Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL, Low Residency)

Admissions Criteria
To be considered for admission to the low-residency MA in TESOL program, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • US bachelor's degree or an equivalent that demonstrates academic ability
  • A minimum of two years of second-language teaching experience
  • Demonstrated English language ability (see details below)
  • Intercultural experience
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to use experience as a source of learning
  • Experience and familiarity with instructional technology, distance learning, and/or independent learning
  • Demonstrated capacity for self-directed learning
  • An understanding of the structure and philosophy of the MA in TESOL low-residency program

Students must also have a job teaching ESOL for the September to June period between the two summer coursework sessions.

English Language Ability
Applicants whose first language is not English and who did not attend an undergraduate institution at which the language of instruction was English must take either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

  • Applicants taking the TOEFL must receive a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test or 213 on the computer-based test.
  • For the new Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT), SIT's operational standard for admission is a minimum total score of 79. This includes section scores of at least 24 on the writing section and 23 on the speaking section. These section scores should be considered guidelines for recommended minimum scores on the new TOEFL exam.
  • Applicants taking IELTS must receive a score of Band 6.0 or higher.

These scores are considered the minimum proficiency needed to undertake graduate-level work. Scores must be dated within two years of the start date of your academic program at SIT.

SIT has a self-selective applications process. Prospective students typically discover through this process whether SIT is a good fit for them. Our admissions staff works one-on-one with every applicant to facilitate a highly informed and multidimensional admissions experience: applicants are encouraged to attend an open house, talk with SIT faculty and staff, and hear from current students and alumni. As applicants become familiar with the attributes of an SIT education—grounded in the experiential learning model and focused on social justice and leadership skills in intercultural environments—they determine for themselves in what ways SIT can help them meet their educational and career objectives.

SIT welcomes students from all economic backgrounds. Students commonly fund their SIT degree through a variety of sources including federal and private loans, SIT grants and scholarships, scholarships from other sources, and personal and family funds. SIT Graduate Institute’s financial aid office provides information on all aspects of funding an SIT degree.

We recommend that you begin the process of applying for financial aid as soon as possible, even before you are accepted for admission. Click here for more information on financial aid.

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