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 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. 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.

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.

TESOL Program Cost

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 for < 5 credit hrs semester 1 semester $372 USD
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 Bursar's Office website. If you register for less than 5 credit hours, student fees are reduced to $372 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)

TESOL 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. Résumé or curriculum vita – Submit online to the graduate school.
  5. 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.

TESOL Program Curriculum

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.


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

  • 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
  • LLED 6631E - Biligualism and bilingual education

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Guest Blog: Online Video Tutorials for Distance Education Students




The library research resources available to distance learners 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. 


The fastest way to get started is with the video tutorials created by the UGA Libraries. 


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This one, “Welcome to the Libraries,” introduces the most powerful tools available through the UGA Libraries web site in less than five minutes. It also shows you how to gain off-campus access to GALILEO databases and e-books, how to renew your books online, and how to request materials from the Repository.  It explains basic services such as how to access materials that have been placed on reserve, how to use GIL Express, and how to use Interlibrary Loan.


Many more video tutorials about library resources and services are available in this libguide for distance learners, http://guides.libs.uga.edu/c.php?g=350137.   All are brief, closed-captioned instructional sessions.   If you are new to the UGA Libraries or coming back to school after some time off, these tutorials are a great way to get an overview of services or refresh rusty research skills.  Here you’ll find videos showing you how to recall books that are checked out to other patrons, when to use GIL-Find or GIL Classic, and how to find UGA dissertations as well as dissertations available at other universities.  Other tutorials will help you search specific databases and locate a specific journal article.


We welcome your suggestions for future tutorials.   And they’re not the only way you can get library help.  You can contact librarians directly by phone at 706 542-3251, or text us at 706-363-0836, chat with us from the libraries homepage, or visit us in the libraries!   



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