Application Requirements

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MAT-TESOL)

Please note: The on-campus application process, deadlines and start dates differ from the online Master of Arts in Teaching TESOL program.

Application Deadlines

Deadline Notification by
Round 1 November 1, 2018 January 11, 2019
Round 2 January 15, 2019 March 8, 2019
Round 3 March 15, 2019 April 19, 2019

Applicants who submit a complete application early will receive primary consideration for USC Rossier Scholarships.

Application Requirements

A complete application includes all of the following:

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions (see instructions below)
  • Résumé/CV
  • Essay and two short answer questions
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • $90 non-refundable application fee (on-campus)
  • Online video interview
  • International applicants only: TOEFL or IELTS scores

Application Checklist


Admissions Criteria

Academic Background

The admissions team looks for candidates whose prior academic work demonstrates the capability to succeed in a rigorous graduate program. All candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Applicants whose prior study was outside the United States must have completed the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

There are no set prerequisite courses or majors, however, it is expected that applicants have a background in education as evidenced by their work experience and submitted transcripts. The admissions team reviews performance in all prior postsecondary coursework.

Work Experience

Applicants must have some work or volunteer experience that is relevant to teaching or to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). It is preferred that applicants have at least one or more years of work experience, and/or a record of involvement and leadership.

Application Instructions

Follow the instructions below to complete your application. For printable summary of application instructions, download and print the application checklist.

Please note the following:

  • ALL application materials must be submitted by the round deadline in order to receive notification of your admission decision by the corresponding notification date. Incomplete applications may be delayed to the next application review round.
  • Applicants who submit a complete application early will receive primary consideration for USC Rossier Scholarships.

1. Complete the online application

You may save your information and continue to complete your application at a later date. If you are applying to multiple programs please indicate this in your application.

  • Enter your name as it appears on your government issued ID. Indicate any alternate or previous names in the “other name” field (i.e. maiden name)
  • Enter the email address USC Rossier should use to communicate with you throughout the application process.

2. Request college or university-issued official transcripts

College or university-issued transcripts must be received from all post-secondary institutions you attended, regardless of whether credit or degree was earned.

Transcript submission is a two-step process:

Step One:

  • Request that official transcripts from each college or university you attended be mailed to your residence (print-outs from portals are not acceptable).
  • Scan and upload these official transcripts into the application system online. College or university-issued transcripts must be received from all institutions attended (regardless of whether credit or a degree was earned).

Step Two:

  • After you submit your application and receive your 10-digit USC ID number, request that a second copy of all official transcripts be sent from all institutions directly to USC. You can use one of the following two methods to send USC your official transcripts:

Electronic transcripts
Official electronic transcripts are preferred as long as they are from a U.S. institution. Transcripts must be emailed directly from the college or university to the USC Office of Graduate Admission at

Hard copy transcripts
Hard copies of official transcripts from all post-secondary schools you have attended should be sent to the addresses provided below:

University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

Transcripts must arrive at USC in a sealed envelope from the institution. You may not send transcripts that have been previously opened.

3. Upload a Résumé/CV

Your résumé should be detailed enough to help the Admissions committee understand the various experiences – extracurricular, leadership, or volunteer – that have shaped your interest in the program.

  • Make sure your résumé clearly outlines your role(s) and responsibilities within each organization and highlight any special achievements or accomplishments

4. Enter your personal statement and short answer responses

Essay responses will be used to evaluate your personal, professional and educational experiences, path to a degree in student affairs and ability to effectively communicate ideas and organize written thoughts.

  • Answer the required essay and short answer questions in the online application. Remain within assigned character limits for each question.

5. Input contact information for recommenders

Ideally, your recommendations should come from current and former supervisors who can comment on the value you have added to your workplaces, or former instructors who can describe your ability to perform well in graduate-level courses.

  • Provide the name and email address for each reference who will electronically submit a letter of recommendation. References will receive an email with a password and directions.
  • References must complete the cover sheet and write a letter.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure all recommendations are submitted by the deadline.

6. Submit $90 application fee or obtain fee waiver

  • Application fees must be paid via credit or debit card
  • An application fee waiver is available to applicants who meet certain eligibility criteria. If you choose to apply for a fee waiver you must:
    1. Start your online application – do not submit until fee waiver is approved.
    2. Provide supporting documents to demonstrate qualification.
    3. Have your fee waiver request approved.
    4. Complete and submit your online application.

    Eligibility criteria and instructions for obtaining a fee waiver can be found at the USC Graduate Admission website.

7. Complete an online video interview

The video interview helps the admissions team get to know you beyond your online application. This is an opportunity for you to share your motivation to pursue a master’s degree, your leadership potential, and how you plan to make the most of your time at USC Rossier. We recommend that you submit your application at least one week before the deadline to ensure that you receive and complete the video interview prior to the application deadline.

  • Once you submit your online application, you will be sent an email invitation to a video interview consisting of three questions. The invitation is typically sent 3-5 days after your application has been successfully submitted.
  • Record your responses using an internet-connected computer with a webcam. Please note that you can only record the interview once. Practice questions will be provided. For assistance with the video interview, email


USC Rossier welcomes international applicants. If you are a citizen of a country other than the United States, please be aware that you are subject to U.S. government regulations regarding entry into the United States and enrollment in programs. Please follow these additional instructions to complete your application:

Request official copy of TOEFL or IELTS
International students whose native language is not English and who completed their undergraduate work outside of the U.S. are required to submit an official TOEFL IBT or IELTS score as part of their application. You must have taken the test within the past two years. In order to be a competitive applicant, you must receive a score at or above 100 iBT.  Official test scores should be sent from the testing agency directly to USC. Only scores received directly from the testing service are considered official. USC does not accept self-reported test scores.

  • TOEFL: To send scores, use USC’s ETS code 4852
  • IELTS: Select “University of Southern California” at the time of registration. Alternatively, provide this information to your testing center after taking the test. Scores are valid if earned within two years of the intended first term at USC
  • No department code is required to send TOEFL or IELTS scores

Financial Statement
If you are not a U.S. citizen or resident, you may also be asked to submit a Financial Statement/Verification of Funds document.

For more information, visit the international student application’s page.


  • Once your application is submitted, refer to your application portal for timely and accurate updates on your application status (including missing items).
  • If your application is complete by the round application deadline, you can expect to receive notification of your admission decision by the corresponding notification date.

Additional Resources

Review the Application FAQs

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact:

Office of Admissions and Scholarships
(213) 740-0224