M.S. Degree in Bilingual, Multicultural Education & TESOL

The Master of Science Degree in Bilingual, Multicultural Education & TESOL is designed for individuals interested in English and foreign languages who want to enter the areas of bilingual, multicultural education, and the teaching of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). This page addresses the following three topics: course requirements, the capstone experience, and admission procedures.

Program Course Requirements

With the approval of the graduate adviser, students select graduate courses from the department's offerings. Students must maintain an average of B (3.0) or higher. They enroll in a minimum of 30 credits of coursework; six core courses are required. Following are the lists of core and elective courses. Recommended course cycles are also provided.


The six required core courses are:
TSL 502:  Descriptive Linguistics
TSL 503:  Second Language Acquisition
TSL 510:  TESOL:  Principles and Practices
TSL 511:  TESOL:  Methods and Materials
TSL 515:  Bilingual Education:  Principles and Practices
TSL 563: Immigration and English Language Learners


Electives include:

TSL 512:  TESOL Practicum (1-6 credits)
TSL 517:  Literacy Development for ELLs
TSL 518:  Content-Based Instruction for English Language Learners
TSL 521:  Assessment for English Language Learners
TSL 590:  Thesis Seminar and Thesis (6 credits, required for thesis option)
TSL 600:  Independent Study
EDU 592:  Research in Education
ENG 504:  The Teaching of Writing
ENG 505:  Applied English Linguistics
ENG 510:  History of the English Language

Course Cycles

Of the required six core courses, four are required to be taken in a sequence.  The sequence is designed to build a pedagogical framework upon a strong theoretical foundation in linguistics and language acquisition theory.  The four core course sequence is:

TSL 502:  Descriptive Linguistics
TSL 503:  Second Language Acquisition
TSL 510:  TESOL: Principles and Practices
TSL 511:  TESOL: Methods and Materials

A handout entitled Course Cycle: MS in Bilingual Education/TESOL is available upon request.  This document contains an explanation of the four course sequence. It also provides a calendar of course offerings and recommended course cycles: one to complete in two years, and one to complete in four years, for the teacher who wishes to take one course per semester.  A sample recommended two-year degree cycle is as follows:

Year I. Fall: FLA/TSL 502, 515; Spring: FLA/TSL 503, 517; Summer: FLA/TSL 518

Year II. Fall: FLA/TSL 510, 505; Spring: FLA/TSL 511, 521; Summer TSL 563

Capstone Experience Options

Students complete the master's degree by following one of three capstone options:

  • Comprehensive Examination Option - 30 Credits
    Students enroll in 30 credits of coursework, including all core courses. Upon completion of coursework, they must pass a comprehensive examination. This exam requires the student to create three essay exam questions in consultation with the adviser. The faculty approve the three questions and select one, for which the student then writes a paper within a three-week period. At the end of the semester, the student presents an informal, oral form of the paper at the program's Capstone Colloquium. See Comprehensive Exam instructions.

Requirements for Admission

As we select candidates for admission into the MS degree program, we consider a variety of qualifications, beyond your academic history as evidenced by transcripts and course grades.  We are looking for ways to understand your intentions for study in our program, your motivation and preparedness for academic rigor, your ability to face challenges, to follow directions accurately, to work with others in constructive, collegial ways, to present yourself in a clear, concise manner, and to meet deadlines.  To that end, we require that you submit a portfolio to the Graduate School of the following materials.

1.  A bachelor's degree transcript from an approved, accredited institution.

2.  A minimum of a 3.0 QPR in an undergraduate program.

3.  A letter of intent.
This should be a 1-2 page letter expressing: why you want to be in this particular MS program, what you plan to do professionally with this degree, what your educational and professional background is, and what experiences helped you make this choice of profession. 

4.  A copy of Connecticut state certification, if candidate currently is certified to teach in public schools in any discipline.

5.  An academic writing sample. 

MS students will learn to write within our particular discipline during their course of study with us; however, candidates for admission to the program require a certain level of writing preparedness. To evidence this foundation, we ask that you submit a sample of your academic writing.  This sample could be a paper that you wrote in a previous college course, a business report, an article you may have written for a community organization, etc.  If you choose not to select an pre-existing writing sample you may read one the following two articles, and then submit a 2 page essay on the article, first summarizing the article and then offering an insightful explication of your own opinions about the article, providing appropriate supportive detail. 



6. Evidence of your ability to face challenges and to work with others in constructive, collegial ways.  This evidence should be presented in the form of two letters of recommendation and your own self-reporting of particular accounts with archival evidence to support your claims.

7.  A minimum TOEFL score of 600, (paper-based), 250 (computer-based) or 100 (internet-based), if candidate is a non-native speaker of English and does not have a degree from an English-speaking institution of higher education.

8.  A cover page that serves as a table of contents showing clearly which document meets each portfolio requirement.   

Previous SCSU TESOL Coursework

0Some applicants to our MS program have taken SCSU TESOL coursework prior to applying for admissions.  It should be noted that only three courses can be transferred into our MS degree program.  Because we are seeking candidates who are prepared to deal with the academic rigor of our degree program, we will show preference to applicants who have earned grades of A or A- in these courses. We will also use the knowledge we have collected in these past course experiences to help us determine your motivation and preparedness for academic rigor, your ability to face challenges, to follow directions accurately, to work with others in constructive, collegial ways, and to present yourself in a clear, concise manner, as well as work within the academic time constraints and meet the established deadlines. 

Decision Process, Deadlines, and Planning Your Program

You may receive an application by contacting the Office of Graduate Studies, or you may apply online via their Web site. Application files will be considered complete if the Graduate Studies Office has received all of its required documentation by the deadline.   The deadline for all documentation is March 15. Admission decisions are made at the beginning of April.  The accepted candidate will then be required to meet with a program adviser to create a planned program of study. The department reserves the right to require additional courses of students whose experiences and training indicate deficiencies.