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  • Course Delivery
  • Minimum Credits
  • Estimated Tuition
  • Duration
    2 Years

Program Overview

The English as a Second Language (ESL) program is perfect for those who have a passion for working with K-12 students who are English language learners and learning English as an additional language. The Master of Arts in English as a Second Language program is a great fit for either established or new teachers and offers three pathways: M.A. in ESL without licensure preparation; M.A. in ESL with additional license preparation for currently licensed tier 4 teachers seeking to add an ESL license; M.A. in ESL with initial license training for those seeking a tier 4 teaching license in their first subject area. Graduates of this program seeking only the master's or the additional licensure pathway typically complete in 2 years. Graduates seeking their first teaching license complete in 3.5 years.

Add to Your Credentials

If you are a licensed tier 4 Minnesota teacher looking to add the Minnesota K-12 ESL subject you will advance professionally by preparing for another license, gaining a master's degree and building your knowledge base through dynamic new teaching strategies for ESL learners. Enhance your marketability and ensure you are moving up the pay scale, all while serving an underserved population of learners. 

Earn Your First Teaching License

Adults who have their bachelor's degree and are seeking a Minnesota teaching license for the first time will prepare for licensure in ESL while working toward a master's degree. We will ensure you have both the foundational knowledge necessary to succeed in the classroom as well as the content specialization to work with English language learners. 

As with all Saint Mary's programs, M.A. in ESL courses are taught by top-notch educators who have a wealth of classroom experience to share. Through classroom instruction and collaboration with your peers, you will develop a skill set that will help you better understand languages and cultures. You will focus on how a student's background may impact learning and how to best motivate students in the areas of English reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The program curriculum is designed to be immediately applied to your classroom and position you as a leader in your school by promoting an educational environment that supports learners of all backgrounds.

Everything You Need for Your Teaching Toolbox

This program prepares you as a K-12 ESL teacher. This program incorporates everything you need to prepare as a teacher in Minnesota including preparation for the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exams (MTLE). You will take education coursework, ESL courses, and complete field experiences in real K-12 classroom settings. If you are seeking your first teaching license you will complete 15 weeks of student teaching and have the opportunity to complete this experience either domestically or abroad. 

Career Options

This program prepares you for licensure as a teacher in Minnesota. A majority of graduates pursue classroom teaching in public or private schools. Others pursue career opportunities in fields such as higher education, business and healthcare working with English language learners. 

Routes to Completion

The credit amounts vary depending on what pathway you choose to complete.

Option One: 32 credits
M.A. in English as a Second Language- master's degree only (no licensure preparation) 

Option Two: 32 credits
M.A. in English as a Second Language- master's degree plus additional licensure preparation (for licensed tier 4 educators looking to add ESL)

Option Three: 55 credits
M.A. in English as a Second Language- master's degree plus initial licensure preparation (for those seeking their first tier 4 teaching license)

Course Information

This program prepares graduates to meet the English language and literacy needs of K-12 students for whom English is not their native language. The masters degree includes courses on ESL literature and creating a thesis proposal.

For more information and course descriptions, check out our course catalog.

Applicants must submit:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Non-refundable application fee
  3. Official transcripts posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree
  4. Other relevant official transcripts documenting potential transfer credits
  5. International transcripts must be evaluated by a university-accepted evaluator
  6. A reflective essay which includes a brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience, a description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities, and any personal information the applicant wishes to share
  7. Two recommendations that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and/or academic ability
  8. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience
  9. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam.
Apply Now

Key Dates

Apply By
Start Date
Fall Semester Term I
Fall Semester Term II
Spring Semester Term I
Summer Semester Term I
Fall Semester Term I
Fall Semester Term II

Tuition & Fees

Tuition: $485 Per Credit


IDI fee:$100
Student Teaching (domestic) fee:$500
Student Teaching (international) fee:$2,500
Graduation fee:$190

The Saint Mary's Difference

The heart of Saint Mary's is its people — faculty, staff, and your fellow students — who become your companions and allies on your educational journey. Here, in an intense give-and-take setting, each of us discovers just how much we can learn. You'll find, in every one of our classrooms, a person-centered education focused on your growth, your potential — because we believe that everyone deserves the chance to make an impact, to change the world around them.

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