Degrees and Programs

Admissions Requirements

  • Potential UNCW applying to a degree program should follow the instructions on the Graduate School website.
  • Current UNCW students what are not already accepted to the Watson College of Education should contact the TESL Program Coordinator to apply to the ESL minor.

English as a Second Language Specialization, M.A.T.

The English as a Second Language Specialization of the Master of Arts (MAT) degree is designed to prepare individuals who currently hold a bachelor's degree and would like to be eligible for North Carolina teacher certification in the area of ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages). Successful completion of the coursework and field experiences associated with this program will prepare candidates to take the Praxis II ESOL and apply for North Carolina K-12 certification in this area.

Program Objectives:

Upon completion of the graduate MAT in English as a Second Language Specialization, the candidate should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a depth and breadth of general knowledge in the field of ESL.
  2. Demonstrate well‐articulated knowledge of K‐12 communities and issues affecting the English language learner population.
  3. Demonstrate effective communication skills that can be utilized when interacting with colleagues, administrators, and families
  4. Demonstrate advanced content knowledge.
  5. Design, implement, and assess effective instruction.
  6. Establish a classroom environment sensitive to the cultural and linguistic needs of all students.
  7. Demonstrate effective knowledge of state and federal policies and regulations with regard to the ESL population.
  8. Use technology to enhance the academic achievement of English language learners.
  9. Demonstrate effective leadership within the school environment.

View catalogue information >


Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Focus Area

The Master of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language, is designed as a 33‐hour intensive program for students who already hold a bachelor's degree and teacher certification. Successful completion of the program will prepare candidates to take the Praxis II in English as a Second Language and/or expand their current knowledge of the field at the graduate level. The target audiences are certified teachers who wish to add a graduate level TESL certification to their current licensure area and current TESL teachers who wish to improve their knowledge of and expertise in the field of TESL.

Note* Students may complete this program in an online format. Please contact the Program Coordinator for more information.

Specialization Objectives

Upon completion of the graduate MEd in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) focus area, the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a depth and breadth of general knowledge in the field of TESL.
  2. Demonstrate well‐articulated knowledge of K‐12 communities and issues affecting the English language learner population.
  3. Demonstrate effective communication skills that can be utilized when interacting with colleagues, administrators, and families.
  4. Design, implement, and assess effective instruction.
  5. Establish a classroom environment sensitive to the cultural and linguistic needs of all students.
  6. Demonstrate effective knowledge of state and federal policies and regulations with regard to the ESL population.
  7. Use technology to enhance the academic achievement of English language learners.
  8. Demonstrate effective leadership within the school environment.

Catalogue Information


TESL Add-On Licensure Courses

Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Graduate Course Descriptions


Undergraduate Courses Credit Hours Prerequisite
EDN 265 Teaching English language learners † 3 None
EDN 326 Applied Linguistics for ESL 3 None
EDN 423 Second Language Acquisition 3 None

EDN 312 English Grammar for Teachers

3 None
EDN 417 Second Language Methods † 3 EDN 265, EDN 423
EDN 418 Assessment for English Language Learners † 3 EDN 265, EDN 423, EDN 417
Total Credit Hours 18
Students who have received a grade of "B" in both SPN 307 and 308 may substitute these classes for ENG 320.
Graduate Courses Credit Hours Prerequisite
EDN 511 Introduction to ESL † 3 None
EDN 537 Linguistics for Teachers 3 None
EDN 516 Second Language Acquisition Research & Theory 3 None
EDN 519 Pedagogical Grammar for Teachers 3 None
EDN 517 Methods for Second Language Learners † 3 EDN 511, EDN 516
EDN 518 English as a Second Language Assessment 3 EDN 511, EDN 516, EDN 517
Total Credit Hours 18

† This course requires a field experience



ESL Minor Requirements (21 hours)

Students can receive an official ESL minor by taking the 6 ESL Add-on Courses plus 1 Foreign Language at or above the 200 level.


English as a Foreign Language (ESL Minor without licensure)

Students (English or Foreign Language majors) who will not apply to the Watson College through the licensure-only track.

There are many companies and schools outside the United States that employ native speakers of English as teachers. This field is increasingly more competitive and is called English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Having the ESL Minor on your transcript will make you more marketable when applying for international jobs. Students who wish to pursue an ESL Minor may do so by applying directly to the ESL program.