Feb 20, 2024  
2023-2024 SGPP Catalog and Student Handbook 
2023-2024 SGPP Catalog and Student Handbook

English as a Second Language, M.A.

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The Master of Arts in English as a Second Language program (all tracks) will no longer accept new students after Spring 2023.

Program Description

The English as a Second Language (ESL) program prepares candidates for K-12 ESL teacher licensure in Minnesota.  The program prepares graduates to meet the English language and literacy needs of K-12 students who speak English as an additional language.  The master’s degree includes courses on creating a thesis proposal.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.A. in ESL, graduates are expected to do the following:

  1. Employ a variety of methods, techniques, and program models suitable for second language instruction with diverse learners, including adapting existing materials to meet the needs of the students with limited English proficiency.
  2. Use various content-based methodologies and integrate language acquisition and use of language functions across learning experiences to facilitate full inclusion of students with limited English proficiency in the school setting.
  3. Communicate successfully with students, parents, colleagues, and community members.
  4. Develop communication instruction in the second language context, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing across the curriculum.
  5. Use formal and informal second language assessment techniques to determine student readiness for and appropriate placement in limited English proficiency programs, and to evaluate student progress.
  6. Analyze the contributions of general and applied linguistics to second language education.
  7. Identify the fundamentals of the first and second language acquisition processes and their similarities and differences.
  8. Interpret how the historical, social, and political aspects of language and cultural patterns in the United States influence second language instruction.
  9. Integrate an understanding of English as a second language with an understanding of pedagogy, students, learning, classroom management, and professional development.
  10. Evaluate, synthesize, and disseminate research related to ESL educational practices.

Program Structure and Delivery

Students can complete the program in three different ways. The first option (30 credits) is for individuals who do not plan to seek a Minnesota English as a Second Language as teaching license upon completion of the program. The second option (30 credits) is for currently licensed teachers who plan to seek the Master’s degree AND Minnesota English as a Second Language as an additional licensure upon completion of the program. The third option (50 credits) allows students without teaching credentials to prepare for their initial teacher licensure in or Minnesota in the field of English as a Second Language licensure AND obtain a Master’s degree in English as a Second Language.

The program is designed to fit the schedule of working persons, with classes normally held remotely (synchronous virtual instruction combined with online asynchronous work) on weeknight evenings.


The faculty members for this program have earned doctorate or master’s degrees. Faculty are selected for their combination of educational and professional experience and expertise.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply for admission to master’s degree programs at any time during the year. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework. Applicants may complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).  Evaluations from an approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES.org) will also be accepted.
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    1. brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    2. statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    3. description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    4. personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Letter(s) of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities Campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55404

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