TESOL FAQ

Application procedures and requirements

  • Are GRE scores required? Is there a minimum GRE score for admission?
    • You cannot be admitted without GRE scores. In making admissions decisions we consider the entire application package, which includes transcripts, personal statement, letters of recommendation, test scores, etc. There is no minimum cutoff for GRE scores.
  • How do I submit GRE scores? Can I submit my application before I have received my GRE scores?
    • Submit scores electronically using SBU program code 2548 and Linguistics Department code 2903. You may submit your application before you receive your scores, although your application will not be considered complete until we have received your GRE scores.
  • How do I know if my application materials have been received before the application deadline? How will I be notified of the admissions decision?
    • Apply Yourself will show you the status of your application and indicate which materials have been received. You can log on at any time, using the username and password you established when you submitted the application. All correspondence regarding the application process will be communicated via e-mail. You should regularly check your e-mail for any new notifications from the Graduate Program Coordinator. If you need to contact the Graduate Program Coordinator by phone, you can do so at 631-632-7774. 
  • I am an international applicant. Where should I send my financial documentation?
    • Once you are admitted, you will receive email instructions for submitting your Affidavit of Support, Financial Documents, Passport Information, or any bank statement documentation. Please do NOT send these documents to the Department of Linguistics. Effective Fall 2012, if original financial documents are submitted they will NOT be returned to the student.
  • Can I apply for financial support?
    • Assistantships, fellowships, and tuition scholarships are normally not available for MA students, although there may be special opportunities for US citizens of African-American, Hispanic, or Native American background.  Students are encouraged to explore opportunities for funding from other sources.

Transferring credits

  • Is it possible for me to apply credit from courses taken at another institution toward my MA?
    • The Graduate School allows a maximum of 12 credits to be transferred. These courses must be graduate level, must have been taken for a letter grade (i.e. not pass/fail, etc.) of B or better, and must not have been applied to another degree. After admission to our program, a students may petition to have a course accepted for transfer credit. We generally ask that you include a course syllabus and other materials indicating the course content with your petition, along with a transcript. Download the form to petition for transfer of credits.

Taking courses as a non-matriculated or SPD student

  • I am planning to apply for admission next fall, but would like to take some courses first. Are the MA TESOL courses open to students who have not been admitted to the program? And if I am accepted, can I apply these courses to my degree?
    • Certain classes ( LIN 524, 529, 571, 578, and 579) are open ONLY to students who have been admitted to our program. For other classes, it may be possible to register with permission of the instructor.  You  are free to contact the instructor of the class concerning the possibility of registering, but you should keep in mind that space in our classes is limited and we give priority to our admitted students.  The maximum number of credits taken as a non-matriculated or SPD student that can be applied to your MA TESOL degree is 12.

Program requirements

  • The degree requirements specify that I must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 (B) or better. Does this mean that if I get a grade below B in one class I will be dismissed from the program?
    • Students who are seeking New York State certification should consult the PEP requirements. Students who are seeking alternate route certification should consult the New York State certification requirements (see below).
    • Students who are not seeking New York State certification need to maintain an overall average of 3.0 or above. For example, if you receive a B- in one class but a B+ in another class, your overall average will still be 3.0. However, in order to register for LIN 529 you need to have passed the prerequisite class, LIN 524, with a grade of B or better.

Alternate Route Certification

  • I am already certified in another area, but would like to become certified in ESL. What requirements do I need to fulfill?
    • If you already have a NYS certification and your goal is to acquire an additional certification upon completion of the MA TESOL program, you must apply directly to NYS for "Individual Evaluation for an Additional Classroom Certificate" (Initial Certificate). Please note that we cannot advise you on the state requirements for an additional certification, as these may vary depending upon your academic background. The requirements may be found here. An alternative pathway to your additional certification may be through contacting one of the BOCES Certification Officers listed below:

      • Teacher Certification Liaison Offices
      • Barbara Meskil - Nassau BOCES: (516)997-8700
      • Patricia Mastrodomenico - Western Suffolk BOCES: (631)549-4900
      • Nicole Schiano - Eastern Suffolk BOCES: (631)289-2200