University of Mississippi




Students who specialize in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) engage in best practices to help them succeed in their future careers as English-language teachers. Grounded in applied and theoretical linguistics, the TESL specialization within the modern languages master’s program also prepares its graduates for doctoral work in the discipline.

Three options for completing the degree are available, all of which require 36 credit hours. The three options are as follows:

(1) 36 hours of course work in TESL, Ling, Mlll, and Engl;
(2) 24 hours of course work in the above areas and 12 hours of course work in a minor field approved by the department; or
(3) 24 hours of course work in the above areas and 12 hours of thesis work.

The course work consists of 36 hours of 500- and 600-level courses from TESL, Ling, Mlll, and Engl. Eighteen (18) of the 36 credit hours must consist of the core requirements, which are Ling 592, 600 and TESL 542, 620, 645 and 695. Students who wish to pursue the thesis option are additionally required to take TESL 694.

Other Academic Requirements: Students must maintain a B average in their course work or subjected to probation and/or expulsion from the program.

Admission Requirements:
A) Students applying to the Master of Arts with emphasis in TESL should submit the following materials to:

The University of Mississippi Graduate School
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

  • A complete graduate school application for admission that can be found online at:
  • One official transcript from each university/ college attended
  • A $40 application fee
  • Official test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

International students must also submit their official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores (a minimum score of 550 for the paperbased test, 213 for the computer-based test, or 80 for the internet-based test is preferred).

B) International students only:
A financial statement which certifies funds for educational and living expenses should be submitted to:

International Programs Office
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677

C) The following supporting materials should be sent directly to:

Dr. Donald L. Dyer, Chair
Department of Modern Languages
The University of Mississippi
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677-1848

  • Curriculum vitae
  • A statement of purpose and a summary of teaching, second or foreign language study, travel or work abroad, and any other relevant information
  • Three academic letters of recommendation

International students: If you did not take the internet-based test, then you will need to show evidence of oral proficiency in the language in which you choose to study, in the form of TSE scores or a tape recording containing spontaneous speech samples (e.g., telling us about yourself, about your plans for the future, etc.), and three samples of oral reading from text. In the case of applicants to the Master of Art in Modern Languages, an informal interview by phone with a faculty member will suffice.

Deadline: Selection for admission to the program occurs throughout the year. It is recommended that you complete the application process 2-3 months prior to the semester in which you plan to enroll.


Dr. Tamara Warhol
Associate Professor of TESL and Linguistics and Director of the IEP
Howry 213
(662) 915-5029

Dr. Felice A. Coles
Professor of Spanish & Linguistics
Bondurant E-210A
(662) 915-7702

Financial assistance is available in the form of scholarships and assistantships. For more information, please contact the Department of Modern Languages.