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FAQ

How can I tell if Penn State is for me?

The MA TESL at Penn State provides a theory-driven, reflective, professional approach that designed for individuals who wish to pursue a career in adult language education either as teachers, coordinators or administrators of ESL or EFL programs.

Do I need to have a bachelor's degree in linguistics or applied linguistics to apply for the MA TESL?

No. Applicants to the program come with a variety of majors.

If I am accepted for the MA TESL, may I take courses in other departments as well?

Yes. We encourage students to make use of whatever resources the University offers that help them in their chosen field of study within applied linguistics. In every case, decisions about crafting a program of study are made jointly by the student and his or her Course Selection Advisor.

Are my GRE scores the only thing that the admissions committee considers?

In our admissions process, we attend to the entire picture generated by an applicant's record of achievements, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and test scores.

When will I find out if I am accepted?

We make decisions about MA TESL applicants as the applications arrive. You should hear about your acceptance within ten weeks of application. 

Is funding available for MA TESL students?

A limited number of highly competitive graduate assistantships are available for MA TESL students. The application deadline for graduate assistantships is March 1, and assistantships begin in the fall semester.

When will I find out about funding?

Funding decisions are made separately from admissions decisions. You can expect to receive news about funding before the start of the fall semester. 

What is included in funding?

Students who are funded receive a grant-in-aid that covers tuition costs and a stipend. The amount of the stipend is calculated by the Graduate School each year.

What are the application deadlines?

You may apply at any time. However, if you are an international student, you must apply by October 1 to be admitted for the spring semester, or by April 1 for the following fall semester. This time is required for the processing of your international status.

Does the MA TESL give me certification to teach in public schools in the U.S.?

No. The MA TESL degree does not give you any credentials for teaching in U.S. public (state) schools. Teachers in public schools must have a teaching license, which is earned through a four-year undergraduate degree in Education. Each state has its own requirements for the certification of ESL instructors. This information can usually be found in each state’s Department of Education. It is your responsibility to check on and fulfill these requirements.

Where can I find information for international applicants?

The University Office of Global Programs at Penn State provides assistance for international students in all administrative, regulatory, and legal matters. It also provides a variety of educational, cultural, and social programs to help international students adjust to campus life.

For more information, please visit the website of the Office of Global Programs.


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