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Exit Requirements

Two exit options are available for the completion of the TESL specialization: the thesis option (including up to 6 credits of ENG 599), and the professional development option (ENG 595).


The thesis option is recommended for students interested in doing original research related to the content of their MA studies. A student’s first step, typically around the mid-point of a program, is to discuss thesis options with an advisor and other relevant faculty to make sure the student is an appropriate candidate and has an appropriate plan of study related to the thesis. Once the student has secured a faculty member as thesis supervisor and registered for ENG 599, he or she writes a prospectus with a supporting bibliography and forms a committee of faculty to review and approve the prospectus. Students are required to submit a Prospectus and Reading List approval form to the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Jessica DeSpain, in the semester in which they enroll for thesis credit. Once the thesis is complete, the student submits it to the committee and the Graduate School and then must successfully complete a one-hour oral defense. For more information about each of the required steps for thesis submission, see the guidelines on the Department's thesis page and the University's thesis page.

Professional Development Seminar and Exit Exam

The second exit option, ENG 595 Professional Development Seminar, is recommended for students with no previous or current TESL experience as it affords them an opportunity to engage in collaborative classroom-based research and professional development activities. Students pursuing this option must attain at least a B in ENG 595 and successfully complete an oral examination. The questions used in the oral exam focus on the coursework the student completed and are developed by the student in consultation with the chair of the student’s examination committee.

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