Last update: January, 2024

A flexible entry policy allows you to start the MSEd program three times a year (January, May or September) and to take up to nine credits before matriculation. The credits you earn before matriculation can be applied to your master's degree once you are admitted to the degree program.

A flexible program allows you to complete the MSEd degree in one to four years. Beginning in Fall 2024, MSEd students will have the option to complete their studies (i) in-person at the Tokyo campus, (ii) online from anywhere in Japan or globally, or (iii) through a combination of both options.

Although most of the online courses will be taught synchronously, three asynchronous online courses will be offered by faculty based at the main campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (“MC courses”) to provide students with an even greater global perspective and exposure to diverse educational practices.

The MC courses are the following:

  1. TESL 5613 Multilingual Students’ Literacy Development;
  2. TESL 5614 Current Approaches to Teaching English Language Learners; and
  3. TESL 5616 Designing Assessment and Curriculum for Multilingual Students.


General Requirements

Requirements for completion of the MSEd Program are outlined below:

  • 18 credit hours of required courses (six 3-credit courses)
  • 12 credit hours of elective courses
  • 1 credit EDUC 9993 Comprehensive Examination course
  • Successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination
  • An overall B average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) for all courses

How to Take Courses

There is no specifically recommended sequence of courses in the MSEd Program. However, it is generally best to begin with one of the following 6 courses; FLED 5470: Introduction to the Study of TESOL (elective course), TESL 5611: Applied Language Study I: Phonology and the Lexicon, TESL 5612: Applied Language Study II: Grammar, Morphology and Classroom Discourse, TESL 5613: Multilingual Students’ Literacy Development, TESL 5614: Current Approaches to Teaching English Language Learners, or TESL 5616: Designing Assessment and Curriculum for Multilingual Students. The six courses address most of the foundational issues in the TESOL field. If you are a new student and you are unable to take one of those six courses to start with, consult with the office for advice on selecting an elective course. TESL 5618: Second Language Development is more appropriate for students who are further along in the graduate program.  

We recommend that you earn at least 3 of your elective credits by taking three of the Distinguished Lecturer Series seminars, as this allows you to study a wider variety of topics while in the graduate program, come into contact with a wider variety of ideas and views of the fields of TESOL and second language acquisition, and meet leading scholars from around the world. It is best for the students start taking seminar courses after completing at least one or two courses in the program. 

Completing the Degree

Students vary a great deal in their rate of progress. It is possible to complete the MSEd degree in one calendar year. However, the average time for completion is between two and three years*. The Graduate School guidelines suggest that a candidate should finish in three years, but an extension to four years is automatic. In the past, the Graduate School has also granted fifth-year extensions in exceptional instances, but such extensions are granted only after special appeal.

*Depending on the timing of your start in the program, you might have to take the Comprehensive Exam the year following your completion of coursework. The Comprehensive Exam is offered twice every year, in January and May.

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