOL online degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the leading colleges and universities in the country for an online master’s degree in education.

Graduate Tuition: $5,872

#17—University of Missouri-Saint Louis

St. Louis, Missouri

Online MEd in Secondary Education: TESOL

Website

Points: 6

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online University of Missouri- St. Louis

The online master’s in TESOL program from the University of Missouri-St. Louis is a 30-credit hour Master of Education in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Students enrolled in the program are required to take three core courses:

  • Instruction, Learning, and Assessment
  • Examining History, Community and Social Justice in Education
  • Teacher Action, Advocacy, and Leadership

Students enrolled in the master’s in TESOL track will also take additional concentration classes, including:

  • Methods and Materials for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Principles of Second/Foreign Language Acquisition
  • Cross-Cultural Communication in the Classroom

A TEFL practicum is also required for successful program completion. UMSL is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award this affordable online master’s in TESOL. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top colleges and universities in the nation for a graduate degree in education.

Graduate Tuition: $12,007

#16—Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, Arizona

Online Master of Arts: Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

Website

Points: 6

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for an Online Master's in TESOL Northern Arizona University

The versatile online master’s in TEFL program from Northern Arizona University is a MA option in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) featuring three distinct tracks:

  • Language Teaching
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Language Teaching for Practicing Teachers

Requirements for the program include 30 credit hours of coursework, including course titles like:

  • ESL Methods
  • Assessment for Second Language Skills
  • Grammatical Foundations
  • Fundamentals of Second Language Teaching and Learning

The program can be completed within two years of study. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited NAU to award this affordable online master’s in TESOL. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top colleges and universities in the nation for an online graduate degree in education.

Graduate Tuition: $10,305

#15—California University of Pennsylvania

California, Pennsylvania

Online Master of Education: English as a Second Language

Website

Points: 6

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online California University of Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania’s online master’s in TESOL option is a Master of Education program with a certificate in English as a Second Language (ESL). The program is offered fully online and can be completed within just five semesters. The 30-credit hour degree plan is mostly prescribed and features core course titles like:

  • Content-Based ESL Instruction
  • Supporting Second-Language Learners, Families, and Community
  • Foundations of ESL Education
  • Language Acquisition and Development

Students will also select two elective classes from offerings such as the following:

  • Psychology of Growth and Development
  • Online Technologies in Education
  • Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms
  • Constructivist Instructional Strategies

A field experience may also be required for successful program completion. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accredited the California University of Pennsylvania to confer this affordable master’s in TEFL online. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the university as one of the leading schools in the country for an online graduate degree in education.

Graduate Tuition: $9,288

#14—Emporia State University

Emporia, Kansas

Online MA in TESOL

Website

Points: 6

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online Emporia State University

Emporia State University’s online master’s in TESOL program is a unique MA option offered through the university’s Teachers College and the Department of Instructional Design & Technology/TESOL. The 36-credit hour curriculum for the program is comprised of mostly core courses, including:

  • Language Assessment & Evaluation
  • Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language
  • Linguistics for Language Teachers
  • Second Language Acquisition

The remainder of the curriculum will include elective classes such as:

  • Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching
  • Foundations of Instructional Technology
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Structure of English

Students may opt to complete a thesis as a culminating element, but this is not a requirement of the program. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Emporia State University to award this affordable master’s in TESOL online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the leading colleges and universities nationwide for an online graduate degree in education.

Graduate Tuition: $6,394

#13—Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw, Georgia

MEd in TESOL Online

Website

Points: 6

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online Kennesaw State University

Offered through the school’s Bagwell College of Education and the Department of Inclusive Education, the online master’s in TESOL program from Kennesaw State University is a fully online option designed to be completed within two years of study. The curriculum for the program is comprised of 36 credit hours of coursework, including course titles such as:

  • Applied Linguistics for ESOL Teachers
  • Content Area Reading and Writing for English Learners
  • Collaborative Practices with Families, Schools, and Communities
  • Teacher Inquiry and Research in TESOL

A practicum experience is also required prior to graduation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Kennesaw State to award one of the cheapest TESOL master’s online degrees in the nation. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the country’s top 100 colleges and universities for an online master’s degree in education.

Graduate Tuition: $5,328

#12—Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Online MA: TESOL

Website

Points: 6

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University offers its affordable online master’s in TESOL program through its College of Humanities and Social Sciences. This MA option features a comprehensive 33-credit hour curriculum, including core courses such as:

  • Methods and Curriculum Design for ESL/EFL
  • Materials Development & Assessment Tools for TESOL
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Approaches to the Teaching of Grammar

Two elective classes are also required and can be selected from offerings like:

  • Computer-Assisted Language Learning
  • Topics, Issues, and Trends in English
  • Strategies and Techniques for Teaching Academic Language Skills to English Language Learners

In addition to online coursework, a practical experience is also required prior to official program completion. SEMO is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award this online master’s in TEFL. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the country’s leading colleges and universities for an online master’s degree in education.

Graduate Tuition: $5,242

#11—University of Alabama-Huntsville

Huntsville, Alabama

Online Master of Education: ESOL

Website

Points: 7

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online The University of Alabama in Huntsville

The University of Alabama-Huntsville’s online master’s in TESOL offering is a Master of Education option with a concentration in English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The program requires students to complete four core courses:

  • Introduction to Applied Educational Research
  • Advanced Cognitive Psychology
  • Applied Multiculturalism
  • Introduction to Differentiated Instruction

Students enrolled in the program will also take concentration-specific classes such as:

  • Advanced English Grammar Studies: Applied English Linguistics
  • Critical Issues in ESOL
  • Differentiated Strategies for Research & Teaching of English Language Learners
  • Using Assessment to Guide Differentiated Instruction

An ESOL internship is also required and can be completed at the student’s current employment site. UAH is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the online TEFL master’s degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top colleges and universities in the country for an online master of education degree.

Graduate Tuition: $10,632

#10—University of Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

Online Master of Education in TESOL

Website

Points: 7

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online University of Missouri

Offered through its College of Education and the Department of Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum, the online master’s in TESOL from the University of Missouri is a fully online option. Courses required for the program’s 33-credit hour curriculum include:

  • Language and Culture for Educators
  • Materials for and Assessment of English Language Learners
  • ESOL Curriculum Development
  • Second Language Acquisition

Elective classes are also available and include:

  • Teaching English Grammar and Pronunciation
  • Teaching Languages Online
  • Materials in Language Teaching
  • Teaching ESL/EFL to Adult Learners

A supervised practicum is also required for program completion. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Missouri to award this affordable online master’s in TEFL degree. The school has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s 60 best colleges and universities for an online master’s degree in education.

Graduate Tuition: $10,477

#9—University of Southern Maine

Portland, Maine

Online MSEd in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Website

Points: 7

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for an Online Master's in TESOL University of Southern Maine

The affordable online master’s in TESOL program from the University of Southern Maine is an MSEd option that can be completed fully online or via a hybrid format. The curriculum for the program is entirely prescribed and features courses titles such as:

  • Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in the Classroom
  • Teaching Writing to Multilingual Learners
  • Aspects of Teaching English Language Learners in PreK-12 Schools
  • Content-Based Curriculum for English Language Learners

A TESOL practicum is also required as a capstone element of the program as is an online portfolio. USM is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award the master’s in TEFL online credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 65 public schools in the nation.

Graduate Tuition: $7,578

#8—Western Governor’s University

Salt Lake City, Utah

Online MA in English Language Learning

Website

Points: 7

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online Western Governor's University

The online master’s in TESOL offering from Western Governor’s University is an accelerated degree program designed to be completed within just 18 months. The prescribed curriculum for the program consists of 11 total classes, including course titles such as:

  • Theories of Second Language Acquisition and Grammar
  • Language Production, Theory, and Acquisition
  • Professional Role of the ELL Teacher
  • Planning, Implementing, and Managing Instruction

A supervised field experience and a professional teacher work sample are also required before graduation. WGU is institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to confer the online TEFL master’s degree. The university’s Teacher’s College is also programmatically accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Graduate Tuition: $7,500

#7—St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud, Minnesota

Online MA in TESL

Website

Points: 7

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online St. Cloud State University

Offered through the school’s Department of English, the online master’s in TEFL program from St. Cloud State University is an MA option that includes a Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) licensure path. The online program mirrors the school’s on-campus offering, and courses required for the degree may include:

  • ESL: Theory and Methods
  • Introduction to Linguistics Systematic Study of Language
  • An Introduction to Testing for Language Teachers
  • Issues in Bilingual/Bicultural Education

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited St. Cloud State to confer the online master’s in TESOL credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 25 public schools in the nation.

Graduate Tuition: $7,460

#6—University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Online Master of Education: TESOL

Website

Points: 8

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for a Master's in TESOL Online University of North Dakota

The online master’s in TESOL option from the University of North Dakota is a highly flexible asynchronous program that can be completed fully online. The 35-credit hour curriculum for the program features standout course titles like:

  • Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners
  • ELL Methods and Materials
  • Second Language Acquisition for ELL Teachers
  • Introduction to Multilingual Education

The curriculum is also customizable around one of two available concentrations:

  • English Language Learners (ELL)
  • Rural ELL/English as a Second Language (ESL)

A 90-hour practicum experience is also required for the successful completion of the program. The Higher Learning Commission has extended institutional accreditation to UND to award this online master’s in TEFL. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the school as one of the top 80 in the nation for an online graduate program in education.

Graduate Tuition: $10,534

#5—Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Online MEd in TESOL

Website

Points: 8

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for an Online Master's in TESOL Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University offers an online master’s in TESOL that includes a professional certificate in Second Language Instruction. The 30-credit hour curriculum for the program is comprised of core courses such as:

  • Second Language Acquisition and Development
  • Applied Linguistics in ESL/EFL Settings
  • ESL/EFL Methodology

Students may also choose elective classes from options like the following:

  • Teaching Second Language Writing
  • Language and Literacy Development in Young Children
  • Cognition and Emergent Literacy

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Sam Houston State to confer the master TESOL online degree. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the school as one of the top 50 in the nation for an online master’s degree in education.

Graduate Tuition: $5,765

#4—Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Online Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Website

Points: 9

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for an Online Master's in TESOL Arizona State University

The affordable online master’s in TESOL program from Arizona State University is a Master of TESOL option that requires 30 credit hours of coursework. Students take ten courses to fulfill degree requirements, and each class is just 7 ½ weeks long. Sample course titles associated with the program include:

  • Linguistics
  • Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Approaches to Research
  • Second Language Acquisition Theories

ASU is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award the online TEFL master’s degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 15 colleges and universities nationwide for a master’s in education credential.

Graduate Tuition: $11,720

#3—University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Online Master’s in TESOL

Website

Points: 9

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for an Online Master's in TESOL The University of Kansas

The online TEFL master’s option from the University of Kansas features both teacher and non-teacher tracks. Both tracks require 30 credit hours of coursework and can be completed in just two years of fully online study. Sample course titles comprising the curriculum for the program include:

  • Linguistic Analysis for TESOL Educators
  • Reading and the English Language Learner in PreK-12
  • Problems in Second Language Instruction
  • Methods of TESOL

Students pursuing the teaching track must complete a practicum before graduation, while those in the non-teaching track will complete a research-based capstone project. The University of Kansas is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award this affordable master’s in TESOL online. The school has been ranked among the nation’s top 50 colleges and universities for an online master’s in education degree by U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition: $9,989

#2—Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

Master’s in TESOL Online

Website

Points: 9

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for an Online Master's in TESOL Florida State University

Florida State University offers a flexible online master’s in TESOL program that can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. Offered through the university’s School of Teacher Education, the 33-credit hour program consists of coursework such as the following:

  • Introduction to Second Language Acquisition
  • Methodologies for Teaching Foreign and Second Languages
  • Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching
  • Research Issues and Designs in Second Language Education

Students enrolled in the program may also apply for a graduate certificate in TESOL upon graduation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited FSU to award the master TEFL online degree. The university has been recognized as one of the 15 best schools in the nation for a master’s degree in education by U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition: $9,684

#1—Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce, Texas

Online Master’s in Applied Linguistics: TESOL

Website

Points: 10

Top 25 Great Value Colleges for an Online Master's in TESOL Texas A&M University- Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce offers the cheapest TESOL master’s online program in our ranking. The program features both MA and MS tracks and emphasizes applied linguistics. It is also a highly versatile option, enabling students to elect fully online or hybrid formats as well as thesis and non-thesis tracks. Required courses may include:

  • General Linguistics
  • Teaching English as a Second/Other Language Methods
  • Sound Systems of English: Pedagogical Applications of Phonology & Phonetics
  • Sociolinguistics

Students may also choose from elective offerings like:

  • Computational Linguistics
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Discourse Analysis

A TESOL graduate certificate is also available. Texas A&M-Commerce is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this affordable master’s in TEFL online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the 75 best colleges and universities in the nation for a master’s degree in education online.

Graduate Tuition: $3,630

About Master’s Degrees in TESOL

A master’s degree in TESOL—or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages—is an advanced degree for professionals who already teach, or desire to teach English as a foreign language. These programs are typically two-year offerings that require approximately 30-35 credit hours of coursework. Master’s in TESOL options are sometimes stand-alone programs, but often, they are concentrations or areas of emphasis within separate graduate degree programs in another discipline, commonly English or Education.

About Online Master’s in TESOL Programs

As is the case with many other subjects and disciplines, TESOL is increasingly taught online, making the process of gaining certification and credentials in the field much more convenient than ever before. Today, there are numerous master’s degree options in TESOL that can be completed via distance education. However, it’s important to note that even programs advertised as fully online may include a practicum or internship that requires some physical attendance. These experiential program components may not require campus visits, but they could require students to report to local sites such as classrooms, corporate offices, or other professional settings.

Types of Online TESOL Master’s Degree Programs

This ranking of top online master’s in TESOL options groups all of these programs together under the same umbrella. Do not be deceived, though—these programs are not identical. Instead, they often include distinguishing and even unique features. Below, we will discuss some of the different types of master TESOL online programs you can expect to encounter.

Hybrid Versus Fully Online TESOL Master’s Degree Programs

Some schools advertise their TEFL offerings as online master’s in TEFL or TESOL when they are really hybrid programs. Other schools offer both fully online and hybrid options. Pay close attention when considering programs. A hybrid program will require some degree of physical campus attendance, while a fully online program can be completed entirely via distance learning technology.

Part-Time Versus Full-Time Master’s in TESOL Online

When evaluating the available online master’s degree programs in TEFL, keep in mind that some programs may require full-time attendance while others offer part-time options. There are benefits and drawbacks to both courses of study, but your prior obligations and scheduling needs will usually determine which type of program is best for you.

Online TESOL Master’s Degree Programs: Admission

The first consideration you’ll need to make if you’re interested in pursuing an online master of TESOL degree is how to get into such a program. Though admissions requirements may vary somewhat from one program to the next, some criteria are standard across the board. For example, the vast majority of programs will require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university as well as a minimum undergraduate GPA. Other requirements for admission may include:

  • Application Fee
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Second Language Proficiency or Background
  • Professional Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GRE Scores

For specific admissions requirements for a particular school or program, visit the school’s website or speak to an admissions counselor.

TEFL Master’s Degrees Online: Curriculum

Unlike TEFL certification programs, online master’s in TESOL options tend to focus more on theory than practice. However, the particular emphasis of these advanced programs can vary depending on the college or university you choose to attend. Typically, the curriculum will be comprised of both core and elective classes.

Core Courses

Core courses will likely make up the bulk of your online master’s in TESOL curriculum. Below, we’ve listed some sample core classes taken from actual graduate TEFL programs. Your course schedule will vary depending on the school you attend.

  • Literacy Development for First and Second Language Learners
  • Methods and Materials in Foreign Language Instruction
  • Theory and Practice in Bilingual Education
  • Linguistic Phonetics
  • ELL and Bilingual Curriculum and Methods of Instruction
  • Teaching Grammar, Lexicon, and Pronunciation
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Teacher Action, Advocacy, and Leadership
  • Assessment for Second Language Skills
  • Standards-Aligned Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction

Elective Courses

Elective courses are those classes that are not specifically required for the program but that offer insight into a specific sub-discipline of TESOL or particular area of interest. Many students choose to pick strategic elective courses aligned with their targeted career paths. Some sample elective offerings are highlighted below, but this is far from an exhaustive list.

  • Psychology of Growth and Development
  • Advanced Instructional Technology
  • Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition
  • Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching
  • Topics, Issues, and Trends in English
  • Teaching English Grammar and Pronunciation
  • Teaching Languages Online
  • Teaching Second Language Writing
  • Cognition and Emergent Literacy

Frequently-Searched Schools for Master’s Degree in TESOL Programs

New York University

New York University- NYU offers a few different master’s in TEFL programs from its distinguished Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. These offerings include:

  • MA in TESOL: Grades K-12 Initial Certification
  • MA in TESOL: Non-Certification
  • MA in Foreign Language Education/TESOL: Dual Certification

A post-master’s certificate in TESOL in college is also available as is a PhD program. These are on-campus options and cannot be completed via distance education.

CUNY Queens College

Queens College- Students interested in the master’s in TESOL option from Queens College can elect a fully online or hybrid course of study. Course titles associated with the program include:

  • Teaching English Sentence Structure
  • Second Language Acquisition and Teaching
  • Multiple Literacies in TESOL

The program prepares graduates for New York state teacher certification.

university-of-south-florida

University of South Florida- The master’s in TESOL program from the University of South Florida is available on the school’s Tampa campus as well as via online and hybrid tracks. Technically a concentration within the university’s Master of Education offering, the program may include foundation courses such as:

  • Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Human Development and Personality Theories
  • Learning Principles Applied to Instruction

St. John’s University- The master’s in TESOL online program from St. John’s University is a 33-credit hour Master of Science in Education offering. The program’s curriculum features a TESOL professional core comprised of courses such as:

  • The Structure of the English Language
  • Content Area Instruction for Linguistically/Culturally Diverse Learners
  • Methods of Language and Academic Assessment for English Language and Exceptional Learners

The university also offers a 15-credit hour advanced certificate in TESOL.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Online Master’s in TEFL Degree Programs

It’s common for prospective students to have more questions than answers when they first decide to go back to school for an online master’s in TEFL or TESOL. Below, we address some of the most popular questions posed for these types of degree programs, along with some general information related to each. As always, for specific program information, it’s advisable to talk to a school representative.

Q: How long does it take to complete an online TESOL master’s program?

A: Generally, these programs require a two-year commitment. Your specific completion time can vary, though. Accelerated online TESOL master’s offerings enable students to earn their credentials in less time, while part-time programs can take longer to finish.

Q: How much does a master’s in TEFL online program cost?

A: Tuition expenses for these graduate programs can vary significantly by school. Through our research for this ranking, we discovered programs for less than $4,000 per year, as well as those that cost over $50,000 annually.

Q: Are there free master’s in TESOL programs online?

A: While we were unable to identify any truly free online master’s in TESOL programs, it is possible to secure sufficient financial aid so that there is little to no out-of-pocket cost. Your financial aid options may include loans, grants, scholarships, and more.

Q: What master’s in TESOL scholarships are available?

A: Scholarship opportunities for master’s in TESOL students will vary by school. It’s best to speak to an admissions counselor or other school representative for more details and eligibility requirements.

Q: Can I earn an online master of TEFL without a thesis?

A: Yes. While a thesis is required for some online master’s in TESOL programs, non-thesis options are also available. These latter programs often require some kind of capstone experience, such as a research project or practicum.

Q: Are fully online TESOL master’s programs available?

A: Yes. Most of the programs highlighted in our ranking feature fully online coursework. Those that require practicums may require some on-site participation.

Q: What is the best online master’s in TESOL program?

A: There are many high-quality online master’s degree programs in TESOL. To discover the best program for you, it’s advisable to consider numerous factors such as accreditation, curriculum, scheduling options, and tuition, for instance.

Q: Are master’s in TESOL worth it?

A: Unfortunately, this is a question only you can answer. These programs (even convenient online TESOL master’s option) can be challenging and time-consuming. Still, there are many benefits to holding a graduate degree in this field, including the opportunity to teach English in another country. For professionals passionate about the discipline, it’s often well worth the investment of time and money.

Career Questions Related to Online Master of TESOL Programs

Q: What can I do with an online master’s in TEFL credential?

A: There are various professional roles you can fill with an online master’s degree in TESOL. Examples include:

  • ESL teacher
  • Foreign language education policy analyst
  • TEFL Assessment specialist
  • TESOL adjunct professor
  • TEFL curriculum designer
  • TESOL teacher trainer/supervisor

Q: How much will I make with a master’s in TESOL online?

A: Your pay may vary based on several factors, including where you work and how many years of experience you have in the field. Still, PayScale reports that professionals with a Master of Arts in TESL make an average salary of just under $55,000 per year.

Q: Are jobs for teachers of English as a second language in demand?

A: Yes. As our society and economy become increasingly globalized, teachers of English as a second language will be in regular demand.

Q: What professional organizations are there in the field of TESOL?

A: As is the case with most disciplines and careers, there are many professional organizations related to the field of TESOL. Some of these include:

  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
  • American Association for Applied Linguistics
  • Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.
  • International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language
This concludes the list of the Top 25 Great Value Colleges for an Online Master’s in TESOL.

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