Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Learn the latest theories, strategies and practices related to second language and multilingual education through the College of Education's online Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Online coursework accommodates the working professional and is taught by internationally recognized faculty.

Ideal candidates for this program are international and domestic educators who wish to acquire focused language education knowledge. The program is also perfect for recent graduates or retirees and those seeking a career opportunities to explore language-teaching careers in the U.S. or abroad.

Graduates of this program earn a stand-alone certificate of TESOL expertise which can be added to state teacher certification. On completion of the TESOL graduate certificate program, you may apply for the MEd or MAT in TESOL on campus at UGA and transfer credits to a graduate program of study upon department's approval.

Earning this certificate qualifies you to:

  • Teach ESOL in U.S. contexts
  • Teach ESOL in international contexts
  • Apply for TESOL state licensure with UGA's on campus MAT program*
  • Apply for an on campus TESOL masters program with UGA*

*Certificate students may transfer credits from the Certificate to other graduate degree programs.


The University of Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Georgia.

College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Technology Requirements

  • Computer with current operating system (Windows or Mac). Additional peripherals such as webcam, headphones and printer may be required.
  • High Speed Internet Access.


Tuition and Fees

Online Tuition $638 per credit hour 15 credit hours $9,570 USD
Student Fees $597 per semester 2 semesters $1,194 USD
Student Fees* $372 partial semester 1 semester $372
Total Program Cost     $11,136 USD
Tuition and fees are subject to change. Tuition is the same regardless of residency.
*Current tuition and fees are available on the Office of the Registrar website. If you register for less than 5 credit hours, student fees are reduced to $366 in that semester.

Online students pay the following fees: Connect UGA, Green, Special Institutional, and Technology. See UGA Tuition and Fees for the complete schedule of fees.

Other Costs

Additional costs may include:

  • Textbooks
  • Software (beyond the standard MS Office Suite)
  • Exam proctoring fees
  • Technology upgrades 

Financial Aid

Visit the Office of Student Financial Aid for information about financial assistance.

Promising applicants will be considered for program scholarship.

Corporate Assistance

Consult your employer about the availability of tuition reimbursement or tuition assistance programs.

Military Assistance

Active duty military, veterans, and military families should visit Veterans Educational Benefits to take full advantage of available financial assistance and educational benefits.

University System of Georgia Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The purpose of TAP is to foster the professional growth and development of eligible employees. For more information, see Tuition Assistance (refer to the Distance Learning section). 


Credit and Transfer

Total Hours Required to Earn Certificate:  15 (credit hours)

Admission Requirements

Students applying to The University of Georgia must be accepted by the Graduate School. Persons holding a bachelor's degree from any institution accredited by the proper regional and international accrediting association are eligible to apply for admission to the Graduate School.

Students who are not currently enrolled at UGA should apply as a non-degree seeking graduate student.  Requirements are based on UGA's Graduate School admissions standards for non-degree students.

Currently enrolled UGA graduate students should submit a new application for admission to the UGA Graduate School to be considered for the Online Graduate Certificate in TESOL.  When completing the online application, choose "Online Degree" as the degree objective and "Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Certificate" as the degree option.  The application fee is $25 for currently enrolled UGA graduate students.

Application Checklist

  1. Application – Submit to the Graduate School online. Application fee: $75 Domestic/$100 International.
  2. Test Scores – International applicants must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Send recent official entrance test scores (less than five years old) to the graduate school. UGA institutional code for ETS reporting: 5813 
  3. Goal Statement – Submit online to the graduate school. The goal statement should clarify the candidate’s relevant background, interests, and goals in relation to the program.
  4. Letters of Recommendation – Submit three letters of recommendation online to the graduate school. Letters should be from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s scholarly ability and potential for success in a graduate program.
  5. Résumé or curriculum vita – Submit online to the graduate school.
  6. Official Transcripts – Submit unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended as part of the online application. Send official transcripts after you are offered admission.

Application Deadlines

Domestic Applicants

  • Spring: November 15
  • Summer: April 1
  • Fall: April 1

International Applicants

  • Spring: October 15
  • Summer: February 15
  • Fall: April 1

Registration deadlines vary per semester. The UGA Office of the Registrar web site provides up-to-date information on registration dates.


Program Structure

Students in the Graduate Certificate in TESOL program must be able to commit to the completion of at least 3 semesters of coursework (15 credit hours) in order to earn the certificate. The program includes: an introduction to theories of first and second language acquisition; focused study on the connections between language and culture in local and global contexts; classroom methodology and practice; and tools for assessing development of language learners. At the close of the program, students will have the opportunity to apply adopted strategies, theories and methods via a guided practicum.



Summer Term Fall Term Spring Term 
  • LLED 7730E - Introduction to theories of 1st and 2nd language acquisition
  • LLED 7630E - Classroom methodology and practice
  • LLED 7504E - At the close of the program, students will have the opportunity to apply newly learned strategies, theories and methods through a guided practicum
  • LLED 7040E - Focused study on connections between language and culture in multilingual local and global contexts
  • LLED 7502E - Tools for assessing development of language learners

News & Events

UGA Online Professor Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor Releases New Poetry Book

Melisa “Misha” Cahnmann-Taylor, like many UGA online faculty members, takes her area of expertise beyond just the virtual classroom. Cahnmann-Taylor, a professor in both the Graduate Certificate in TESOL and the Endorsement in ESOL, recently released a poetry book called “Imperfect Tense,” and was able to present her collection of poetry to a large crowd at Avid Bookshop.

UGA Nationally Reaffirmed as a Top Military School

Once again, the University of Georgia has been nationally reaffirmed in 2016 as Military Friendly, Best for Vets and a Top Military College/University. Since the establishment of the Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC) in the spring of 2013, UGA has made significant progress in connecting student veterans to one another, as well as to campus and community resources. UGA continues to maintain active affiliation with both the Student Veterans of America and the Got Your Six campaign, where faculty and staff attend a training session to become certified as veteran-friendly.

Strategies for Successful Graduate Students

Years spent in graduate school are undoubtedly a stressful and anxiety provoking period in a person's life. There are academic pressures, family pressures, career pressures and the pressure to balance it all.

Order Items Online, Come To Graduation In Person!

As we all know, graduation is coming up, and spring and summer graduates are gearing up for this special day. At UGA Online, we are of the firm opinion that our online students should have the same graduation experience as in-person students.

UGA Online Faculty Involved in College of Education's Georgia Children's Book Awards

A picture book about bears who awaken from their slumber to go sightseeing and a chapter book about a young girl and her once-magical town are the winners in this year’s Georgia Children’s Book Awards, sponsored by the College of Education at the University of Georgia.

UGA faculty learn to apply the Quality Matters rubric to online courses

Over 30 of the University of Georgia's faculty and staff who teach online courses participated in a Quality Matters workshop last semester offered through UGA's Office of Online Learning. Quality Matters is a faculty-centered, peer review process intended to promote the design and development of quality online courses, and the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric workshop introduces course designers to these standards. 

Guest Blog: Online Video Tutorials for Distance Education Students

By: Lynn Cahoon
Distance Learning Librarian

The library research resources available to distance learners and faculty have never been better. No matter what your topic or where you are studying, the books and articles you need are only a few clicks away. But to find them, you’ll have to learn to use the GIL online catalog and GALILEO databases, which can seem intimidating to the uninitiated. 

Graduation Fair: Ordering Graduation Items Virtually

The University of Georgia Bookstore is hosting a graduation fair until March 3 to kick off cap and gown sales for all candidates for spring graduation. Students can purchase announcements, graduation portraits, diploma frames and alumni merchandise.

UGA Online Education Now Available to All 50 States

The University of Georgia is pleased to announce participation in SARA, the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. UGA’s participation in SARA positions the university to offer distance education to residents across all 50 US States.  Before SARA, UGA was able to offer online education to only 36 US states in addition to international students.

Engaging in Sustainable Online Course Development

The instructional design team at the Office of Online Learning takes pride in working with faculty to create online learning experiences that live up to the academic standards of the University of Georgia. We also consider how the environment we work in can support the continued offering of the courses we help develop. To this end, we encourage faculty to engage in sustainable course development practices for all online courses.


Contact Information

Contact the online TESOL Coordinator for answers to any additional questions you may have.

Email us using the request for information form or call 1 (706) 948-2605