For professionals who are interested in working abroad, the idea of earning an accelerated online Master’s in TEFL is very tempting. While obtaining a TEFL certification alone is possible, pairing it with a graduate degree provides students with the chance to work for the top businesses and organizations around the world while also increasing a professional’s reputation within the TEFL community. The graduate degree also offers another advantage; professionals who return home will be in high demand based on their education and work background.
But professionals who want to enter into the TEFL field often do not have the time or space in their schedule to attend a traditional program. They need an accredited program that is not only flexible and affordable but also can be completed quickly. With the introduction of accelerated TEFL classes, students are now able to complete a degree in less than a year that will help them on their journey towards becoming teachers of the English language.
This ranking was built on research that was conducted at the National Center for Education Statistics. Using the site’s public College Navigator database, an initial search for “accelerated online Master’s in TEFL degrees” was conducted. Twenty schools were identified, and several factors were compared amongst the schools, including time to degree completion and tuition information. The final ten schools, which are listed below, were selected based on their in-state graduate tuition rate.
Ranking Low-Cost Accelerated Master’s in TEFL
10. Capella University
Online Master of Science in Education, English Language Learning and Teaching Specialization
Students who are interested in a one year Master’s in TEFL online and do not require licensure for K-12 public school teachers will want to check out the offering from Capella University. This 100 percent online program was built to help educators provide students with a comprehensive guide to learning the English language. This degree is continuously updated, reflecting emerging trends and theories that may make the English language learning process easier for students. Professionals will find that all courses are delivered asynchronously and in a 10-week term format; this makes it possible for an ambitious individual to complete all of the requirements within one year. Students will find that this program is also accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and provides a comprehensive curriculum to prepare them for the workplace. Students can expect to complete 36 quarter credit hours of coursework, a specialization-specific capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Second Language Acquisition, Applied Linguistics, and Strategies for Eliminating the Achievement Gap for English Language Learners.
9. Carson-Newman University
Jefferson City, Tennessee
Online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, Emphasis on English as a Second Language
Carson-Newman University offers an accelerated master’s online in TEFL degree that is perfect for Tennessee residents. This is a hybrid cohort degree; students will meet face-to-face on campus one day a week for all of the required courses, with free electives being taken online. The fall and spring terms are divided up into eight-week course terms, and students take one course per term, enabling them to fully focus on one aspect of English language learning at a time. It is possible to complete all the requirements for graduation in roughly five semesters. Students will be able to earn an add-on teaching license endorsement in ESL (PreK-12) after successfully passing the Praxis ESL program; this is only available to students who already hold an initial or advanced teaching licensure in their home state. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a final project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Evaluation of Language Learning, Evaluation for Continuous Improvement, and Integrating Researching and Learning for English as a Second Language Learners.
For more information: Carson-Newman University
8. McDaniel College
Online Master of Science in TESOL
Students at McDaniel College have the opportunity to complete a one year online Master’s in TEFL degree from a school that aligns with the professional and academic standards that were established by the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages branch of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. This degree offers a pathway for students to qualify to sit for the Praxis II in ESOL, an important step to earn an add-on teaching licensure endorsement for ESOL. This degree, however, does not offer a pathway towards additional licensure and only provide endorsement opportunities for professionals who have a valid teaching license in their home state. Students will find that this 100 percent online program is dedicated to preparing them to become English language educators; courses are delivered asynchronously and synchronously on a 10-week term schedule, making it possible to complete all the requirements for this degree in less than two years. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Linguistics for ESOL Teachers, Principles of Language Acquisition, and Foundations in English Learner Education.
For more information: McDaniel College
7. Hamline University
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Hamline University offers students the chance to earn an accelerated online Master’s in TEFL that will promote social and economic equality amongst their students. This degree comes with two tracks: Teaching Adults and Teaching K-12, providing professionals with the chance to choose what demographic they will be qualified to teach. Students can choose to take this degree as a fully online program or as a hybrid program; in either situation, it is possible to earn this degree in six terms or roughly two years. It is important to note that this degree will not provide initial or advanced teaching licensure opportunities; it also does not provide a pathway towards sitting for the Praxis II exam for ESOL. Students will be expected to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project or thesis, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Introduction to Research in TESOL, Linguistics for Language Teachers, and Exploring Learning Language and Second Language Acquisition.
6. Wilmington University
New Castle, Delaware
Master of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
The 12 month online Master’s in TEFL degree that is available from Wilmington University was created for professionals who come from educational backgrounds or for those who are pre-service and have little to no teaching experience. It is a 100 percent online program that provides each student with the flexibility they need in order to continue their studies while handling their other responsibilities. As an online degree, all courses are either asynchronous or synchronous, with the majority of courses being self-directed in order to provide convenience to the student. Courses are delivered in either eight-week or 15-week terms; students are advised to check the requirements of their courses prior to registering. This degree requires 33 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive exit exam; it does not offer licensure or endorsement options for teachers. Sample courses include Theories of Language Learning, Technology and Language Learning, and Academic Listening and Speaking.
5. Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Online Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Southeast Missouri State University offers an affordable accelerated online Master’s in TEFL degree that is perfect for students who are interested in earning a degree from a school that is currently ranked by U.S. News and World Report. This program is open to both domestic and international students but does not provide students with initial teaching licensure opportunities; in fact, only students with a license in good standing are eligible for this degree. This is a 100 percent online degree that is comprehensive; a practicum is required that must take place in a student’s community under the supervision of a preceptor. Courses are delivered synchronously and on the traditional academic term schedule; however, online students may enroll in summer and J-term sessions in order to complete their degree in as little as 18 months. Students will also need to complete a capstone project, which can include a research paper, a portfolio, or a thesis. Other degree requirements include 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Multicultural Education, Methods and Curriculum Design for Teaching ELLs and Approaches to Teaching of Grammar.
4. Western Governors University
Raleigh, North Carolina
Online Master of Arts in English Language Learning (PreK-12)
Students at Western Governors University have the option to complete an affordable accelerated Master’s in TEFL online degree that is nationally recognized by the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Association. The program is open to all educators who have an initial or advanced teaching license that is in good standing. This degree can be used for students who are seeking teaching licensure at the K-12 level; it is important for students to choose a practicum setting in a K-12 setting as any other setting will void them from receiving a recommendation for licensure. This program is conferred nearly entirely online; courses are delivered asynchronously and synchronously on the traditional academic term schedule with the only non-online component being the practicum. This experience must be completed in a student’s area of residence with a supervisor that is approved by the university. Students can expect to complete 36 competency units of coursework, a practicum, and a comprehensive exam; it is possible to complete these requirements in two years. Sample courses include Theories of Second Language Acquisition and Grammar, Research Foundations, and Professional Role of the ELL Teacher.
3. The University of Nebraska Online at Kearney
Online Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction, English as a Second Language
The University of Nebraska Online at Kearney is the home of the school’s accelerated online master’s in TEFL, a degree that is open to all teachers with a valid teaching license. This program holds accreditation by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Nebraska Department of Education. As a fully online program, students will complete the totality of their coursework through the school’s virtual portal. Courses are delivered synchronously, requiring live participation, on a 10-week term schedule; it is possible to complete this degree in just two years when a student studies part-time throughout the year. The degree also requires a practicum that students can complete in their area of residence. Other requirements for the degree include 39 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Improvement of Instruction in Early Childhood Education, Curriculum Development in Multicultural Education, and English Language Learners: Culture, Civil Rights, and Advocacy.
2. Arkansas Tech University
Online Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Students at Arkansas Tech University are offered the chance to earn an accelerated online Master’s in TEFL which can provide them with an add-on endorsement for valid teaching licenses. This is a 100 percent online and flexible program; the only required courses are those that are made mandatory by the Arkansas Department of Education. Students will be able to complete this degree in two years while continuing in their career; courses are delivered asynchronously and on a 10-week term schedule. Students will find that the curriculum offers flexibility in terms of free electives. Those who choose to take on a practicum as one of their free electives will be exempt from the comprehensive exit exam requirement. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written exit exam if they do not participate in a practicum. Sample courses include Teaching English as a Second Language, Teaching People of Other Cultures, and Modern English Grammar and Usage.
1. Kennesaw State University
Online Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Kennesaw State University provides students with the chance to complete an accelerated online Master’s in TEFL that can be completed in as little as 18 months. This degree is open to all educators who hold an initial teaching license in good standing in their state of residence. The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Georgia Department of Education. This is a 100 percent online plan of study that is taught in the cohort model; there are no campus residencies, and all requirements can be fulfilled online except for the internship, which takes place in a student’s community. This degree will provide students with the ESOL endorsement after the first two terms in the program; this is offered only after students successfully pass the Praxis II ESOL exam. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, an internship, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Curriculum Development for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners, Assessment of English Language Learners, and Cultural Issues for ESOL Teachers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Accelerated Online Master’s in TEFL Degree?
The most popular career option for those with an accelerated online Master’s in TEFL is that of a TEFL educator. This should come as no surprise because this is a specialized professional degree, one that is in high demand not just in America, but also all over the world. It is now commonplace for many corporations and private English Language schools to require a professional to have a graduate degree in this field.
However, it is possible to branch out with this degree. Some professionals become consultants for corporations who require their leadership to speak English; others open their own tutoring service firms for diplomats and international students. Others may go into the workforce as English Language program directors, providing curriculum and instruction guidelines for international professional associations. The choice is truly up to the educator; students should do rigorous research in order to find out what options are available to them.
How Much Can You Earn in This Field?
The current salary range for a TEFL educator is between $49,000 in the United States to just over $80,000 overseas. This range accounts for different career positions, international employment placements, work and education experience levels, and more. Some regions, such as Asia and the MENA area, pay more for American TEFL teachers while other regions, such as Latin America and Africa, pay substantially less.
This salary range does not account for the fact that overseas TEFL educators typically receive less in monetary compensation but receive free housing, free airfare and travel accommodations, a daily stipend, and in some cases, free health insurance as part of their employment contract. Salaries may also include a bonus if an educator is working for a private family concerned with their children’s English faculties or if they are working for a private corporation as an English Language program director.
What are the Various Disciplines of TEFL?
TEFL, known as Teaching English to Foreign Learners, is a subfield of education. It concerns itself with the English language, culture, education, linguistics, anthropology, and sociology. The field is diverse and can cover a number of different educational disciplines but has its roots in language; as a result, most TEFL educators will find themselves focusing on the reading, writing, speaking, communication, linguistics, grammar, and development aspects of the field.
TEFL is a necessary educational component as globalization becomes normalized in business. Professionals all around the world, both in America and abroad, will be tasked with understanding and communicating in proper English. Educators who earn an accelerated online Master’s in TEFL will be at the forefront of the movement to make the English language more accessible to everyone, regardless of their culture or upbringing.