2023 Best Master’s in English Language Learning Programs

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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student/teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.

Do you want to acquire a master’s degree in English language learning, but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best master’s in English language learning programs.

What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

  1. Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Stanford University is a privately run institution and one of the highest-rated institutions in the country. The school is split among three conventional schools and four professional schools, which serve a learner body of around 16,000 learners. Stanford University has a master of arts (MA) degree in English. Learners must finish at least nine classes (a minimum of 45 units) of graduate classwork. Those learners choosing to work on the STEP degree program and the CTP finish a focused coursework in English language, composition, and literature that readies them for teaching at the public-school level. The material and methods are focused on the premise of teachers planning to work on elementary and secondary English education.

  1. Hamline University, St. Paul, MN

Hamline has a master of arts degree program in teaching English. Learners select one of two concentrations: teaching kids K-12 or teaching adults. The program is a 36 credit-hour degree program with 28 credits of core classes and 8 in the learner’s chosen concentration area. The degree program is available on campus, entirely online, or in a blended format (campus and online classes). Concentration classes for the K-12 choice consist of advocating for ELLs and ESL methods along with testing and evaluation of English language learners.

  1. Webster University, Webster Groves, MO

Webster University is a nonprofit, non-denominational institution that offers degrees in liberals arts, fine arts, performing arts, teacher education, and business/management. Webster has around 14,000 learners and 184 full-time academic staff. This school has a 33-credit master of arts degree program in teaching English as a second language. Learners choose between a K-12 ELL education emphasis or and ESL/EFL education emphasis. Elective class choices vary based on the emphasis that the learner selects. Twenty-four credit hours are core classes, and nine are from electives.

  1. Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX

Sam Houston State University is the third-oldest state institution in the state of Texas. SHSU has more than 20,000 learners and has almost 70 distinct graduate degree programs. Sam Houston State has a master of arts in English degree program. It is a 36-credit-hour degree program. Learners may select either a thesis or non-thesis path. The thesis choice is mostly for learners who are planning on applying for further graduate study in English/PhD programs. Learners may also work on the non-thesis choice to take on a secondary field of study.

Learners have the choice of electing a 12-hour minor during the degree program. Options for this minor consist of foreign languages, history, and education, designed to complement the learner’s research interests in the field of English.

  1. American College of Education, Indianapolis, IN

ACE has a 34-credit master of education degree in English as a second language and bilingual education. Learners do not need to finish an internship to graduate, but American has internship classes for learners whose state of residence requires them for licensure. Learners also take a capstone class during their final semester. The degree program is not intended to prepare learners for licensure. Learners can apply for students-at-large status after completing the MEd degree, if they wish to continue and work on an internship. The content of the degree program is aligned with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

  1. University of Maryland – Baltimore County, Catonsville, MD

UMBC has 13,600 learners, most of whom are undergraduates; it has 546 full-time academic faculty and staff members and an $81 million endowment. UMBC has 48 distinct undergraduate majors and over 60 graduate programs. UMBC has a master of arts degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages. It is intended to train prospective and experienced teachers of ESL and EFL. It is a four-class degree program, consisting of two core classes and two electives. Learners may finish the degree program by planning a thesis based on original research or by completing an ISD project seminar.

  1. Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, AR

Arkansas Tech has a master of arts in English degree program, which is intended to prepare learners for either doctoral-level study or careers in post-secondary teaching. It has a structured, four-class degree program that enables learners to take classes recommended by the state of Arkansas for licensure. In total, the degree requires the completion of 30 semester hours of study, with each class generally counting for three semester-hours; 24 semester hours of study must be finished in residence at Arkansas Tech. Learners must sustain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the degree program. To graduate, learners must finish all degree prerequisites within six years of beginning the degree program. Learners have the choice of planning a master’s thesis in consultation with a faculty member from the department.

  1. University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

The University of San Francisco has around 1,200 full-time academic faculty and staff members and 11,000 learners. USF has a master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages degree program. It is a 30-credit degree program, which contains foundations, methods, social and cultural studies, elective, and field project classes. Learners who finish the master’s degree program can finish an additional five classes (15 credits) of work to receive teaching subject credential(s). These additional classes consist of structure of American English and preparation and evaluation of TESOL materials. The program also requires the completion of a TESOL MA thesis/field project, which can be finished along with the MA degree program.

  1. Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Wilkes University is a privately run institution that has 157 full-time academic faculty and staff members and around 4,500 learners. Its endowment is $45 million. The university has a master of science degree program in teaching English to speakers of other languages and requires that students complete 48 credits to graduate. There is also a certificate degree program available, which requires fewer classes/credits. Some classes include required field experience hours. Learners who do not yet possess an instructional level 1 or 2 licensure are eligible to obtain a letter of endorsement after successful completion of the first five classes.

Learners who graduate from the degree program and who have an instructional level 1 or 2 certification will be ready to serve as administrators in US K-12 public schools. For admission to the degree program, candidates should have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA from a sanctioned institution.

  1. Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA

Azusa Pacific has a master’s in English, which encourages an active conversation between Christianity and literature. This is a 30-unit degree program, which can be finished in as few as 12 months. Overall, classes are split into six units of core classes, 21 units of electives, and a three-credit thesis/portfolio class that comes at the end of the learner’s course of study. Learners also have the choice of attending the degree program part-time, which would mean an estimated completion time of around two years.

  1. Emporia State University, Emporia, KS

Emporia State University has a learner population of around 5,700. The university has a master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages, which is a 36-credit hour degree program, with a focus in on applied linguistics. Learners may a thesis or non-thesis degree plan; the thesis option is normally for people considering further academic study in English, in particular, a doctoral degree program.

Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree from a sanctioned college or institution. Learners must also have no less than a 2.75 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate study. Other required portions of the application consist of a one-page essay career objective statement and an updated resume.

  1. Concordia University in Nebraska, Seward, NE

Concordia University-Nebraska is a privately run institution associated with the Missouri Synod. The university comprises three schools: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, and the College of Graduate Studies. Concordia Nebraska has a master of education in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This 36-credit degree program can also prepare learners to teach English as a foreign language internationally. The degree program culminates with a capstone class, which combines all the subjects and themes covered across the degree program. Learners generally work on the degree one class at a time and can finish the requirements in 24 months. Learners are also required to finish a 45-hour practicum, which is documented and verified via a portfolio process. K-12 instructors who are seeking ESL licensure must divide their hours between elementary and secondary settings, based on state prerequisites.

  1. Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY

Mercy College is a privately run nonprofit institution offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in five schools on four New York campuses: Dobbs Ferry, Manhattan, Bronx, and Yorktown Heights. The institution’s endowment is $225 million, and it has a total learner population of around 11,200 led by 928 full- and part-time academic faculty and staff members. Mercy College has a master of science (MS) in teaching English to speakers of other languages degree program. It is a 33–36 credit hour degree program offered via Mercy’s School of Education with two paths. Path I is for people who are seeking their first teaching certificate; Path II is for people with an existing teaching certificate seeking to add TESOL licensure. Path I candidates must finish a 15-week teaching experience; Path II candidates must finish 20 days of clinical practice experience.

Learners are not required to have majored in education to apply to the degree program. Learners must have completed an undergraduate major in liberal arts or have finished a 30-credit sequence in a progressive arts content area.

  1. Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN

Lipscomb University is a private, liberal arts institution, which is associated with the Churches of Christ. Lipscomb is home to 4,600 learners, around 3,000 of whom are undergraduates. Lipscomb has a master of education degree program in English language learning. Classes within the degree program are split across core, leadership, and English language learning classes. Learners finish their ELL block of classes by taking a class entitled action research in which learners implement an action research proposal and test its effectiveness by applying the solution in a classroom/school setting.

Candidates to the degree program are required to submit official GRE or MAT scores. Learners must also prepare an individual statement in response to a delivered prompt, along with two letters of recommendation. Learners considered for admission will be asked to attend an on-campus interview, at which time they will also need to present a photo ID.

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