Program Overview

Murray State offers the only MA in TESOL in the state of Kentucky that focuses solely on TESOL content. We've been a leader in TESOL degrees for over 20 years and our faculty have a wide range of expertise and years of both domestic and international teaching.

The curriculum of the Murray State University Master of Arts Program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is based on guidelines developed by TESOL, an international professional organization and on recognized programs at other institutions. It features instruction and experiences that contribute directly to competencies in linguistics, language pedagogy, assessment and culture.      

The MA in TESOL is offered by the Department of English and Philosophy of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. Doctorally-prepared faculty in linguistics, second-language teaching, and related fields serve as the program's instructors. The TESOL Advisory Committee is made up of the TESOL program director, the chair of English and Philosophy and the TESOL faculty.

Graduate Programs Tuition and Fees


The MA TESOL program offers on-campus/off-campus courses of study for applicants. Students can select a program of study to suit their individual schedules. The three options are:

  • Traditional or two-year MA curriculum
  • Online MA
  • ESL Endorsement for Kentucky teachers (online/on-campus)

Graduate TESOL Program Guide

Program Option Average Time of Completion Begin Study Full-time Part-time On-campus Off-campus
Traditional MA 18-24 Months Any Semester Yes Yes Yes Yes
Online MA 24-36 Months Any Semester No Yes No Yes
ESL Endorsement 18-24 Months Any Semester Yes Yes Yes Yes

Employment Opportunities

The MA in TESOL is the recognized teaching degree in English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction, a field that has shown phenomenal growth in recent years. This degree is regularly cited in position announcements for:

  • Community college and university teaching positions in pre-college English programs for international students
  • Industry positions in training programs for non-English speaking employees
  • Positions to teach English in secondary schools and colleges all over the world

The Murray State program collects information about internship and employment opportunities and makes it available to program participants. The credit-bearing internship experience required of all students at the end of the program can in many cases be an actual paid position in the United States or abroad.

Application Deadlines

For applicants who live in the United States, we recommend you apply three months before the desired start term. See Graduate Admissions for more information. 

Application deadlines for international students are Apr 30 for the upcoming Fall semester, and October 15 for the following Spring semester. We have established these deadlines to allow sufficient time to process all required documents before arrival on campus. See the Institute for International Studies Admissions page for more information.

How To Apply For Admission

Application forms for graduate study at Murray State are available in the admissions office on the first floor of Sparks Hall, or visit the graduate admission page. The admissions office will send a copy of your application materials to the TESOL program director.


Dr. Latricia Trites

Director of TESOL Programs, Professor of TESOL and English


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