The PMA requires 30 credits hours of coursework. This includes 4 Linguistics core courses, 4 TESOL core courses, one TESOL practicum, and an elective. A second practicum may be taken as the elective.

Required Courses

  • LING 5030: Linguistic Phonetics
  • LING 5410: Phonology
  • LING 5420: Morphology and Syntax
  • LING 5430: Semantics and Pragmatics
  • LING 5610: Structure of English for TESOL
  • LING 5620: Teaching the Pronunciation of English
  • LING 5630: Methods and Materials of Teaching English as an Additional Language
  • LING 5910: TESOL Practicum.
  • Additionally, a student must select one course in Second Language Acquisition or Language Development to meet the PMA requirements.

A student who has completed equivalents to these courses as an undergraduate must earn an equal number of credits in other LING courses. PMA TESOL students who elect to write a thesis take 27 credits in the required courses listed above and 4 to 6 MA thesis hours.

Write a Thesis – or Not?

Most students who enter the M.A. program with the Professional Emphasis in TESOL do not elect to write a thesis. Writing a thesis may be appropriate for some students, for example, graduates who plan to seek a university position in a university in Europe, Latin America or elsewhere abroad, where a thesis may be a requirement or preferred qualification for university teaching. Also, writing a thesis may make sense for students who wish to pursue further a strong research interest/project from their first year in the program. Consult this guide for detailed information about MA thesis procedures.

Sample Course Plan for PMA TESOL (with thesis)

First Fall Semester First Spring Semester
LING 5030 - Phonetics
LING 5420 - Morphology and Syntax
LING 5410 - Phonology
LING 5430 - Semantics and Pragmatics
LING 5610 - English Structure for TESOL
Second Fall Semester Second Spring Semester
LING 5620 - Teaching Pronunciation
LING 5630 - Methods/Materials TEAL
LING 6300 - L2 Acquisition
COMPS (written exam)
LING 5910 - TESOL Practicum with 
                     concurrent teaching
Remaining thesis hours (to total 4 to 6)
Thesis Defense
COMPS (written exam, if not already 

The following is a list of titles of theses written by PMA students (listed in alphabetical order by author):

  • Campbell, Jennifer A. (2013). An exploration into methodological implications and technology for the teaching of endangered languages
  • Cecil, Matthew. (2010). Cross-linguistic variation in turn-taking practices: A computational study of the Callhome corpus.
  • Kirk, Chelsea D. (2013) . Teaching reductions to non-native-English speakers in listening comprehension.
  • Lovaas, Danielle. (2014). Resourceful speaking in language learning: How L2 speakers construct identity in discourse and interaction
  • Regan, Michael. (2012). In the pursuit of advanced academic literacy: Two second language students' experiences in their initial semester at a U.S. university.
  • Schwartz, Jared P. (2014).  An Investigation into English language learners’ home literacy practices.
  • Stauffer, Kirsten. (2014). Uses of technology by post-secondary language teachers
  • Vollmann, Sarah (2012). A comparative study of Mezquital Otomi and Mexican Spanish grammar and phonology