Online Master’s Programs In TESOL And ESL 2022

Earning a TESOL and ESL degree can lead to new and exciting career opportunities. Here, we list the top online programs available.

Updated September 12, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Master’s Programs In TESOL And ESL 2022

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English as a second language (ESL) instructors work in primary and secondary schools, community colleges, and other education settings. These professionals help individuals of all ages improve their English skills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ESL instructors earn a median salary of $54,350 per year.

Experienced ESL instructors can pursue a doctorate to qualify for roles as postsecondary instructors. According to the BLS, these professionals earn a median annual salary of $64,910, with those in California and New York earning the highest salaries.

Students can pursue a master's in ESL and teaching English as a second language (TESOL). These programs provide the knowledge and skills ESL instructors need to educate students of all ages.

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Exploring Degree Options in TESOL and ESL


What kind of jobs can you get with a TESOL and ESL degree?

Graduates can become postsecondary educators, curriculum developers, private tutors, and program directors. Some positions may require additional education.

How long does it take to get a TESOL and ESL degree?

Full-time learners typically earn their master's in TESOL and ESL in about four semesters. Part-time students may need an additional 1-2 semesters to graduate, depending on their course load.

What should I major in to be an ESL teacher?

To prepare for ESL teaching careers, undergraduates can major in ESL, English, writing, or education. Students earning a master's in TESOL and ESL receive in-depth instruction on best practices for ESL teachers.

How much does it cost to get ESL certified?

The cost of obtaining a K-12 teaching license varies by state. In California, licensure candidates pay $100 when they submit their application. Upgrading a licensing or adding endorsements typically costs less.

Why Get a Degree in TESOL and ESL?

A TESOL and ESL degree can lead to numerous teaching positions, since schools around the world hire qualified ESL instructors. Typical job settings for U.S. graduates include K-12 and postsecondary schools. Additionally, a master's degree often leads to increased salary potential and job prospects.

Online learning can make earning a master's degree more affordable and accessible. Distance learners often pay reduced tuition rates, and online students typically save money on housing, transportation, and campus fees. Many online programs feature asynchronous courses, which do not require students to log on at set times. This flexibility can help students continue working while earning a degree.

How Much Does a TESOL and ESL Degree Cost?

Tuition rates vary based on factors including program and institution type. Public colleges usually charge less than private universities. Prospective degree-seekers should research the average return on investment for a school's alumni. Students who attend more affordable programs may experience the same professional outcomes as graduates of more expensive programs. Many colleges and universities perform and publish institutional research on this topic.

In addition to tuition, prospective students should budget for fees and supplies. For example, master's in TESOL and ESL programs may charge fees for practicing educators working toward a licensure endorsement.

Individuals who plan to teach in another state can earn their TESOL and ESL master's degree online to avoid relocation. Many public colleges and universities charge all online learners the same per-credit tuition rate, regardless of residency. This can save distance learners thousands of dollars in tuition.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

TESOL and ESL master's degree-seekers can use the following college affordability calculator to select a program that fits their budget. Users enter information about their after-tax income, cost of living, financial aid, and educational expenses. The calculator produces the amount that the user can put toward monthly tuition payments without going into debt.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do TESOL and ESL Majors Make?

According to BLS data, ESL teachers earn a median salary of $54,350 per year, which is about $15,000 higher than the median salary for all occupations. The highest-paid ESL teachers live in large metropolitan areas, such as Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Additional career options for graduates of TESOL and ESL degrees include middle and high school teacher, school and career counselor, and postsecondary teacher. TESOL and ESL master's degrees emphasize many of the skills teachers and counselors need. However, these professions may require additional education or on-the-job training.

Current ESL instructors may need a state-issued teaching license to qualify for raises and promotions. Licensed ESL teachers can pursue careers in K-12 education and add subject endorsements by passing examinations. Like a master's degree or graduate certificate, a license can improve a professional's hireability. The BLS projects a 10% decline in ESL teaching positions from 2019-2029, but additional credentials can help individuals stand out in the job market.

Courses in TESOL and ESL

Students earning a TESOL and ESL master's degree typically complete coursework in second language acquisition, English language teaching, and curriculum and materials design. These courses emphasize specialized instructional techniques. Degree-seekers often hone their skills during an independent study project and an internship.

The following sample curriculum introduces three courses common to many TESOL and ESL master's degrees. However, available classes and course requirements vary by school. Learners can explore their prospective program's website and contact an academic advisor for detailed information.

Certification to Teach TESOL or ESL

After earning a TESOL and ESL degree, graduates may need to complete additional steps to qualify for positions in the field. For example, many teaching careers require a state-issued license. A license qualifies individuals to teach in public K-12 schools. Obtaining licensure can also help professionals earn a salary increase or promotion.

All states require K-12 public school educators to hold a license. Licensure requirements vary by state, but candidates must have completed a teacher-preparation program and hold a bachelor's degree. Additional requirements typically include student-teaching experience and a background check. Educators may pursue one or more licensure endorsements in areas such as ESL, English language, and literature.

Scholarships for TESOL and ESL

Master's in TESOL and ESL degree-seekers can research and apply for numerous financial aid opportunities online, including scholarships. Typical application requirements include a satisfactory GPA, recommendation letters, and an essay. The following scholarship programs accept applications in 2021. Learners should research each award's requirements and deadline before applying.




Dr. Jessie Reppy Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: New Jersey graduate students majoring in ESL can apply for this competitive scholarship. Candidates need a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit a 750-word essay.

Amount: $2,500

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PDK Educational Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Phi Delta Kappa awards this scholarship to undergraduate and graduate students preparing for careers as K-12 educators. Applicants must hold PDK membership. The scholarship committee considers part-time students and those without U.S. citizenship.

Amount: $500-$5,000

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NAACP Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People offers three annual scholarships for African American student members. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 graduate GPA and U.S. citizenship. Candidates demonstrate financial need by submitting their FAFSA results.

Amount: $2,000-$3,000

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Online Master's in TESOL and ESL Programs 2021

#1

Murray State University

School Information
Location Murray, Kentucky
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 55%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Murray State University delivers respected graduate degrees in a variety of fields, including a master's-level English language learning degree. With 3,853 distance students, the public institution also offers programs on campus in Kentucky. Learners can choose online learning to access flexible scheduling options that make earning a degree easier.

Degree-seekers enrolled in the master of arts in TESOL program develop transferable skills and gain field-specific knowledge. Graduate students consult with faculty mentors to select classes aligning with their interests and career goals. While pursuing the online master's degree, learners complete a flexible curriculum and develop industry-specific skills. Graduates often secure high-level English language learning positions. Current and former students work closely with career services to transition from the program into the workforce.

The school delivers career advising and financial aid counseling to help graduate learners plan their academic and professional futures. Graduate students at the accredited institution can take out federal loans to cover costs. Additional financial aid options to help learners fund their master's studies include private scholarships and fellowships.

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#2

Southeast Missouri State University

School Information
Location Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Admission Rate 86%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A great option for distance learners, Southeast Missouri State University offers an e-learning program in TESOL. The Missouri school reports that 3,849 students take online classes. Online students can earn their MA in TESOL at the school. The accredited program provides a rigorous education valued by employers. The degree's advanced training prepares graduates for English language learning careers.

The university maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-1, which gives learners one-on-one attention from faculty. Prospective students can learn more about online support services at the program's website. Degree-seekers pay affordable tuition rates and receive financial aid. This helps students complete a master's degree with less debt. Degree-seekers can expect a graduation rate of 50% at the school.

Southeast Missouri State University Fast Facts:

Total Online Enrollment: 5,553

Number of Online Master’s Programs: 13

Graduate Tuition: $5,242/year in-state; $9,796/year out-of-state

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $6,845

Average Net Price: $12,350

Southeast Missouri State University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

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#3

SUNY Brockport

School Information
Location Brockport, New York
Admission Rate 55%
Graduation Rate 64%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

With a main campus in New York State, SUNY Brockport delivers undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields. Online learners can pursue the school's distance education programs. The institution offers an online M.S.Ed. in TESOL for busy students who want to earn their master's degree while maintaining employment.

Enrollees prepare to enter the workforce by completing rigorous coursework and receiving faculty mentorship and career advising. The online program's flexible scheduling options can make it easier for busy learners to complete degree requirements. Master's degree-seekers usually earn their degree in 1-2 years of full-time study.

Students with financial need can apply for federal aid, including grants and loans. To pay for school, 66% of the school's enrollees take out loans, which they must repay after graduation. Additionally, 92% of learners receive financial aid.

SUNY Brockport Fast Facts:

Total Programs: 123

Number of Online Programs: 9

Online Master's Programs: 41

Number of Online Students: 2,436

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Transfer Credits Permitted: No

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#4

University of Northern Iowa

School Information
Location Cedar Falls, Iowa
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

With a main campus in Cedar Falls, the University of Northern Iowa delivers graduate programs in various fields. The public institution delivers online programs for busy learners, including a master's in English language learning. After earning the master's degree in TESOL, graduates often qualify for promotions or raises.

Faculty advisors support graduate students with academic advice and professional input regarding the English language learning field's current challenges. Enrollees pursuing the master's degree complete a rigorous curriculum that fosters field-specific knowledge and transferable skills. Along with foundational TESOL knowledge, program coursework helps students gain industry-specific analytical and leadership skills.

The school charges online learners affordable tuition rates and offers institutional funding for eligible applicants. Financial aid counselors help degree-seekers understand funding options and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. The school's affordable tuition rates make it easier for learners to pursue graduate degrees.

University of Northern Iowa Facts:

Online Master's Programs: 61

Total Online Programs: 16

Number of Online Students: 2,732

Graduate Tuition In-State: $9,159

Graduate Tuition Out-of-State: $21,375

Offers Transfer Credits: No

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#5

Sam Houston State University

School Information
Location Huntsville, Texas
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Sam Houston State University educates undergraduate and graduate degree-seekers from its campus in Huntsville, Texas. Working professionals often pursue one of the school's eight online bachelor's programs and any of its 27 online master's programs.

The institution's online master of education in TESOL benefits distance degree-seekers seeking career advancement in English language learning. Graduates of the TESOL program can apply for positions in the field or advance their current career. Master's students can access support services including faculty mentorship, academic advising, and career counseling.

Affordable tuition rates and institutional funding make pursuing graduate studies easier for many enrollees. Students at the accredited institution can qualify for federal grants and loans. Learners may also receive scholarships and fellowships.

Sam Houston State University Facts:

Students Receiving Aid: 86%

Students Receiving Loans: 53%

Total Master's Programs: 50

Total Online Master's Programs: 50

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

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#6

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

School Information
Location Baltimore, Maryland
Admission Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County offers undergraduate and graduate programs. Distance learners can earn an online master's in TESOL from the public institution. Professionals currently employed in the English language learning field often qualify for career advancement after graduation.

Master's students work with faculty advisors, who provide advice and insights into the English language learning field. The program's rigorous curriculum fosters specialized and transferable skills. Master's students develop industry-specific analytical and leadership abilities.

The school's affordable tuition rates make graduate studies more accessible. Degree-seekers meet with financial aid counselors to discuss their funding options. The school's affordable tuition rates make graduate studies more accessible.

University of Maryland, Baltimore County Fast Facts:

Online Master's Programs: 40

Total Online Programs: 8

Number of Online Students: 1,602

Graduate Tuition In-State: $11,862

Graduate Tuition Out-of-State: $20,376

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

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#7

Kennesaw State University

School Information
Location Kennesaw, Georgia
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Distance learners can pursue high-quality online graduate programs from Kennesaw State University. The public institution delivers 56 online programs, including 20 master's programs for distance students. At the school, graduate degree-seekers can enroll in the master's in teaching English to speakers of other language program. With flexible enrollment options, the online TESOL program appeals to busy adults and working professionals.

Learners develop transferable skills through core coursework and specialize during advanced English language learning classes. Students gain theoretical and practical knowledge during experiential learning opportunities and elective classes. While most master's programs require 1-2 years, part-time degree-seekers may take longer to graduate. Admissions advisors provide prospective applicants with details about application deadlines and requirements.

Online learners at the school pay affordable tuition rates, making graduate studies more accessible. Graduate students pay an average in-state tuition rate of $5,328 and an average out-of-state tuition rate of $19,188. The institution holds accreditation, which means enrollees can submit the FAFSA and determine whether they qualify for federal financial aid. According to the school, 92% of students receive financial aid.

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#8

Regent University

School Information
Location Virginia Beach, Virginia
Admission Rate 86%
Graduation Rate 57%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Distance learners can enroll at Regent University to pursue a master's in English language learning. With a main campus in Virginia Beach, the private institution educates 9,507 students through distance learning programs. Learners balancing academics with personal or professional obligations can take advantage of online programs' flexible scheduling options.

While enrolled in the master of education in TESOL program, degree-seekers complete a rigorous curriculum comprising core and specialized coursework. Faculty mentors assist graduate students as they tailor the program curriculum to their interests and career aspirations. Learners in the flexible online program gain specialized knowledge relevant to the industry. Graduates of the English language learning program often land competitive roles in their field. Master's students can benefit from the institution's career services as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Support services including career advising and financial aid counseling prepare learners to succeed academically and professionally. Online students at the school pay affordable tuition rates. Learners often apply for scholarships and fellowships to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

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#9

Arkansas Tech University

School Information
Location Russellville, Arkansas
Admission Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 38%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Based in Russellville, Arkansas Tech University educates degree-seekers through in-person and flexible online programs. Working professionals often pursue one of the school's five online bachelor's programs and any of its nine online master's programs.

The institution's master of arts in TESOL prepares online degree-seekers to succeed in English language learning careers. The master's program can benefit students who are new to the field and those with established TESOL careers. Students enrolled in the school's master's programs can access academic advising, faculty mentorship, and career counseling.

Enrollees pursuing their master's degree online benefit from the school's affordable tuition rates and can apply for institutional funding. Students at the accredited institution can qualify for federal financial aid programs. Learners often apply for scholarships and fellowships to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

Arkansas Tech University at a Glance:

Students Receiving Aid: 96%

Students Receiving Loans: 36%

Total Master's Programs: 27

Total Online Master's Programs: 27

Grants Transfer Credits: No

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#10

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

School Information
Location Charlotte, North Carolina
Admission Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 64%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Undergraduate and graduate degree-seekers can pursue the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's programs online or in person. The school delivers graduate programs for online and on-campus learners. Distance students can enroll in an online MAT in TESOL program at the institution to prepare for careers teaching English.

In addition to rigorous coursework, the master's program prepares enrollees for TESOL careers through academic and career advising. The online program features flexible enrollment options that benefit working professionals. Full-time degree-seekers typically require 1-2 years to earn their master's degree in teaching English as a second language.

At the accredited institution, graduate students can qualify for federal aid programs and other forms of financial aid. Of the student population, 50% take out loans. In addition, 74% of students receive some form of financial aid to cover degree costs.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte Fast Facts:

Total Programs: 162

Number of Online Programs: 19

Online Master's Programs: 64

Number of Online Students: 8,713

Religious Affiliation: Non-Affiliated

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

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