Frequently Asked Questions about the M.A. TESOL Program

General Questions

Where should I send my transcripts when I apply?

Transcripts should NOT come to the department directly. Send transcripts to Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations, San José State University, One Washington Square, San José, CA 95192-0017.

I would like to apply for Spring admission. Is this possible?

Yes! We are currently accepting Spring applications from both domestic and international students!

How many students are there in your program? How big is your program?

The total number of students varies from semester to semester. Generally there are around 30-50 students (active and inactive) in the program at any given time.

What are the strengths of your program compared to other programs in the Bay area?

Our faculty's international reputation, a well-balanced curriculum with a strong emphasis on language, and students from a variety of backgrounds are some of the major strengths of the program. We are also the only Northern California program that is dedicated to TESOL. (Other programs are housed within English departments.)

What are the job prospects after I earn my Masters. Can I get a job in the Bay area?

Job prospects for ESL teachers vary from year to year. Almost all of our students are able to get jobs, though some may have to piece together several part-time positions for a while until a full-time job comes up. Jobs overseas are plentiful for someone with an MA TESOL.

What are the job prospects in foreign countries?

Currently, there is a great demand for TESOL professionals in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan; many of our students have taken up jobs in East and Southeast Asia. There is a great demand for TESOL professionals in the Middle East as well.

Do you have a job placement program for your graduating students?

Unfortunately, no. We do pass on whatever requests we get to the prospective graduates who are looking for jobs.

How much does the program cost?

University fees change year to year. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Bursar's Office page.

Program Issues and Certain Policies 

Do I need to meet with my advisor?

Yes, you are required to meet with your assigned adviser during the first several weeks of each semester for a degree check. Failure to do so may result in your being barred from certain courses.

How long does it take to complete the program?

It depends on whether or not you need to take the prerequisites (Ling 101 and Ling 107) and on how many classes you take each semester. Most of visa students finish the program in two years since they have to take a minimum of three classes each semester. (Visa students are not permitted to do the program part-time).

If I study part time, how long will it take to complete the program? I work full time. How long will it take for me to complete the program?

If you take two classes a semester, then it should take two-and-a-half to four years to complete all the requirements for the degree. If you occasionally take just one class, it could take five years or more. Please note that there is a seven-year limit to finish the degree.

Do you offer classes during evenings?

We often offer evening classes. However, please be advised that evening classes are not guaranteed from semester to semester, and you should expect to take at least some daytime classes.

What is meant by "conditionally classified" status?

It means that you are required to do the prerequisites to the program before you are moved into classified status.

I want to transfer some of my graduate classes from another university. What is the process?

You need to contact your advisor for this. You can transfer only two classes (6 units) from another university and you need to convince your advisor that these classes are comparable to the courses in the program. It is also important that the classes that you took in the other university were not counted towards a degree that you earned in that institution. See your advisor or the M.A. TESOL advisor for more information.

I'm interested in the thesis option for the MA. What should I do?

The great majority of MA TESOL students take the comprehensive exam. In lieu of that, the thesis option is possible, but it is not guaranteed. You should meet - early in your course of study - with your adviser and with the coordinator to discuss the option.

I'd like to complete my LLD 282 (Practicum) in another country. Is this possible?

No. Unfortunately, at this time the Department does not have the capability of offering a distance option for LLD 282. It must be completed in the vicinity of the SJSU campus.

Do I have to wait until I am almost finished with my program to take LLD 282 (Practicum in TESOL)?

Most students take the Practicum either in the semester before they graduate, or in their final semester.  To enroll in the Practicum, you must have completed your advancement to candidacy (which requires that you have completed 9 units of the core program) and you must have taken LLD 280 (Methods and Materials).  When you are ready to enroll, you will need to check with Cookie Galvan in the LLD Department office to get the permission code to register.

I have a TESOL Certificate from UCSC Extension. Can I get any waivers? Why not?

It is not possible to get waivers for any classes that you have taken towards TESOL certificate in any institution, especially if the classes are not graduate classes. Note that the UC system does not consider UC Extension classes as equivalent to its own graduate classes.

I am doing my Bachelor's degree at SJSU. I want to earn an undergraduate certificate in TESOL. What should I do?

Make an appointment to meet with the TESOL Coordinator or the Chair of the Department. Please call 924-4413 to make an appointment. You need to complete 6 classes to fulfill the requirements for earning the undergraduate certificate.

Can I complete all my classes through Open University for earning a certificate in TESOL?

Theoretically speaking, yes, it is possible though we do not encourage you to do so. As a student enrolling through Open University, you will be given last priority for a seat in the class. These classes are very often filled with matriculated students.

I'm an international student. During the first few days after my arrival from my home country, where I can stay before I can find a place myself?

Please contact the International Student Housing Office on Eleventh Street. They have temporary accommodations, but it is given on a first-come-first-served basis, so you need to contact them as soon as you have received your admission letter. You may also look at the International Students and Scholars Services for more information.


Admissions Questions 

Where should I send my transcripts when I apply?

Transcripts should NOT come to the department directly. Send transcripts to Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations, San José State University, One Washington Square, San José, CA 95192-0017.

How do I apply?

San Jose State University only accepts online applications at Cal State Apply. The website will give you specific details on how to apply.

What program do I apply to?

When you are filling out the application at Cal State Apply, on the pull-down menu for "Major/Program objective" please select "Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages" at the bottom of the menu. (Please do not select "Linguistics" unless you are applying to the Linguistics program.)

When may I start the application process? When is the application deadline?

Please check the Graduate Admissions web page on deadlines for this information.

I love teaching but I am now in a job that has nothing to do with teaching. Also, I earned my Bachelor's about 20 years ago. Am I still eligible to apply for admission to your program?

Yes, you are eligible.

I don't have any training in Linguistics. Am I eligible to apply for admission to your program?

Yes, you are eligible to apply for admission to the program as long as you have a B average in your last degree. If you are admitted to the program, you will be given conditionally classified status until you complete the prerequisites (Ling 101 and Ling 107).

What are the documents I need to submit for initiating the admission process?

You will need to submit official copies of all undergraduate transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. The letters of recommendation can be sent by email directly to the TESOL Coordinator. Visa students must also submit recent TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test scores, as well as evidence of financial support.

Can I get admitted just to the Graduate Certificate program?

Yes, it is possible, though we do not encourage students to merely get admitted to the Graduate Certificate program. Please contact the Coordinator or the Chair of the Linguistics and Language Development Department before you initiate the application process as they will be able to inform you of the department's current policy regarding admission to the certificate program.

I am an international student but I will be getting my Bachelor's degree from a U.S. university. Do I still have to take an English proficiency test?

If your undergraduate degree is from a U.S. university, then you are not required to take an English proficiency test (TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson).

What are the English proficiency cutoff scores for admission to MA in TESOL? I have an IBT score of 86. Can you please waive the requirement for me?

The TOEFL cutoff score for the paper-and-pencil test is 577; it is 235 for the computer-based test, and 90 for the Internet-based test. Note that these scores are higher than the university's minimum scores. The minimum IELTS score is 7.0, and the minimum Pearson Test score is 68. The language test requirement cannot be waived.

I am an international student from a country where English is the medium of instruction at university level. Do I still have to take the English proficiency test?

Only applicants from countries in which the primary language is English do not need to take the English proficiency test. The University requirement for the English proficiency test is here. (If you are unsure whether you are required to take the test, please ask.)

Do I have to take the GRE for admission to your MA-TESOL degree program?

No. Our graduate programs do not require GRE test results.

If I have applied and been admitted but will not be able to attend the program in that year, can my admission roll over to next year?

No. If you do not attend the semester for which you were admitted, you will need to reapply.

Once I have been admitted as an international student, how long will it take for me to get my student visa? Who should I contact for this?

It takes about 6 weeks from the time you get your admission letter for International Students and Scholars Services to send you the necessary form for applying for a student visa in your country. If you don't receive the necessary paper in seven weeks from the time you receive the admission letter from both Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations and the Department, contact the International Students and Scholars Services either by fax or e-mail.