At PSU, the MA TESOL program is designed to give you skills and expertise in three critical areas:

  • Language Structure and Use coursework provides a deep understanding of language as a foundation for any language-related career. Courses about the interactions of language and culture give you the skills and sensitivities you need to teach and work effectively with people from other cultures. 
  • Language Teaching and Learning focuses on pedagogy and teaching methodology. Coursework provides grounding in second language theory and practice. For students who choose the MA TESOL Teaching Track, the supervised practicum brings it all together with real-world teaching opportunities in Portland-area ESOL programs.
  • The Research and Professional Development requirements provide the skills for graduates to critically evaluate research studies and to conduct their own small research projects. They also help you prepare for jobs, integrate into the community of language professionals, and develop the mindset to keep learning throughout your career.

I'll be doing something related to English language teaching. I might not even be in front of a classroom. I could be designing curriculum, I could be creating materials, I could be doing administrative work. But regardless of what I end up doing in the language teaching arena, I feel like this program has prepared me for any of those tasks. I've also gained the skills necessary to go out and find more information about teaching and about pedagogy. I've created a network of faculty and other students and people that I can rely on as sources of information when it comes to constantly improving myself as a professional.

-- Jake Malstrom, PSU MA TESOL 2019

Become a highly effective teacher

In the Teaching Track, you learn the fundamentals of language acquisition, best-practice teaching methods, and versatile techniques for working with students in a variety of settings. You will collaborate with classmates and gain hands-on teaching experience to develop as a confident, capable teacher.

Gain strong credentials for employment

Graduates from our program are working in the US and abroad, in universities, community colleges, community programs, private language schools, corporations, online programs, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. They are teachers, material developers, program administrators, foreign service officers, and much more. Our strong network of alumni will give you access to connections and support for a wide array of opportunities. 

Prepare for language-related careers

The Applied Linguistics Track focuses on interdependent aspects of language and language use. You will acquire practical skills for language-related careers such as immigrant services, test development, literacy program administration, international student advising, interpretation and translation, and program evaluation. 


When I completed the MA-TESOL program at PSU in 2007 I could not have imagined the new life path it would take me on. Now, I recognize that the program's quality curriculum, coupled with my warm relationships with faculty and colleagues, set the stage for the following eleven years of rewarding teaching, traveling, and cross-cultural experiences I have enjoyed in Asia and Europe. It's a path I will never regret taking.

-- Jay Jacobmuhlen, MA TESOL 2007

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If you're considering the MA TESOL or TESL certificate, we can send you updates on upcoming information sessions, application dates, and other department news. We promise not to overload your inbox.

In-state tuition for 15 western states

The MA TESOL program is a Western Regional Graduate Program, so you qualify for Oregon in-state tuition if you are a resident of Alaska, Idaho, South Dakota, Arizona, Montana, Utah, California, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Hawaii or North Dakota. 

Graduate Funding and Finance

Assistantships, Office of Student Finance, and the James R. Nattinger Scholarship