Graduate Certificate: English Language Teaching


Learn more about the graduate certificate in English Language Teaching.

About the Certificate

The graduate certificate in English Language Teaching equips students with a foundational understanding of language structure and development as well as strategies for teaching and working with English language learners beyond the K-12 classroom in the United States. Please note that this certificate does not lead to teacher certification and, therefore, is not intended for teacher education students. Teaching English in K-12 classrooms in the United States requires state certification and, in Pennsylvania, a Pennsylvania Program Specialist: ESL Certificate. If you are enrolled in a teacher education program leading toward Pennsylvania Instructional I certification or currently hold that certification, please review the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) MSEd program.

Grounded in a sociocultural perspective, the program provides firsthand practical experience to build language teaching skills, including lesson planning/delivery, curriculum development and assessment. Upon completion, students find themselves knowledgeable of the cultural, social and political complexities of language education, its learning and use, and are able to skillfully draw on this awareness in a broad range of international, professional and teaching contexts. This program is ideal for those who want to develop a solid foundation for teaching English to non-native speakers and can serve as a critical pathway to the master’s program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Time Limit for Certificate Completion: 2 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The graduate certificate can be completed on a part-time basis. NOTE: International students may not be eligible to apply for a student visa based on admission to the certificate program. Please contact the Office of Enrollment Management for more information.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:
Applications are accepted for the Fall, Spring and Summer terms and are reviewed on a rolling basis.

APPLY ONLINE to this certificate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained to provide insight regarding the applicant's academic competence. References from college/university faculty are recommended.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A bachelor's degree is required. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is expected.

International applicants should also submit an official document that validates completion and conferral of a degree, diploma and/or certificate. While not required, international applicants are encouraged to submit transcript(s) to the World Education Services (WES) for evaluation.

Statement of Goals: Write a 500-1,000-word statement of purpose outlining your interest in seeking a graduate certificate with a specific focus on the career to which you aspire, your interests, and your academic and job-related experiences that are relevant to the program. 

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 95
  • IELTS Academic: 7.0
  • PTE Academic: 64

Resume: Current resume required.

Other Requirement: Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all accredited institutions attended and/or from which credit was earned must be submitted.

Certificate Requirements

Number of Credits Required to Complete the Certificate: 12

Required Courses:

Core Courses
TESL 5614Current Approaches to Teaching English Language Learners3
TESL 5615Teaching English in a Global Context3
TESOL Electives6
Select two from the following:
Applied Language Study I: Phonology and the Lexicon
Applied Language Study II: Grammar, Morphology and Classroom Discourse
Multilingual Students' Literacy Development
Designing Assessment and Curriculum for Multilingual Students
Total Credit Hours12

GPA Required to be Awarded the Certificate: 3.0 minimum


Certificate Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of Teaching and Learning

College of Education and Human Development

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


Office of Enrollment Management