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Teaching English as a Second Language

Why Pursue a Graduate Certificate in TESL

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.

Teaching English as a Second Language + Other Disciplines = Master's Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies

Earn a Master's Degree

Are you ready to take your career and academic journey to the next level? Combine this program with another eligible certificate to earn a master’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies! Take advantage of the opportunity to customize your degree to align with your professional and educational goals.

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.

For international students, please note that student visas are not issued at UTSA for non-degree-seeking students, including certificate programs. For more information, visit our international students admission page.

Teaching English as a Second Language (CERT)
  Required Degree Bachelor's Degree from an 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
  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
  English Language Proficiency 550 TOEFL Paper / 79 TOEFL Internet / 6.5 IELTS / Duolingo 100
*Unofficial transcripts will be taken into consideration for admissions; however, if admitted into the program, you must submit official transcripts to the University.
Apply 2024-25 Application

Application 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)
Timing on Admission Decision: Completed applications will be reviewed for admission on a rolling basis. Decisions generally will be made and sent to applicants within 4 to 6 weeks of receiving the application.
Application Deadlines for: Priority International Domestic
Fall 2024 d-none June 1 August 1
Spring 2025 d-none October 1 December 1
Summer 2025 d-none March 1 May 1
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d-none d-none d-none d-none
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Funding Opportunities


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

Bedrettin Yazan, PhD


Student Development Specialist

Jay Wells