The Master of Arts degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL) is designed for those interested in teaching English as a foreign language to children and adults in a variety of educational settings. The MA TESOL program is a practitioner-oriented degree that combines a comprehensive coverage of theory and practice of foreign language learning and teaching. An interdisciplinary program, it aims to equip teachers of ESL/EFL with solid knowledge of second language acquisition theory, the structure of English, pragmatics, teaching methods and principles, as well as to provide practical training in curriculum development and design, assessment, educational research, and computer assisted language learning. This program also prepares students planning to pursue Ph.D. programs in TESOL.

Included in tuition is a membership in the International Association of TESOL and American Association of Applied Linguistics in order to get access to the resources required in this program. Students get this when they enroll, but only for one year, if students require longer to complete the program, they are responsible for renewing membership.**

Who the MA in TESOL is for:

  • Current teachers
  • People new to teaching
  • Linguistics enthusiasts

What you will be able to do with the MA in TESOL:

  • Teach English to learners of all ages, children and adults,  in various language programs and higher education institutions. (Please note that many secondary schools require additional certification.)
  • Coordinate English teaching programs
  • Apply for a Ph.D. in TESOL

Degree requirements

  • MA TESOL degree is intended to be completed in one year by a full-time student.
  • 90ECTS/36US credit hours of approved graduate work with a cumulative point average of 3.00, including a 3 credit hour capstone project (thesis or non-thesis option).
  • Completion of all the courses with a grade of B or better.

Admission requirements (in addition to other Horizons University general requirements):

  • Applicants for whom English is not their native language and who have not been granted an undergraduate degree by an English-medium institution must submit a score from a comprehensive English as a foreign language test taken less than two years prior to the application. Horizons University MA in TESOL recognizes the following tests and scores:
  • TOEFL (iBt)—95, with a minimum of 25 on the writing section.
  • IELTS –6.5 overall OR 6.5 reading/writing and 6.0 speaking/listening.
  • PTE Academic—62 overall OR 62 reading/writing and 50 speaking/listening.
  • A 1000-word essay, stating an applicant’s goals and expectations from the MA in TESOL program.
  • A Bachelor degree or equivalent.
  • Experience in teaching not required, but recommended.

The structure of a typical course will require students to read materials supplied by the university, study related materials, and perform personal research on selected topics.  Confirmation of learning may be determined via papers, projects, quizzes or exams.

MA in TESL, TEFL or TESOL? What is the difference?

While these three degrees are very similar and prepare graduate students for teaching English in various educational settings, including universities, there is a slight difference in the intent of each degree.

Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) programs are designed for those who wish to teach English to the immigrants in an English-speaking country, such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain. It’s been a popular degree in the USA, and it usually encompasses linguistics and teaching courses, as well as cultural courses about the USA.

Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a popular degree outside of the USA and is geared towards those who want to teach English in countries where English is not their primary language.

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), which is a relatively new degree in the field of applied linguistics, is becoming very popular among employers in the USA and abroad. It usually combines both TESL and TEFL and puts the speaker of other languages in the center of the teaching philosophy, thus determining the focus of the linguistics, methodology, and research courses offered by MA TESOL programs.


**Students must pay for the 2 memberships on their own and submit the receipts to be reimbursed by the university within 1 month of purchase. Please contact your Student Premier for more details.