2023-24 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 19, 2024  
2023-24 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Second Language Education: Non-certification [SLED_NCT] M.S.Ed. TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) [Online]

Modern Languages Department
Codruta Temple, chair
Paulo Quaglio, graduate coordinator
Old Main, Room 228
Fax: 607-753-5965


Second language education in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) will prepare you to teach English language learners in virtually any setting (K-12, private schools, community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities, local community centers, abroad, etc.).

The program is called "non-certification" because it does not automatically lead to New York State K-12 certification, which public K-12 schools require. If you already have New York State certification in any teaching area, you will be eligible to apply for additional certification in TESOL. If you are not a New York State-certified teacher, our program will provide you with all of the necessary skills for you to teach in any other setting. If you have the goal of teaching in the public K-12 setting and do not have New York State initial teaching certification, our program is not for you. To accomplish this goal, you should look for a MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) or MST (Master of Science in Teaching).

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Use knowledge of linguistics to compare the English language system to other language systems.         
  2. Apply theories and research on second language acquisition to plan and deliver ESL instruction.    
  3. Use knowledge of theory and research on the nature and role of culture in planning ESL instruction.
  4. Select, adapt, and use a wide range of materials to plan effective ESL and content instruction based on research-based practices and strategies.
  5. Explain assessment issues as they affect ELLs, including language proficiency, bias, and testing accommodations. They will be able to use varied assessments for the identification, placement, and reclassification of ELLs.

Program Highlights

With the guidance of our expert faculty in TESOL, you will study methods of second language teaching, theory and research in first and second language acquisition, linguistics, English grammar in the context of TESOL, bilingual and multicultural education, and second language testing and assessment.

Culminating Experience

A comprehensive examination completes your program.

Career Potential

With the non-certification M.S.Ed. in second language education from SUNY Cortland, you are prepared to teach English as an additional language in any of the settings described above. You also may enjoy teaching English in adult education programs or to new immigrants and in citizenship programs within local community centers, colleges and universities across the United States.

Graduate Admissions

Evaluation Policy

At the State University of New York College at Cortland, we seek a diverse and academically strong student body. Our admission policy and practice will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or marital status.

Required Materials

  1. Completed online Graduate School Application – Apply Now
  2. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended to be forwarded directly to SUNY Cortland Graduate Admission Office
    Note: Candidates for admission must present evidence of bachelor's degree conferral prior to the start of their academic program.
  3. Two letters of recommendation (submitted online with application)
  4. A statement describing your professional and educational goals

Admissions Criteria

Preference will be given to:

  • An undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale)

Note: Qualified applicants who do not meet all of the above requirements will be considered on an individual basis.

Language Requirement

New York State Education Department requires four college-level semesters of a language other than English for additional certification in TESOL. These courses can be in the same language (e.g. four college-level semesters of different levels of Spanish) or in different languages at any levels (e.g. two semesters of Spanish, one semester of French, and one semester of American Sign Language). As a candidate for the M.S.Ed. in Second Language Education: TESOL (Non-certification), you must meet the above requirement. Applicants who do not meet this requirement can complete it during the program; for these applicants, this becomes a graduation requirement.


Fall semester applications: July 1
Spring semester applications: Dec. 1
Summer semester applications: April 1

Applications submitted after the deadline may be considered on a space availability basis.
Please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 607-753-4800 to check availability.

Professional Licensure Disclosure Information 

Program Requirements

Students with Disabilities Requirement

All students admitted into the M.S.Ed. program must take a three-credit-hour course on the subject of teaching students with disabilities. If not satisfied at the undergraduate level, this requirement can be satisfied by taking SPE 520 or FSA 510.

Total Credit Hours Required: 31