Master of Arts in TESOL

MA TESOL – Becoming Confident, Innovative, and Reflective Language Educators

MA TESOL graduates are well-prepared not only to teach but also to use their knowledge of second language acquisition to critically evaluate classroom practices and creatively implement curricular and programmatic innovationsMA TESOL graduates are expert language educators who are highly valued for language teaching and international education positions in the U.S. and around the world.  

Program length: 36 credit hours or 12-semester courses (1 pre-requisite course) - typically completed in 2 years 

Start dates: Fall and Spring semesters 

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Student Experience

The HPU TESOL Program has a well-deserved quality reputation for its practical, hands-on approach to language teacher development, and nearly all TESOL students take two practicum courses. In the first practicum, they observe language classes in a variety of settings both on and off-campus. In the second practicum, they serve as assistant or autonomous student teachers. In addition, TESOL students have numerous opportunities to gain real-world work experience, e.g., tutoring in HPU’s Center for Academic Success, assisting with co-curricular and experiential learning activities for international students, working in paid and volunteer positions off-campus with literacy programs, language centers, and public schools conveniently located within easy walking distance or a short bus ride of HPU classrooms.


Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) attracts students from all 50 states and more than 80 foreign nations, creating a multicultural environment for a wide range of learners. In fact, one-half of the students in the MA TESOL program are international students. They are taught by faculty who are excellent mentors and experienced educators. MA TESOL faculty have taught English and led teacher-training courses in K-12 settings and in various universities and corporations in the United States and internationally.

Our graduates have taught and worked in more than 70 countries, statesand territories around the world, including (countries) Andorra, Australia, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Georgia, Grenada, Haiti, Israel, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Korea, Laos, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Uruguay, Viet Nam and (states) American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Washington.

The HPU TESOL program has a well-deserved reputation for its practical, hands-on approach to language teacher development. Nearly all TESOL students take two practicum courses. In the first, they observe language classes in a variety of settings both on and off campus. In the second, they serve as assistant or autonomous student teachers. In addition, TESOL students often work as student tutors in HPU’s Center for Academic Success, assisting other students with English, world languages, math, and other subjects. They also find both paid and volunteer opportunities for professional development off-campus. Literacy programs, language centers, and public schools are all located within easy walking distance or a short bus ride of HPU classrooms.

Students who complete the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages will be prepared to demonstrate ASK:

  • Attitudes of a professional. Towards colleagues and students, MA holders will demonstrate teamwork and sensitivity.  Towards the discipline, MA holders will demonstrate a spirit of inquiry and reflection. Towards the global community, MA holders will demonstrate cultural sensitivity and global citizenship.

  • Skills in spoken and written communication, in information literacy, in academic and pedagogic research, and in teaching including materials development and lesson planning, delivery, management, and assessment.

  • Knowledge of the major subfields of linguistics, the theories of second language acquisition, and the principles of language teaching methods; and be able to articulate their own philosophy of language teaching, explaining the principles on which it is based.

MATESOL graduates will have at least an intermediate competence in a second modern language. Native speakers of English must take (or have taken previously at the tertiary level) two years of a language, other than English. A student who may have developed a competency in a language, in some other way than formal study, may also meet this requirement by taking the HPU placement test (or its equivalent) for a language, and by placing on a level beyond the equivalent of the second college year of foreign language.

Individuals wishing to apply to the MA TESOL degree program at HPU are required to submit the following:

  • Application
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • $55 Application Fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Transcripts

For further information, please contact the TESOL Program at tesol@hpu.edu.