You are here

Master of Arts degree in TESL & Linguistics

The MA program in TESL & Linguistics prepares graduates for professional careers related to teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language to speakers of other languages and related to the field of linguistic study.  It is also an appropriate degree program for students wishing to continue graduate study at the Ph.D. level in TESL, TESOL, Second Language Acquisition, or Applied Linguistics.

Program faculty highlights:

Dr. Jon Bakos, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma. Research interests are in language variation and online discourse analysis. He has conducted sociolinguistic fieldwork in Oklahoma and with the Lebanese community of Dearborn, Michigan. He has also studied the jargon and terminology of games such as World of Warcraft and Star Citizen.

Dr. Melanie D’Amico, Ph.D., University of Florida. Researches the acquisition of Spanish as a second and foreign language. She is particularly interested in language learning contexts with a focus on study abroad and classroom learning. She has researched how learners acquire Spanish grammar, develop oral fluency, and use Spanish in conversation.

Dr. Brian José, Ph.D., Indiana University.  Researches sociolinguistic variation and language change, often on the basis of real-time data, and with a special attention to varieties of English spoken throughout Indiana and, with colleagues, in Glasgow Scotland. His analyses generally focus on the phonological and/or morphological components of the linguistic system.

Dr. Scott Sterling, Ph.D., Michigan State University. Researches English (and other languages) as a second language. He primarily focuses on how learners use and understand humor. He has also investigates research ethics and how people conduct research in linguistics.

See the Graduate Program FAQs page for information about applying to the MA program.

Degree Program

(32 credit hours minimum)

Research:  LLL 607, Research Methods in Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Core: LLL 600, Current Issues in Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Electives:  at least 27 hours from graduate coursework within the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, at least 12 hours of which must be at the 600 level or above.

Other Requirements:

Non-native language requirement: At least two years of a non-native language at the university level as evidenced by academic transcripts with a grade of C or better in the culminating intermediate-level course; results on the Indiana State University placement test beyond the 202 level; or, when those are unavailable, independent testing arranged through the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics.

Culminating Experience:  successful completion of the following components: written essay and content comprehensive exams, demonstration of advanced oral proficiency, and successful experiential teaching component.


No more than 9 transfer credits will be accepted for the M.A. program. A minimum of 23 credits must be taken within the department.

Courses in the 500 series are open to undergraduates as *400 series. Graduate students are required to do additional work of a research nature. A course taken at the 400 level may not be repeated at the 500 level.