Search Google Appliance


MA TESOL - Language Requirements

Portland State University requires all MA degree candidates to demonstrate proficiency in a second language. These requirements are different for native and non-native speakers of English, as described below.

Non-Native Speakers of English

Must demonstrate proficiency in English prior to admission to the MA TESOL program.


The minimum score required for MA admission:

  • iBT TOEFL = 100 or above, or
  • PBT TOEFL = 600 or above, or
  • IELTS = 7.0 or above

International students who have been admitted to PSU, have already met the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score and have satisfied the language requirement.  After admission, the second-language proficiency requirement will be marked as "met" on your PSU transcript.

In addition, you must submit take a copy of your TOEFL or IELTS score and the Vertification Request Form to the Department of World Languages and Literature and they will certify and send copies of the certification to the Office of Degree Audits, Graduate Office, and the Department of Applied Linguistics.   Department of Applied Linguistics copies are kept in the student's file.

Native Speakers of English

As well as students whose transcripts list English as their first language because they hold a previous degree from an English-medium institution, must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English.
 

There are three options for satisfying the non-English language proficiency requirement.

Option 1

Provide a verified transcript of at least two full years of second-language coursework.  Coursework must be at the 203-or-equivalent level and passed with a grade of C- or better, and from PSU or another accredited institution, including community colleges and summer intensive language programs.

If you choose to satisfy the MA requirement by showing a transcript of previous foreign language coursework, it is essential to request validation of the coursework from the Department of World Languages and Literature as early as possible in the MA TESOL program.

Take an unofficial transcript and the Vertification Request Form to the Department of World Languages and Literature and they will certify and send copies of the certification to the Office of Degree Audits, Graduate Office, and the Department of Applied Linguistics.   Department of Applied Linguistics copies are kept in the student's file.

Option 2

Complete the 203 level of a language class taught in the Department of World Languages and Literature at PSU, with a grade of C-minus or better.

Completion of the language proficiency requirement is a condition of admission into the MA TESOL program.  Foreign language coursework intended to satisfy the university MA requirement can be taken concurrently with MA TESOL coursework.  Please inform the Applied Linguistics Department Manager as soon as you meet the language requirement, so that your conditional status can be upgraded.

Option 3

Pass a language proficiency test administered by the Department of World Languages and Literatures at PSU.  The examination for MA TESOL students includes BOTH an oral proficiency interview and a written test.  The Department of World Languages and Literature needs to be able to provide an examiner for the language if a student wants to fulfill the requirement by a test.

Acceptable languages: 

  • Living languages (Not Latin, Ancient Greek, Old English, etc. or computer languages)
  • American Sign Language (ASL)