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Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language

Program Details

Indiana State University offers a graduate certificate in Teaching English as a second language (TESL) or English as a foreign language (TEFL). The curriculum is 12 credit hours—9 credit hours of required courses and 3 credit hours of electives. In addition to the 12 credit hours, an applied experience requirement must be fulfilled. The experience may be fulfilled by completing one of a few options. The first option is to have two years study (or equivalent fluency) of a language that is not the student’s native language. The next option is to experience living in a culture that is not the student’s native culture for a minimum of three months. As an alternate for the previous option, students may have ESL/EFL teaching or cross-cultural experience (three months minimum).

The TESL/TEFL certificate is the first qualification that an individual may receive in teaching English as a second/foreign language. Upon successful completion of this program, students may teach in language schools in the United States, other countries, and in other capacities. This certificate program is offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics.

Students should be aware that this program is only offered online during the summer. Since these graduate level courses are accelerated over summer terms, most students complete the program in approximately two consecutive summers. Additionally, students must have teaching licensure in order to teach ESL in Indiana Public Schools, as well as the rest of the United States. This certificate does not guarantee that an individual is qualified to teach ESL in all circumstances.


Must hold a baccalaureate degree granted by a regionally accredited institution. Have earned one of the following: a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 in all undergraduate coursework, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the applicant's major field of study, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken at the graduate level.

Accreditation & Licensing

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission


Students must be residing in either the United States or Canada, with the exception of U.S. military and State Department personnel and their family members with APO/FPO addresses.