All MA students in Linguistics, including students in the TESOL Emphasis program, must pass a Comprehensive Exam (“Comps”). The exam for TESOL students addresses the Linguistics core content (phonetics/phonology, morphology/syntax, semantics/pragmatics) and English Structure for TESOL. Comps exams are given twice a year (in fall and spring); test items are prepared and assessed by the Departmental Examination Committee.

The Comprehensive Exam is timed. Students provide written responses to a series of questions of varying lengths, each of which requires application of a different core linguistic concept to a data set.

To be eligible to take the Comprehensive Exam, students must be enrolled in at least one credit  hour.

In addition to the timed exam, non-thesis TESOL students have another program requirement: a web-based Portfolio of professionally and academically relevant materials. Support for preparing and submitting the portfolio is available to students during two Saturday workshops in April through a collaboration with ALTEC (Anderson Language Technology Center). The TESOL Advisor reviews all portfolios.

PMA students who write a Master’s Thesis are exempt from the Portfolio requirement. However, thesis students are also eligible (and encouraged) to take the Saturday workshops and encouraged to submit a Portfolio for review.  

Here is a sample PMA student portfolio that one alum submitted and has continued to update and use professionally.