MA TESOL application instructions

Application will open October 15th, 2018

for the 2019/2020 school year.


Requirements for Admission

Applicants for graduate study leading toward the M.A. TESOL degree must hold a B.A. or its equivalent with a minimum GPA of 3.00. Consideration will be given to criteria such as academic excellence, relevant academic background, fit between the program's goals and the applicant's professional goals as well as interest in teaching ESL/EFL. Admission decisions are made by the Applied Linguistics' graduate committee and chair.

The application is completed online only (no paper application materials will be accepted). Create an account and select the M.A. TESOL program in the ApplyWeb system. There is a non-refundable $65 application fee; some applicants may qualify for a fee waiver

Required application materials are listed below. Please DO NOT submit these materials to the Department of Applied Linguistics. They must be submitted via ApplyWeb.


 a) A transcript from each post‐secondary institution you have attended is required. You will be asked to upload a transcript for each institution in one of the following supported file types: PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, or TIF. For further information regarding what is considered an official transcript, please carefully review the following website:


 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 need to ask a supervisor to write a letter on your behalf. 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 for each author before selecting the “Submit Recommendation Request” button. Once selected, the recommender will be sent instructions for providing a letter of recommendation. You can see the status of each letter by going to the online application system and selecting the link titled “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), outlining your reasonsfor selecting this field as a future profession, describing your future goals, and explaining why the M.A. TESOL program at Portland State University is an appropriate program for achieving these goals. 


d) Submit a current resume or CV.


e) Native English speakers should submit evidence of foreign language knowledge (two or more years of study at college level, as indicated on a transcript, or an authorized statement if not a transcript). Students without prior experience with a foreign language may be conditionally admitted; they will need to study a foreign language while taking other courses in the MA program. Options for satisfying the Foreign Language Requirements can be found on the World Language and Literature Department website. Students are responsible for completing the Foreign Language Requirement Verification Request Form and requesting evaluation and certification of language mastery prior to their last term of study.


f) Non-native speakers must submit evidence of proficiency in English. We accpe the iBT TOEFL with a score of 100 or above or the IELTS with a score of 7.0 or above. These represent the minimum acceptable score for admission. Additional training in English, especially in academic writing at the graduate level, may be required as a condition of admission.


Funding and Graduate Assistantships

The James R. Nattinger Endowed Fellowship was created to honor James R. Nattinger’s leadership in teaching and encouraging linguistics learning and scholarship. The Scholarship provides support to students pursuing a Master of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) who have an interest in research.  The Nattinger recipient is expected to work with a faculty member in the department, on a research topic of mutual interest.


Depending on the availability of funding, the department is generally able to award at least three graduate assistantships for the academic year. These teaching assistants assist professors who are teaching LING 390, LING 392, and the TESOL methods courses. Occasionally, again, depending on funding, TA-ships are offered for a single quarter to assist a professor with a course when enrollment is greater than expected.  Research assistantships are available depending on the external grant funding faculty receive. These positions are announced on the department’s listserv.

Applicants for assistantships or the Nattinger Fellowship must be graduate students who are in good standing in the Applied Linguistics department or who have applied for admittance to the MA TESOL program.  The application is completed online at ScholarX via the Financial Aid website: The application opens October 15th for the 2018/19 school year and closes March 15th, 2018