Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language

The latest news and information on the Applied Linguistics and TESL programs at NAU can now be found on Facebook (here).

Our TESL degree combines a strong theoretical foundation in applied linguistics with practical training in the teaching of English to people who speak other native languages.

Program goals

The principal goals of the program are to:

  • provide the linguistic theory necessary for ESL/EFL teachers
  • equip teachers with the practical skills needed for effective language teaching
  • prepare students for further study in English language teaching, applied linguistics, and related fields


The MA-TESL program has three tracks:

Length of program

The MA-TESL program is a one-and-a-half to two-year course of study. If you have a teaching assistantship, you should plan on a two-year commitment.

General information

TESL / Applied Linguistics Faculty

MA-TESL and PhD in Applied Linguistics Handbook 

MA TESL Catalog Information

The NAU academic catalog is the official, authoritative source for all academic requirements and policies. Any discrepancies in curricular requirements from other sources will default to the catalog as the official, authoritative source. Please see the academic catalog for the most recent information regarding courses and academic plans. 

Graduate Student Association of Applied Linguistics

MA TESL Comprehensive Exam Information Sheet
Comprehensive Exams from previous years: 2016 (January, August), 2015 (JanuaryAugust), 2014 (JanuaryAugust), 2013 (JanuaryAugust), 2012 (JanuaryAugust), 2011 (JanuaryAugust), 2010 (JanuaryAugust)

MA-TESL Writing Requirement Form

Financial aid

Find information on financial aid, including Tuition Waivers and Graduate Assistantships.

Employment after Graduation

Read more

Teaching abroad

Over 90 percent of our MA-TESL graduates have obtained ESL/EFL teaching positions. Graduates have taught in many countries, including:

Argentina, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macao, Morocco, Namibia, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Uzbekistan

ESL positions

Our graduates have also been employed in:

  • adult education
  • community colleges
  • K-12 public schools
  • intensive English programs
  • programs for refugees
  • US Defense Language Institute

Other EFL positions

Our graduates have worked with:

  • US Peace Corps 
  • US State Department English Language Fellow (ELF) Program

Other ESL-related positions

Our graduates have worked as curriculum specialists, test-item developers, or lexicographers with:

  • Cambridge University Press
  • Educational Testing Service (ETS)
  • Longman
  • Second Language Testing, Inc.