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Master of Science in Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Online

Promote multilingualism and English development and watch your students thrive.

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Program Overview

Learn More About Our Online Master's in Education in TESOL

Become equipped with the skills needed to assess language and implement instruction to improve learners' proficiency for competent second language use with the Master of Science in Education in TESOL online program from the University of Southern Maine (USM). This MSEd program is grounded in literacy theory and teaches both pedagogical theory and best practices that can be applied right away in a classroom environment. The only online teaching degree of its kind in Maine, the program demonstrates a 100 percent pass rate on the Maine Praxis ESOL Exam.

money icon $12,900 Total Tuition
calendar icon as few as 10 months Program Duration
hourglass icon 30 Credit Hours
money icon $12,900 Total Tuition
calendar icon As few as 10 months Program Duration
hourglass icon 30 Credit Hours

The University of Southern Maine is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), 1140 19th St. NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036. Phone: 202-223-0077.

Have questions or need more information about online programs?

USM's TESOL master's program is designed to accommodate the needs and goals of a wide range of English as a Second Language (ESL) professionals working with culturally and linguistically diverse students, including K-12 teachers, adult educators, and those who teach or want to teach abroad. For educators possessing current or prior teacher certification, this online education program meets the state of Maine requirements for ESL teacher endorsement.

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Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of language as a system, including phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics, and semantics
  • Know, understand, and use major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to the nature and role of culture and cultural groups
  • Plan for multilevel classrooms with learners from diverse backgrounds using standards-based ESL and content curriculum
  • Become familiar with a wide range of standards-based materials, resources, and technologies and choose, adapt, and use them in effective ESL and content teaching
  • 100% pass rate on the Maine Praxis ESOL Exam

Career Opportunities

K-12 ELL Teacher*

College ESOL Instructor

Overseas Teacher/Administrator

Peace Corps Volunteer

Have questions or need more information about online programs?


Pay for Your Online Program by the Course

Our goal is for our students to earn a high-quality degree that will help them improve their career and income without taking on considerable financial debt.

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$12,900 Total Tuition
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$430 Per Credit Hour


Milestones to Guide Your Student Journey

The MSEd in TESOL online program offers convenient multiple start dates each year to accommodate your professional and personal schedules.

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Apply By:
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Start class:

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*The payment deadline for the second session of each term is the same as the first session deadline or ten days from the date of registration.

Ready to take the next step toward earning your graduate degree online from the University of Southern Maine?


Follow Our Streamlined Admission Requirements

The MSEd in TESOL online program has specific requirements that applicants must meet to enroll. Please read the admission guidelines to ensure you qualify.

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Bachelor’s Degree
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2.5 Minimum GPA
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No GRE Required
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Online Application

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  • Online application
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Official transcripts (submitted directly from the granting institution) from all colleges/universities attended
  • Statement of purpose/essay (in the online application) [+]

    Upload your essay in PDF format in the online application or email your essay to [email protected]

    Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.

Official transcripts (submitted directly from the granting institution) and other supporting documents may be mailed or emailed.

Mailing Address:
Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Email Address:
[email protected]


Discover Our Online Master's in Education ESL Classes

For the MSEd in TESOL online program, you will complete a total of 10 courses equaling 30 credit hours.

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EDU 562: Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in the Classroom

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course examines second language and cross-cultural communication and their role in the classroom. Second language acquisition principles and challenges, aspects of culture, and multicultural education are among the topics to be studied. Specific emphasis is on how language and cultural diversity impact teaching and learning.

EDU 561: Aspects of the English Language

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This survey course examines the elements of English and their relevance in second language acquisition. The course analyzes the phonetic, morphological, syntactic, and semantic structure of English; the social aspects such as variation, change, and register; and the communicative aspects such as pragmatics, psycholinguistics, and acquisition. Application of these language aspects will be accomplished through problem-solving and discussion activities integrating the aspects of English within the second language classroom context.

EDU 558: Content-Based Curriculum for English Language Learners

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course focuses on the factors necessary for the development and implementation of relevant content learning for second language students of all age and proficiency levels in the public school setting. The course explores the theoretical background and models of strategies for ensuring competent delivery of appropriate language and content in a multilingual context. A construction approach incorporating the backgrounds and experiences of course participants is the principle methodological approach. The framework of the course is a pedagogical focus that incorporates scaffolding, differentiated instruction, independent learning strategies, critical thinking, and assessment.

EDU 600: Research Methods and Techniques

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course studies the concepts, principles, and techniques of educational research with an emphasis on scientific inquiry and problem-solving, designed for both the producer and consumer of educational research. Individual critiques and research reviews are completed.

EDU 559: Aspects of Reading for Multilingual Learners

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course examines the role of literacy for learners of linguistic and cultural diversity. The influence of first language on reading in another language, contrasting differences between first and second language reading, the role of vocabulary, and aspects of comprehension are among the topics of study. The differences between learning how to read in a second language for the first time and reading English with first language literacy are highlighted.

EDU 557: Teaching Writing to Multilingual Learners

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course focuses on developing and improving writing skills for English language learners (ELLs) by examining second language acquisition and writing theories and how they inform classroom practice. It is designed to equip teachers with the dispositions, knowledge, skills, and strategies to implement writing instruction for ELLs at all levels of proficiency. Students gain firsthand experience using the writing process. They will draw on current research, theory, and classroom practice, leading to the development of instructional programs that will meet the needs of their ELLs.

EDU 563: ESL Testing and Assessment

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course examines the variety of assessments, formats, and procedures for evaluating ESL proficiency in the classroom. Participants develop appropriate approaches to testing and evaluation as an integral part of the language teaching and learning process.

EDU 607: Teacher Research in Literacy

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course enables students to become generators of new knowledge through their own classroom-based research and inquiry. Students learn the history and current policies of responsible conduct of research with human subjects. They analyze the methodology of published classroom research studies and learn and practice techniques of data collection and analysis.

EDU 635: Seminar in Second Language Literacy

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course integrates the knowledge base acquired in core ESL literacy courses by focusing on the characteristics of a fluent second language reader and writer. There will be an analysis of first language reading models and their relevance to literacy acquisition in English as a second language. The impact of variables such as native language proficiency, perception, lexical knowledge, cognition, meta-cognition, and culture will be examined.

EDU 623: TESOL Practicum

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

The practicum in Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages is designed to accommodate students in the TESOL program who are ESL teachers, mainstream teachers working on getting ESL-endorsed by the state, international students, adult educators, and other students matriculated into the MSEd TESOL program. Students acquire practical ESL/EFL teaching experience in the field while applying knowledge gained through coursework and research.

*Maine teacher certification necessary. Certification not required to teach K-12 abroad or in other education contexts.

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