Master's in TESOL Online and Evening Degree

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)Advanced Program for Continuing Professional Education

Offered By: College of Education

GCU’s Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Degree

The world has long since become an interconnected global community, with opportunities to experience different cultures and languages. As people emigrate outside their home countries, language instruction becomes a necessity.

Grand Canyon University’s Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) offers a pathway for teaching professionals to pursue opportunities working with students from non-English speaking countries. This advanced master’s in TESOL online and evening degree is designed to accommodate the diverse and culturally enriched classroom.

The Master of Arts in TESOL online degree is offered through GCU’s College of Education and is institutionally accredited. The program was designed to align with the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (ITASC) and the Standards for the Recognition of Initial TESOL Programs in PK-12 ESL Teacher Education.

This program is offered through an online modality, or in person in the evenings — your choice! An online master’s in TESOL degree offers working professionals the opportunity to enhance their academic credentials while continuing to meet the obligations for their current positions. The TESOL MA program requires a total of 32 credits for completion, and most courses are six weeks in length.

All courses are taught by professionals in their fields, enabling you to confidently explore curricular areas such as linguistics, second language acquisition and curriculum development. Throughout the program, you will study professional and ethical practices as guided by the principles and morals of the Christian worldview. You will examine TESOL concepts, theories and research through coursework, as well as through observational and practice-based learning experiences.

Explore Advanced ESL Studies With a Master of Arts (MA) in TESOL

This online master’s in TESOL degree can prepare licensed educators to employ best practices in teaching speakers of other languages. Some of the specialized topic areas you will study may include:

  • Applied quantitative and qualitative research in education
  • Teaching and learning based on neuroscience, behavioral and cognitive sciences
  • Current language models and prototypes
  • Historical, sociological, political and legal foundations of instructional programs
  • Multicultural education
  • Social, community, cultural and individual differences in teaching and learning
  • Fundamentals of linguistics and language acquisition theories
  • Evaluation and structuring of assessments
  • Culturally responsive curriculum, instructional methods and materials
  • Literacy development through multicultural literature

Additionally, our online master’s in TESOL candidates are required to complete practicum/field experience hours. Students enrolled in GCU’s TESOL master’s program will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to classrooms working directly with bilingual or English Language Learner (ELL) students. A total of 110 hours of observational and practice-based experiences are required.

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Total Credits: 32
Online: 6 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $605 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance


MA in TESOL Career Possibilities

Graduates may be qualified to pursue positions in public, private or charter schools. They may apply for jobs such as:

  • Preschool teacher
  • Kindergarten teacher
  • Elementary school teacher
  • Middle school teacher
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Adult secondary education
  • English as a second language instructor

This master's in TESOL online degree is available for active licensed teaching professionals. All online TESOL master’s degree applicants must have access to a PK-12 classroom with English as a second language in order to complete the assignments and the practicum course. All applicants are required to submit a copy of their current teaching license or provide documentation proving a minimum of one year of teaching experience. Upon completion of the ESL studies program, graduates are one step closer to being eligible to pursue the ESL and/or BLE endorsement in the state of Arizona.

Master’s in TESOL Degree Program FAQs:

GCU has answered your frequently asked questions when choosing to pursue a degree that allows you to work directly with bilingual or English Language Learner (ELL) students.

GCU’s online master’s in TESOL degree requires a total of 32 credits for completion and most master’s in TESOL classes are six weeks in length. Additionally, graduates should expect to complete practicum/field experience hours, where you can apply your knowledge inside the classroom.

Yes. The TESOL online degree is available for active teaching professionals who have a current teaching license. While GCU’s online TESOL master’s degree graduates are taught to work directly with bilingual or English Language Learner (ELL) students, it does not lead to licensure.

According to Statista, English is the most spoken language worldwide, either natively or as a second language.1 While 90% of U.S. employers need multilingual talent in their workforce, 44 U.S. states report a shortage of language educators.2 Deciding to pursue GCU’s Master of Arts in TESOL can provide you with the opportunity to elevate the language education profession and advocate for the transformative impact of language learning.

In terms of international communication and employability, English has become increasingly important for young people. In 2020, the country with the most students learning English as a foreign language was the United Kingdom at 104,308 learners, while the United States came in fourth at 39,332 English language learners.No matter where you live, teaching English to speakers of other languages can be a beneficial skill to have.

If seeking licensure or certification, applicants to the program are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. In addition, fingerprint and background clearance is required.

1 Statista, The Most Spoken Languages Worldwide in 2022 in October 2022

2 Language Connects Foundation (n.d.) Championing language education to create deeper connections. Retrieved on May 19, 2023.

3 Statista, Number of Students Learning English as a Foreign Language in 2020, by Country in October 2022 

Course List

32 credits
Degree Requirements:
32 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Education. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to applied research in education across the major quantitative, qualitative, and action research traditions. Coursework focuses on understanding the research process and its integrated components to foster knowledge in navigating research reports and projects. Research designs and data analysis options are also explored.

Course Description

This course focuses on brain research (from neuroscience to the behavioral and cognitive sciences) that relates to teaching and learning and suggests ways that brain research can be translated into instructional practices within organizational settings. Candidates will examine the inner workings of the brain and the effect on learning, memory, and transfer. Specifically, the course explores the body of knowledge that represents the application of brain research to instructional practice, and how knowledge about the human brain can affect the curricular, instructional, and assessment decisions that the candidates make every day. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course provides foundational knowledge of policies and instructional programs for English language learners (ELLs) in the United States. Emphasis will be placed on understanding, comparing, and evaluating current language models. Educators will be introduced to instructional strategies and professional development opportunities. Focus will be placed on advocating for bilingual education (BLE), ELLs, and families.

Course Description

In this course, educators will explore school, community, and family culture. Emphasis will be placed on the major goals, principles, and concepts of multicultural education, including understanding individual needs and learning differences. Research is utilized to investigate the social, community, cultural, and familial contexts that influence learning and development. Focus will be placed on creating a positive classroom environment through culturally inclusive teaching. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: TSL-532.

Course Description

In this course, educators become familiar with the fundamentals of linguistics. Emphasis will be placed on psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and first and second language acquisition. Educators will synthesize research-based methods of incorporating linguistic principles into their teaching practice. Prerequisite: TSL-550.

Course Description

In this course, educators will examine approaches to develop literacy in a second and native languages in Pre-K-12 schools. Emphasis will be placed on techniques for developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills; developing language and literacy through the content areas; using children's and young adult multicultural literature; and assessing students' literacy development in the second and native languages. Strategies to develop biliteracy in dual language programs will also be discussed. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: TSL-550.

Course Description

In this course, educators will review curriculum and methods appropriate to the teaching of subject areas in bilingual and English language learner instructional settings. Emphasis is placed on linguistic, cognitive, developmental, and sociocultural considerations when exploring methods and materials to design multicultural curricula for use in language arts and content area classrooms. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: TSL-550.

Course Description

In this course, educators will explore the principles of (or for) evaluating and structuring assessments. Educators will examine assessment for the purposes of identification, placement, and instructional delivery. Emphasis will be placed on learning ways to integrate assessment procedures into any curriculum and designing assessment tasks that allow for improved learning of all students. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: TSL-558.

Course Description

In this course, educators will be introduced to the teaching and evaluation of English language learners (ELLs) with exceptionalities, including students with special education needs and gifted students, who receive bilingual/native language and/or English language instruction and support. Emphasis will be placed on researching the complexity of disproportional representation of ELLs in gifted and special education programs or services. Educators will explore cultural and linguistic considerations in identifying bilingual/ELL students with exceptional needs and examine appropriate instructional support. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: TSL-558.

Course Description

In this course, educators have direct participation and experience with bilingual or ELL students at their chosen level of instruction in a Pre-K-12 setting. Educators will practice teaching and management skills, conduct assessments, and learn to communicate effectively with students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and the larger community. Practicum/field experience hours: 60. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: Completion of all other courses required for the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.