Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages
Home > Degree Programs > TESOL > Admissions


Each fall, the MA TESOL program enrolls approximately 8-10 new students who come from around the United States and other parts of the world. Applicants should have a four-year degree and a strong undergraduate record, particularly in courses taken during the last two years of study. It is advisable for students to have taken some coursework in a related field as an undergraduate, but it is not required.

Promising students without an MA in TESOL or a related field can apply directly to the PHD program in SLS. They will need to fulfill all of the course requirements for the MA. The combined degree program will take five years and students will receive two degrees.


  1. Applications to the MA TESOL program are submitted online. Note: The application form will ask you if you are interested in a graduate assistantship. Applicants who are accepted by the TESOL program and are interested in an assistantship will be considered for opportunities that may become available within the Department of Linguistics and Languages or affiliated units such as the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA). Further details will be provided when these opportunities are announced. Applying for a teaching assistantship with the English Language Center is a separate process. Please see the Financial Aid page of our website for information and a link to their application form.
  2. Students are generally admitted for the fall semester.
  3. Applicants should have their materials submitted by the end of January and no later than the end of March to be considered for the following fall semester. Those who are planning to apply for a teaching assistantship with the English Language Center must submit their application materials to the TESOL program by no later than mid January.
  4. There is no provisional or conditional admission.


All applicants whose first language is not English, even those with a degree from an English-language institution, must provide English language competency scores.

  1. For the TOEFL, the following minimum scores are strongly recommended: 100 on the internet-based test (iBT) with no subscore below 22; 250 on the computer-based test; or 600 on the paper-based test. The iBT is strongly preferred.
  2. For the IELTS, an overall minimum score of 7.0 is recommended (6.5 is required by MSU), with no subscore below 6.5.
  3. The test scores must be valid for up to two years prior to the beginning of the enrollment semester.
  4. Test scores must be sent directly to MSU from the testing agency. For the TOEFL, MSU's institution code is 1465 and the department code is 04 (linguistics).


Domestic Applicants: Watch this page for information to guide your application for the academic year 2020-2021.

International Applicants: Watch this page for information to guide your application for the academic year 2020-2021.