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Graduate School & Research Building (GSR)

Suite 2.210

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday

8 A.M. - 5 P.M.

Contact US:

Phone: (210) 458-4331

Fax: (210) 458-4332

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Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language

Basic Certificate Information

The CertTESL is a gateway to the English language teaching profession.* It provides you with the specialized training you need to begin a career in English language teaching in the US 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 you a general foundation in methods, techniques, and strategies for teaching English language learners of all ages. The program places a special emphasis on teaching English in multilingual settings, preparing you to offer socially responsible and linguistically appropriate lessons to help students develop strong intercultural communication skills.

*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.

Students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language degree cannot concurrently be enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language program.

Program Options

The CertTESL consists of 15 credit hours (five graduate courses), which you may take at your own pace. The certificate can be completed as quickly as within a calendar year. The program of study 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, you can tailor the certificate to meet your 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)

Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

Admission requirements and prerequisites: Bachelor's degree with 18 credit hours in field of study or in another appropriate field of study.

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all institutions attended. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.

Specific Degree Requirements: See catalog.

Graduate Studies Application: Yes

Department Application: No

Test Scores: If GPA is less than a 3.0 on the last 60 hours a GRE may be required.

Resume or CV: No

Letters of Recommendation: No

Statement of Purpose: No

Minimum TOEFL Score (for International Applicants): 550 paper/79 internet

Minimum IELTS Score (for International Applicants): 6.5

Additional Requirements: International students and those with international degrees may be required to submit additional documents per our admissions policies and procedures. The Graduate School reserves the right to request any additional documents needed to fairly and consistently evaluate applicant credentials.

Career Options Available

As transnational migration and international trade expands worldwide so does the need for people to learn English skills for intercultural communication. As a result, there is high demand for people with basic training to teach English. Completion of the certificate prepares you to work in areas such as:

  • Community-based language programs for immigrants and refugees
  • Private language schools abroad
  • Corporate training/consulting
  • International aid work
  • Tutoring learners of English

Contact Information

Student Development Specialist: Rahnuma Islam
Telephone: (210) 458-6619

Graduate Advisor of Record: Becky Huang, Ph.D.
Email Address:

Telephone: (210) 458-5573

Degree Catalog Link:

Degree Website:

Funding Opportunities

All students interested in financial aid should fill out the FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Assistance). Students may also be interested in Graduate Assistantship positions available within the College. Typically, these assistantships are 19 hours per week.

Scholarships are also available to Graduate Students:

Students who are pursuing a certificate as special graduate students will not be eligible for financial aid.

Course Scheduling and Offerings

  • Courses are offered in the evenings (6 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.

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