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Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language

The TESL certificate provides students with the specialized training needed to begin a career in English language teaching in the U.S. or abroad, explore a career change, add specialized training to current professional skills, or teach English in retirement. No prior training in language teaching or linguistics is required. Practical, hands-on courses offer students a general foundation in methods, techniques, and strategies for teaching English language learners of all ages.

Admission & Application Requirements

Applications are submitted through the UTSA Graduate Application. Please upload all required documents (listed below) on your UTSA Graduate Application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure completion and submission of the application, a nonrefundable application fee, and all required supporting documents are on file with UTSA by the appropriate application deadline.

Teaching English as a Second Language (CERT)
  Required Degree Bachelor's Degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution
  Minimum GPA 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) departments may consider GPA of last 60 semester credit hours
  Coursework 18 credit hours in an area related to this graduate degree and at least 12 hours must be at the upper-division level
  Transcripts* Required from all institutions attended; international transcripts must be recorded/translated to English
  Credential Evaluation Required if you have earned university-level credit from foreign institutions, submit an evaluation of your transcripts from Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) directly from the graduate admission application platform
  TOEFL/IELTS Score 562 TOEFL Paper / 84 TOEFL Internet / 7 IELTS scores for International applicants (exempt countries)
*Unofficial transcripts will be taken into consideration for admissions; however if admitted into the program, you must submit official transcripts to the University.
Apply for 2022-23 Academic Year Apply for 2023-24 Academic Year

Admission Deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to have their admission file completed as early as possible. All applications, required documents and letters of recommendation if applicable must be submitted by 5:00 PM U.S. Central Time on the day of the deadline. Deadlines are subject to change.

Teaching English as a Second Language (CERT)
Completed applications will be reviewed for admission on rolling basis. Decisions generally will be made and sent to applicants within 4 to 6 weeks of receiving the application.
  Fall Spring Summer
International June 1 November 1 April 1
Domestic August 1 December 1 May 1

Funding Opportunities

Resources

Career Options

UTSA prepares you for future careers that are in demand. The possible careers below is data pulled by a third-party tool called Emsi, which pulls information from sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, online job postings, other government databases and more to give you regional and national career outlook related to this academic program.


  • Courses are offered in the evenings (6:00 PM to 8:45 PM) to fit the schedules of working professionals.
  • Daytime courses are available in the summer.
  • This program is housed on the UTSA Main Campus.

The TESL certificate consists of 15 credit hours (five graduate courses), which can be taken at at a student’s own pace. The certificate can be completed as quickly as within a calendar year and includes three fundamental courses that all participants take: Foundations in Second Language Acquisition, Listening and Speaking in Second Language Programs, and Internship in English as a Second Language.

In addition, students can tailor the certificate to meet their specific career goals by choosing among a wide variety of courses in two areas: language teaching methods and literacy.

Courses that are part of the certificate program include the following:

  • Approaches to Second Language Instruction (ESL 5053)
  • Foundations in Second Language Acquisition (ESL 5013)
  • Computer Assisted Language Learning (ESL 5073)
  • Listening and Speaking in Second Language Programs (ESL 5043)
  • Second Language Reading and Writing (ESL 5033)
  • Family and Adult Literacy in Language Minority Communities (ESL 6043)
  • Internship in English as a Second Language (ESL 6943)

*Note: The Certificate in TESL is not equivalent to teacher certification in ESL or bilingual education in Texas, although some courses may overlap. Individuals interested in teacher certification should consult with the College of Education and Human Development about teacher certification programs.

Graduate Advisor of Record

Martha Sidury Christiansen, PhD

210-458-6619

marthasidury.christiansen@utsa.edu