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Master's in Applied Linguistics with emphasis in TESOL





Quick Facts

  • 100% online or face-to-face
  • Affordable
  • Apply anytime
  • Asynchronous option
  • Non-thesis option
  • Easy application
  • No visa*
  • No GRE*
  • Three degree plan options



The Master’s in Applied Linguistics-TESOL can be completed 100% online, face-to-face, or even in a mixture of both modalities. Choose a schedule that works for you! You can change your modality each semester if you’d like.


  • Live or work abroad while in the program
  • Asynchronous classes, work at your own pace each week
  • The program can be completed 100% online, no residency required
  • Practicum hours may be completed remotely
  • No visa, no problem! Study online in your home country without needing a visa.*


  • Suggested modality for those interested in thesis work.
  • Consider employment in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area or graduate assistantships on our main campus in Commerce, TX

  • What does Asynchronous mean? +

    Our online courses are asynchronous, meaning you attend class when you have time each week. Do not worry about logging on to your class at a particular time. Your professor provides a lecture at the beginning of each week, and you have all week to tend to the lesson.

  • *Do I need a visa? +

    If you want to attend face-to-face courses on campus, even for only one semester, you will need a student visa. Our school will work with you to obtain it. If you choose the online only option, a visa is not required. You may travel to the USA with a tourist visa for the graduation ceremony if you choose. This is not required.

  • What should I expect in my online courses? +

    In our traditional online courses, your professor provides a written lecture/assignment at the beginning of each week. Students may be expected to submit assignments, take tests, and post weekly on the discussion boards. We also offer dual-modality courses. A dual-modality course means that we have a face-to-face section of a course running simultaneously with an online section. Our face-to-face section is filmed and the online student is provided a link to access the lecture after the face-to-face class has met.

  • How long are the semesters? +

    Fall and Spring - Our fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks long. Occasionally we offer flex-term courses in the fall and spring semesters that start four weeks later than the usual 16-week start date. Flex-term courses are 12 weeks long.

    Summer - Summer is split into two terms, Summer I and Summer II, each five weeks long. On occasion we are offer ten-week courses that run the duration of Summer I and Summer II.

    Minis - On occasion, we offer mini-terms (August, May, and December) that are three weeks long.



PRINTABLE APPLICATION CHECKLIST - Providing you step-by-step instructions on the application process.

Questions about admissions? Contact


  • Application
  • Application Fee $50 domestic/$75 international
  • One Letter of Recommendation
  • Official Bachelor’s Transcripts
  • Statement of Goals
  • GRE – Requirement waived - see printable application checklist above
  • Additional items required for international students
  • *Do I need to take the GRE? +

    Most likely not! If you meet one of the following conditions, you do not need to submit GRE scores with your application:

    1) Completed master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with at least a 3.0 overall graduate GPA

    2) Completion of 12 graduate hours with a minimum of 3.00 overall from a regionally accredited institution

    3) An awarded bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university with:

    a) at least a 3.00 GPA on the last 60 hours of the degree

    b) an overall GPA of at least a 2.75 of the degree

    Should you need to take the GRE, we do not have a minimum score requirement.

  • Is there an application deadline? +

    No application deadlines! We accept applications on a rolling basis for our fall, spring, and summer terms.

  • How long does it take to get admitted into the program? +

    Once all of your application items are submitted, the department takes two weeks to review the application.

  • If I plan to be an online student, do I need to submit a different application? +

    No, the application process is the same whether you intend to be an online or face-to-face student.

  • Do I need to have a BA/BS in English or Linguistics? +

    We accept any undergraduate degree from an accredited university.

  • What happens if I submit my application for a specific term but then need to change my starting term? +

    No problem. Just notify us and we will do a Term Change to your application. Your application is good for one year after the date of submission.



Interested in Applied Linguistics research?

Graduate students in the Master's in Applied Linguistics and Ph.D. in English have access to our Applied Linguistics Laboratory and state of the art equipment:

  • Accent Coach
  • Computerized Speech Lab (residential students)
  • Eye-tracking equipment (residential students)

Current associated faculty specialize in a range of areas applicable to Applied Linguistics:

  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Prosody
  • Pragmatics
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Pedagogical Grammar
  • Humor Studies

Visit our Applied Linguistics Laboratory page for more information.



Check out our tuition estimator.

The average graduate student pursues 6sch (approximately two courses) each semester. Students can pursue one course or even three courses a semester, but students interested in more than three courses a semester should consult with their academic advisor beforehand.

The estimate may not include some fees, such as a $10 one-time Facility Fee (a state tax) and the Distance Education Fee for online courses. The Distance Education Fee is a $50 per credit hour. If a course is 3 hours, as most are, this will add $150 to your cost per online class.

  • Financial aid is available. At the graduate level, this primarily means student loans. Government grants (e.g. pell grants) are likely only available to undergraduate students.
    • Complete the FAFSA
    • Submit the FAFSA to our University using code 003565
  • Payment/Installment Plans are available in the fall and spring terms. Your balance will be split into four equal payments each term.
  • Students paying their balance with an international bank account can make payments through Flywire
  • Veterans and Military Services benefits
  • Graduate Assistantships may be available for those that can work/teach/study face-to-face in Commerce, TX.
  • Tuition and Leo Personal Loans - If the semester is approaching and you are still awaiting your financial aid, a tuition loan can help cover your balance while you wait for your financial aid to disburse.

Be proactive on scholarship opportunities.

Generic Scholarship Opportunities


Grad Experience

You will work with your:

  • Faculty Advisor
  • Graduate Student Specialist
  • Thesis Director (if applicable)

Career Preparation

This program prepares students for teaching or for entry into doctoral programs. Our graduates generally are teachers or administrators in public or private schools, in the US or abroad. Graduates may also pursue a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics or related areas. Current teachers of English to adult non-native speakers will pursue the degree to widen their professional opportunities. A master's in TESOL is considered a terminal degree for those who wish to teach English to non-native speakers.

Applied Linguistics Graduate Student Demographics

No matter your background, you’ll fit right in! We surveyed our current Master's in Applied Linguistics students:

19% of our students speak English as a second language.

30% of our student plan to continue into a Ph.D. program.

Student Demographics 1


Never too early or too late to earn a master’s degree!


What Our Students Are Saying!

Student Quotes


Degree Plans

We presently offer three degree plan options:

  1. Master's in Applied Linguistics with emphasis in TESOL (Non-Thesis)
  2. Master's in Applied Linguistics with emphasis in TESOL (Thesis)
  3. Master of Arts/Master of Science in Applied Linguistics with emphasis in TESOL (EFL/ESL for Adults) and specialization in ESL* (ESL for Children), (Non-Thesis)



VIEW BLED COURSE DESCRIPTIONS (for those interested in the specialization in ESL for children) 

The first two degree plan options emphasize EFL/ESL for adults and are ideal for those intending to go into adult education. The last degree plan option offers a combined focus on EFL/ESL for adults and ESL for children. 

You will still complete the same application and application process for the program no matter your degree plan of interest. You can declare your official interest/degree plan with your advisor once admitted the program. 

*The ESL (Child ESL) specialization is earned through the completion of 12sch (ENG 557 + Three BLED courses).

*The ESL specialization is not a Texas Alternative Teaching Certification.

  • MA/MS, what’s the difference? +

    The MA (Master of Arts) and the MS (Master of Science) differ in a foreign language requirement. To pursue an MA, you need to meet one of the following conditions:

    1) Successful Completion of 12 undergraduate semester credit hours (approximately four courses) of a foreign language.

    2) Completion of 6 graduate semester credit hours (approximately two courses) of a foreign language.

    3) Demonstrate through a proficiency test in a foreign language. Contact the Department of Literature and Languages.

    4) Completion of 3 semester hours above elementary courses if the student presents 3 or 4 years of high school credit. Contact with questions.

    5) American Sign Language (ASL) is considered an acceptable foreign language. Students should consult with departmental Director of Graduate School regarding this requirement. Contact with questions.

  • How long will it take me to complete the program? +

    You may finish in two years, if you follow the plan of study. The plan of study guarantees that all necessary courses for graduation will be offered over the two year period. You may be able to speed up the time to graduation significantly by taking more than two courses every semester. Completion in less than two years is possible but not guaranteed.

  • Do I want the thesis or non-thesis option? +

    You do not need to decide right away whether or not you want to pursue the thesis or non-thesis option. You can make that decision after starting the program and working with your Faculty Advisor. Generally speaking, a thesis is preferred if you intend to pursue a Ph.D. For students that choose the thesis option, we recommend attending the program face-to-face in Commerce.

  • Will this program provide me with a K-12 Texas alternative teacher certification? +

    To teach grades K-12 ESL in the USA, an ESL teacher certification is required. This program will NOT provide you with teacher certification for USA schools K-12. Rather, this program prepares you to teach adults both in the USA and in the rest of the world. However, we have many students in the program that currently hold ESL teacher certification and find this program to be a great complement to their work in the K-12 classroom. If you are interested in a Texas teacher ESL certification program for K-12, that may be obtained at our University by contacting our Educator Certification Office.

  • What is Applied Linguistics? +

    The field of applied linguistics is very broad and includes all applications of the insights of theoretical linguistics to practical problems, such as the teaching of languages to adult speakers of other languages. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is thus part of Applied Linguistics.


Texas A&M University-Commerce is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), one of the six regional accreditation organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation

There is no official accrediting body for TESOL certification.



Texas A&M University-Commerce was recently ranked as the 14th fastest growing university in the United States.

Our lovely campus is located in rural East Texas, only an hour away from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (the 4th largest urban conglomeration in the US).