Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language

Get the skills you need to teach English as a second language in the U.S. or abroad with our in-person or fully online graduate certificate program.

EAL program is now accepting applications for The on-campus graduate certificate program for fall 2024. 

we Will be accepting applications for the online graduate certificate program for Fall 2025.

About the Program

As English has become the world’s premier international language, English teachers are in demand all over the world. Most in demand are college graduates with degrees in English, Linguistics, or other humanities or social sciences, with additional preparation in the field of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). 

We offer a 15 credit hour, five-course program for Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language Research and Practice. The certificate can be completed in two or three semesters on campus, or online, through Arizona Online

Admission Process

To apply for this certification program, you must:

  • Complete a Bachelor's degree with a minimum final GPA of 3.0.
  • Submit a Letter of Purpose (400 – 600 words) addressing your reasons for pursuing this certification.

For international students, you must meet the above requirements in addition to:

  • IELTS score of 7.0 or TOEFL score of 80

You can apply through the Graduate College application website. Be sure to specify whether you are applying to the online or the on campus program. A $90 application fee is required.

For more information, contact Jon Reinhardt at

Program Requirements

  • Complete the following 4 core courses (12 credit hours)
  • Must complete ENGL 555 before taking ENGL 613
  • Complete 1 of the following elective courses (3 credit hours)
  • Must complete core courses before taking the following elective courses

Course Sequence

Below are the sample course sequences for both on-campus and online students. 

Fall Semester

  • ENGL 555: Method I: Intro to TESOL
  • ENGL 506: Linguistics and Grammar for TESOL

Spring Semester

  • ENGL 613: Methods II: Curriculum/Materials Development and Assessment
  • ENGL 620: TESOL and Culture
  • ENGL 615: Second Language Acquisition

Frequently Asked Questions

A graduate certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language is recognized worldwide as the entry-level qualification to teach English as a Second/Foreign Language – more so than a single course or a non-credit certificate. It is less commitment than a full Master's degree, but is comprised of accredited coursework that is transferrable later to a graduate degree. It is also ideal for graduate students in other disciplines, like Linguistics, Rhetoric, Literature, Education, or the Languages, who wish to have the skills in the field of TESL to complement their main degree. 

Our Teaching English as a Second Language courses are designed by professors who are research experts in the fields of TESL and Applied Linguistics. Our faculty combined have over 50 years of English as a Second Language teaching experience all over the world. 

For 2023-2024 on-campus, Arizona resident students pay approximately $1057 per unit, and the total cost of the 15 credit on-campus Certificate is about $13,300. Non-resident students on-campus pay about $1943 per unit, and the total cost is about $28,500

For 2023-2024 online, both residents and non-residents pay approximately $704 per unit, and the total cost of the 15 credit online Certificate is about $11,000. 

More information is on the Bursar's office Tuition and Fees page. While we do not offer financial support for Certificate students, you may qualify for financial aid independently. 

Our English courses, both online and on-campus, are accredited and count towards graduate study. They may be applied in the future towards a M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language or other graduate degrees at the UA or other universities.

While they cost more than non-credit courses and certificates, for-credit options are a smart investment in one’s professional future. UA's Center for English as a Second Language offers excellent non-credit TESL teacher training courses for those who are not sure if they want to commit to credit-bearing coursework. 

While coursework is intensive and graduate level, completing one course at a time may be more convenient for working individuals. Online offerings also cost less than on-campus equivalents, for both residents and non-residents.

Assignments for all of the online courses include online materials development and online mock teaching practice. The online elective in Technology-Enhanced Language Learning is especially useful for those who are interested in teaching English online.

On-campus courses are taught by professors and also taken by full-time M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language students and other graduate students. You will be able to enroll full-time (3 courses one semester, 2 courses the second) and finish in two semesters, or if you wish to take one at a time and finish in two years.

The Certificate can be completed in two or three semesters, if you take 1 to 3 courses a semester. 

With program advisor's approval, alternate or more advanced graduate courses on the required areas may count towards Grad Certificate requirements.

Individual degree programs may restrict application of credit to other graduate degrees or certificates. Six credit hours (2 courses) from other units may be applied to the Grad Certificate. Twelve of the 15 Grad Certificate credit hours may be applied to our M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language degree.

Students who achieve a 3.5 GPA in the 5 certificate courses will receive preferred consideration for admission to our M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language program, which has a separate admission process. Completing the M.A. would normally require 2 additional semesters (1 year) of coursework for those who have finished the Certificate.

No. The Grad Certificate is designed for individuals interested primarily in teaching adults in the United States, and teaching children and adults overseas.

One of our courses, ENGL 555, counts toward the official state endorsement. If you are interested in the ESL endorsement to teach K–12 in the State of Arizona, please visit the College of Education's Endorsement Page

On-campus Grad Certificate students may participate in all English Applied Linguistics student activities, which include professional development seminars and events. Online students can participate in a special online seminar for Teaching English as a Second Language job hunting, offered every Spring.