MATESOL & MFA Programs

What Can You Expect? What Do These Degree Programs Prepare You To Do?
  • MATESOL: The MATESOL is typically a terminal master's program in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This degree typically takes two years to complete and usually involves specific course work in TESOL, linguistics, English composition and rhetoric, etc., along with a practicum (supervised teaching experience) and foreign language proficiency.
  • MATESOL programs prepare students to teach English to speakers of other languages at the secondary* or college level and to pursue scholarly research in TESOL.
  • MFA: The Master in Fine Arts in English is a terminal master's program in Creative Writing (usually in either fiction or verse, sometimes in creative non fiction or other genres).
  • A Creative Writing MFA or MA degree typically takes two years to complete and usually involves graduate writing workshops, courses in English literature and critical theory, a creative thesis, and (often) a critical essay. Foreign language proficiency is often required as well.
  • MFA/MA Creative Writing programs train writers and assist them in developing their craft, and their primary mission is to offer a curriculum through which students can devote a couple of years to an intensive, mentored writing experience. 
  • Although it is possible for those holding an MFA to teach creative writing at the college level, these jobs are extremely competitive, and hiring decisions are typically based on the candidate's body of published work as opposed to his or her academic background.
  • While some who've earned an MFA may be qualified to teach composition or literature at the college level, this field is extremely competitive as there are far more qualified candidates than there are jobs. Those with a PhD will obviously have an advantage over those with an MFA/MA only.
  • If you decide to pursue either of these programs use this as a checklist when you are going through the application process:

    ApplicationOfficial undergrad transcriptsStatement of purpose GRE General Test scores 3 letters of recommendationApplication fee
    ApplicationOfficial undergrad transcriptsStatement of purposeCreative writing sampleGRE General Test scores 3 letters of recommendationApplication fee