English as a Second Language (MA)


The MA in English as a Second Language aims to provide graduate training for language educators and prospective researchers within the international profession of TESOL, teachers of English to speakers of other languages. The graduate program is designed based on applied linguistics, focusing on both theoretical linguistics and ESL teaching practices, including practicum, assessments, and special topics of computer-assessed language learning (CALL), curriculum design, and Second Language Acquisition theories. Students are mostly ESL teachers in RGV. But we also have students who are advanced to a doctoral degree or teach English overseas, like in Korea, Japan, and Mexico. Most students take the non-thesis option for professional training, while some do the thesis option with a plan to pursue a doctoral degree.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the graduate program in English as a second language, prospective candidates must first meet all requirements for graduate admission to UT Rio Grande Valley, as well as the other requirements listed below:

  1. Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a recognized international equivalent in a similar or related field.
  2. Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester credit hours. If applicant does not meet the minimum undergraduate GPA criterion, GRE general test with minimum scores of 153 Verbal, and 4.0 Analytical are required for conditional admission
  3. Letter of intent demonstrating interest in the program and articulation of goals
  4. Resume including education and work experience
  5. English language ability will be judged on the resume and submitted letter of intent; therefore, applications should be certain to use appropriate, formal academic English
  6. Non-native English speakers who did not graduate from an English-medium high school and university must meet the minimum language proficiency requirements

Application for admission must be submitted prior to the published deadline. The application is available at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply.

Program Requirements

Required Courses - 27 Hours

ENGL 6360Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics for Teachers


ENGL 6361Problems in Linguistics


ENGL 6362Modern English Syntax


ENGL 6363Studies in English Phonology


ENGL 6370Introduction to English as a Second Language


ENGL 6371Problems in English as a Second Language


ENGL 6372Practicum in English as a Second Language


ENGL 6373ESL Testing


ENGL 6375Studies in Language and Culture


ENGL 6361: thesis students must select Research Design as the topic for this course

Non-Thesis Option:

Prescribed Electives - 6 Hours

Any 6000-level ENGL course not fulfilling degree requirements.

Free Electives - 3 Hours

Any master level course at UTRGV. 

Capstone Requirement

Written Comprehensive Exam

Thesis Option:

Prescribed Electives - 3 Hours

Any 6000-level ENGL course not fulfilling degree requirements. 

Thesis - 6 Hours

ENGL 7300Thesis I


ENGL 7301Thesis II


Total Credit Hours: 36