While Mississippi does not host a plethora of master’s in TESOL programs or graduate education programs that emphasize bilingual or ESL education, the universities that do offer these degree tracks provide diverse program formats and areas of specialization for students. None of these graduate education departments have made the top-ranked lists of U.S. News & World Report, but they are regionally accredited. Students can opt for on-campus courses, hybrid formats, or master’s degrees they can earn fully online.
ESL Teacher Certification
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and its Office of Educator Licensure issue certificates and endorsements to educators who meet department criteria. The ESL endorsement requires coursework in multicultural education, linguistics, TESOL curriculum and instruction, and second language acquisition.
Alternative Certification Options
MDE’s Alternate-Route Programs guide mentions several pathways toward alternative certification:
- The MS Alternate Path to Quality Educators involves participants attending the Teach Mississippi Institute before entering classrooms.
- Master of Arts in Teaching
- Mississippi Teacher Corps places qualified educators in high-need public schools in Mississippi’s high-poverty districts.
Master’s in TESOL Programs
Mississippi State University offers a Master of Arts with a TESOL Emphasis. Students can pursue thesis and non-thesis options. This program track sometimes involves a study-abroad intensive practicum in TESOL. Students must demonstrate fluency in a foreign language to earn the degree. University of Southern Mississippi offers a Master of Arts in the Teaching of Languages (MATL). This degree has an emphasis in French, Spanish, or TESOL.