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 UGA's Mary Frances Early 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, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees. The University of Georgia also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of the University of Georgia may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).


Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Use the Estimated Cost Calculator on the Bursar's Office website for current tuition and fees.

Online students pay the following fees: Connect UGA, Green, and Technology. Potential additional costs include textbooks, exam proctoring fees, and 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). 

Technology Requirements

  • Computer with current operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux). Additional peripherals such as webcam, headphones, and printer may be required.
  • High-speed internet access.


Credit and Transfer

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

Admission Requirements

Students who are not currently enrolled at UGA should apply to the graduate school for the Graduate Certificate program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and are not required to take entrance exams and submit letters of recommendation. 

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 online to the Graduate School Admissions. Application fee: $75 Domestic/$100 International.
  2. Select Campus- Online
  3. Select Intended Program - CERG, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Language and Literacy Educ)[CERT_2TSL] 
  4. Statement of purpose - Submit to the Graduate School online in your application.
  5. Transcripts – Submit unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended as part of the online application. Send official transcripts after you are offered admission.

International Applicants - must also submit TOEFL or IELTS scores

Application Deadlines

Domestic Applicants

  • Spring: November 15
  • Summer: June 1
  • Fall: July 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; and classroom methodology and practice in either in-person or virtual spaces. In addition, you will have the opportunity to select two electives based on your areas of interest.



Successfully complete five of the following six courses, or their equivalents:

  • LLED 7730E - 1st and 2nd language acquisition and development
  • LLED 7630E - TESOL classroom methodology and practice, P-12
  • LLED 7040E - Language and Culture in the ESOL Classroom
  • Two Electives (6 credits) - Choose two courses from the following six strands:

○      TESOL and world language education methods, curriculum design, and assessment

○      Second language acquisition and instructed second language learning

○      Bi/multilingualism, bilingual and translingual literacies, and education

○      Creative and arts-based pedagogies and inquiries

○      Discourse studies

○      Language education planning and policy

At the end of the certificate program, if you wish to apply for one of our Master’s degree programs you can apply these credits toward the degree.

Additional information and disclosures regarding state licensure for professional practice in this field can be found at the UGA Licensure Disclosure Portal.

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 706-948-2605



"My program felt like a family, and I’m very grateful for that. It was a really great experience! Even in the online classes, there was a lot of discussion and group work; this also helped me meet others and enhance my learning experience. I appreciated the interactiveness and flexibility of my online classes, and I enjoyed being able to connect with and build relationships with other online students." - Claire Simless, '19

"TESOL as an academic field is so different from the literature and writing that I teach, but it connects to those subjects easily and naturally. These courses have let me see my teaching and scholarship through a whole new lens. Everything I thought I knew inside and out looks brand new again." - Dustin Michael, '19

"The certificate course is completely online and that was easier for me because I was working full time and could take one course at a time. It also enabled me to get back in the swing of academics! I received good feedback from professors and had an online interaction with classmates. I kept thinking and dreaming of teaching teachers in another country so that they can go out empowered into their own country’s rural and underserved areas and teach. Thank you UGA, College of Education, and Department of Literacy and Language Education!" - Vicki Hale, '18