ESL Graduate Degrees in Alabama

May 11, 2019

Students can pursue graduate programs in ESL in Alabama on-campus or online from several institutions throughout the state. Learn about the different program options and tracks and how to apply.

Alabama schools offer a variety of graduate certificate and master's programs in the field of English as a second language (ESL). Many of these programs lead to certification for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 in the state and include hands-on learning opportunities. Compare some of the different program options below.

Alabama Schools with Graduate Programs in ESL

University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has a Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) in ESL and an Education Specialist (EdS) degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). The MAEd program offers a traditional and alternative track, each with an ESL or dual certification option, and a TESOL track that is designed for teaching English to adult learners. The traditional and alternative tracks lead to certification for teaching ESL for grades K through 12 in Alabama. The EdS program is a post-master's program that includes on-campus and online coursework and requires a capstone portfolio.

University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama in Mobile offers an online Master of Education (MEd) that leads to certification in ESL for P through 12. The program totals 30 credits and includes a field experience for hands-on learning. The school also provides an alternative MEd with certification in ESL for P through 12 for students who do not have a background in education. This program requires 42 credits, is fully online, and can be completed in as little as 5 to 6 semesters.

University of Alabama

The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa provides a Master of Arts (MA) in TESOL that totals 30 credits. Students in the program must complete a comprehensive exam and may choose to complete an optional thesis. Students who choose the non-thesis option must complete a capstone experience. The program also requires native English speaking students to have proficiency in a second language.

University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama in Florence offers several graduate certificates in ESOL that are available online. Both the ESOL Class A and ESOL Alt A programs lead to certification in ESOL for Alabama schools P through 12, but the Alt A program is designed for students without a teaching background. The school also offers an International TESOL option that does not lead to P through 12 certification and is more geared for teaching adult learners. Students may pursue a TESOL Certificate if they do not want to pursue their MAEd.

Auburn University

Auburn University in Auburn has teaching English as a second language (TESL)/teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) and adult education and English language teaching graduate certificate programs. Both graduate certificate programs are available on-campus or online and total 12 credits. The university also offers an English for speakers of other languages MEd program that is available on-campus or online. Students in the MEd program must complete at least 30 credits of coursework, including a clinical residency.

Common Entrance Requirements

Students in Alabama applying to graduate programs in ESL must have at least a bachelor's degree and several institutions also require students to meet a minimum GPA requirement. Typically for traditional ESL programs designed for teachers, applicants will need to take the GRE and include their teaching certificate with their application. For alternative programs and options designed for students with a background outside of education, students will likely need to take other education exams, such as the Praxis and the Core Academic Skills for Educators tests. These students may also need to pass a state education background check. Common application materials for these programs may include transcripts, references, a resume, and/or a personal statement and some programs may include an interview process.

Alabama schools offer several different kinds of master's degree programs and graduate certificate programs in ESL, many of which are available in online formats. Students in these programs can generally choose from pursuing certification in P through 12 or training to work with adult learners.

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