Teaching English as a Second Language (Phase II), M.A.T.

12 Credit Hours
Admits: Fall, Spring & Summer
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Program Tabs


Earn Your English as a Second Language M.A.T. Degree Online With UNC Charlotte

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s online Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Teaching English as a Second Language is for students who have completed Phase I, earning the Teaching English as a Second Language Graduate Certificate. Phase II allows students to complete the remaining requirements for the master’s degree (four additional courses) and qualify for advanced (M) teaching licensure.

Our online M.A.T. equips aspiring teachers at all stages for English as a Second Language (ESL) careers. It also offers a specific M.A.T. pathway for non-education majors seeking initial ESL licensure. Graduates earn the skills to work with English learners in diverse settings, from K–12 schools to universities and nonprofits. With diverse undergraduate backgrounds accepted, our program helps individuals become the teachers they aspire to be while earning a master’s degree.

UNC Charlotte’s M.A.T. in Teaching English as a Second Language program helps students learn self-reflection, polish their teacher-researcher skills and leadership qualities, and prepares them to make a lasting impact in the field. Our program is built on social justice principles, with equity and advocacy at the heart of what we do. Coursework draws on the most current research in linguistics, second language acquisition, curriculum design and teaching methodologies.

M.A.T. in Teaching English as a Second Language Program Details and Requirements

The primary prerequisite for applying to UNC Charlotte’s M.A.T. in Teaching English as a Second Language program is having earned the Teaching English as a Second Language Graduate Certificate.

See program enrollment details on the Admissions tab.

In addition to the additional 12 hours (four courses) of coursework, candidates for the M.A.T. complete an electronic licensure portfolio that demonstrates their readiness for the advanced teaching license. Most students complete the program in under a year.

All teacher education programs at UNC Charlotte are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

From a One-Room Shack in Guatemala to The Ellen Show

Emily Francis leapt from her seat in the audience of The Ellen Show and made a run for the stage. Only after she was standing next to Ellen DeGeneres did the 2016 Cabarrus County Schools Teacher of the Year realize that in her excitement, she hadn’t given the famous talk show host time to finish her introduction. But looking back at her journey—from a one-room shack in Guatemala, to a New York airport facing immigration authorities, to crossing the stage at UNC Charlotte to accept a graduate degree in English as a Second Language (ESL)—it’s clear that Emily had been racing toward a moment like this her entire life.

Learn more about Emily's story »

Request More Information

Connect with an Enrollment Specialist today to learn more! Complete the For More Information box on this page or contact us using the links below.

Related Programs

» Instructional Coaching Graduate Certificate
» Teaching English as a Second Language Graduate Certificate
» M.Ed. in Urban Education


Application Deadlines: 

  • August 1 (fall)
  • December 1 (spring)
  • May 1 (summer first half term)
  • June 15 (summer second half term)

Admissions & Requirements: 

  • Complete the Graduate School Admission Application.
  • Completion of UNC Charlotte’s Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language.
  • A minimum graduate GPA of 3.5 in the Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language.
  • Students with a GPA below 3.5 in the Graduate Certificate may be considered for admission to the M.A.T. program with scores above the 30th percentile on either the GRE or Millers Analogies Test.
  • Copies of unofficial transcripts from all academic coursework beyond high school.
  • Three recommendation letters that include at least one from a full-time faculty member who has taught the student in the Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language program. Applicants will provide reference contact names and email addresses through the application portal. 
  • A statement of purpose (500-1000 words).

After completing the graduate certificate, students have the option to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language by taking 12 additional hours, which leads to the “M” license after two years of teaching experience. 

The M.A.T consists of 12 credit hours for a combined 30 credit hours

Required Courses (9 credit hours):

  • MDSK 6260: Teacher Leadership (3)
  • TESL 6476: Advanced Pedagogy in Teaching English as a Second Language (3)
  • TESL 6691: Seminar in Professional Development (3)
  • or  MDSK 6691: Seminar in Professional Development (3)

Elective Course (3 credit hours):
Select one of the following:

  • ENGL 6161: Introduction to Linguistics (3)
  • READ 6204: Teaching Reading to English Language Learners (3)
  • RSCH 6101: Research Methods (3)
  • TESL 6206: Globalization, Communities, and Schools (3)
  • An approved Study Abroad program ***
  • An approved course substitution (3)

**Written approval for any study abroad experiences and/ or elective courses not listed here must be provided in advance by the Graduate Program Director

The capstone experience for the M.A.T. is fulfilled by completing the Comprehensive Electronic Portfolio project. In addition, candidates for the M.A.T. complete an electronic licensure portfolio during coursework that demonstrates their readiness for the advanced Standard Professional II teaching license.


*Rates are subject to change*


  • $288.82 per credit hour

Outside of NC Non-Resident:

  • $536.98 per credit hour


  • $1,098.21 per credit hour

Find more information regarding tuition and fees here ».


What Can You Do With Your M.A.T. in Teaching English as a Second Language?

UNC Charlotte alumni who completed the M.A.T. in Teaching English as a Second Language are working in educational organizations such as:

  • Union County Schools
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
  • Educational Testing Service
  • Uplift Education

Our graduates hold job titles such as:

  • ESL teacher
  • Early childhood specialist
  • Elementary school principal
  • ESL program coordinator

Solid salary expectations

Lightcast, a global leader in labor market analytics research, collects job and salary data from UNC Charlotte graduates. Lightcast surveyed graduates of UNC Charlotte’s M.A.T. in Teaching English as a Second Language program and found their estimated average annual salary to be $76,100.

Why UNC Charlotte?

Why Earn Your M.A.T. in Teaching English as a Second Language Online From UNC Charlotte?

By choosing UNC Charlotte’s online M.A.T. program, you’ll enjoy a number of advantages, including:

  • Complete your M.A.T. online in just one year. Designed for working professionals, our fully online program allows you to continue working full time as you earn your M.A.T. Our program features both synchronous (set time to meet) and asynchronous (no set time) courses.
  • Receive strong student support. The Center for Graduate Life provides the support and sense of community students need to meet the challenges they face throughout their graduate experience. The Center offers workshops on topics such as:
    • Grant writing
    • Presentation skills
    • Publishing in scholarly journals
    • Understanding the academic job search
  • Enjoy personalized career advising and support during your job search. The University Career Center provides services, programs and support for students and alumni. Services include:
    • An Education Career Fair held each spring semester
    • Individual appointments with career advisors
    • Hire-A-Niner online job and internship database
    • Access to Southern Teachers Agency, which offers free placement services in PK–12 private and independent schools across the South
  • Learn from faculty experts. Our M.A.T. faculty research efforts have garnered numerous grants to enhance the training of our students and provide services to the immigrant population. Faculty members are also passionate about teaching, their academic disciplines and their students. Faculty also use their research and community service experience to bring new instructional methods and innovative educational trends into the classroom. Faculty members have received awards from the UNC Charlotte Cato College of Education for Excellence in Research, Excellence in Teaching, Excellence in Diversity and Sustained Service to Public Schools.