MA TESOL application instructions

Applications for the 2020/2021 school year are open

Priority deadline: February 1st, 2020

Later applications accepted as space is available

The MA TESOL program is now a Western Regional Graduate Program!

If you live in one of sixteen western states, you pay in-state tuition


Application requirements

Applicants for the M.A. TESOL degree must hold a B.A. or its equivalent with a minimum GPA of 3.00. The admissions committee considers criteria such as academic excellence, relevant academic background, and fit between the program's goals and the applicant's professional goals.

Please submit ALL application materials through the ApplyWeb online system only - we cannot accept any paper or e-mailed application materials. There is a non-refundable $65 application fee; some applicants may qualify for a fee waiver.

The required materials are:

a) A transcript (PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, or TIF file) from each postsecondary institution you have attended. Further information about what is considered an official transcript is at


b) Two letters of recommendation from a professional or academic reference who can comment on your ability to do graduate work and your teaching potential. If you are a recent graduate or are currently a post-bac student, former professors will likely be the best people to ask. If you have been out of school for several years, you may ask a supervisor. If possible, find recommenders who have completed graduate work so that they can comment on your aptitude for such work. You will need to enter the name and email address of each recommender into the ApplyWeb system. Your recommenders will then be sent instructions for uploading their letter. You can see the status of each letter by going to the online application system and clicking on “Review Your Activity”.


c) A 2-3 page statement of purpose. In your statement, comment on your background and preparation for entering the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) / Applied Linguistics. Outline your reasons for selecting this field as a future profession, describe your future goals, and explain why the M.A. TESOL program at Portland State University is an appropriate program for achieving these goals.


d) A current resume or CV.


e) (for native English speakers) Evidence of foreign language knowledge: two or more years of study at the college level, as indicated on a transcript or an authorized statement. Applicants without foreign language experience may be conditionally admitted; they will need to complete this requirement before graduating. Options for satisfying the foreign language requirement can be found at: World Language and Literature Department website.


f) (for non-native English speakers) Evidence of proficiency in English:  the iBT TOEFL with a score of 100 or above or the IELTS with a score of 7.0 or above. Additional training in English, especially in academic writing at the graduate level, may be required as a condition of admission.