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TESOL Certificate Program


The English department offers a Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, which can be completed either as a stand-alone course of study or as part of the English MA or PhD program. The certificate is designed to serve the needs of teachers working or planning to work in ESL or EFL environments. All coursework can be completed online, mainly through online meetings through Zoom. Note: Students applying to or enrolled in the MA or PhD need to submit a separate application.             


Our TESOL program is designed to help teachers succeed in the classroom by improving their understanding of the theories, methodologies, resources and strategies used in effective ESL/EFL classrooms. The course incorporates the explicit goal of linking theory with practice, and provides teachers with plenty of hands-on opportunities designed to develop a skillful and thoughtful approach to teaching English to speakers of other languages. The professors involved in the TESOL program are experienced ESL/EFL teachers as well researchers who actively publish in international, peer-reviewed journals in the field. Finally, from a practical standpoint, the courses in the TESOL program are regularly offered at night in order to serve the needs of busy teachers working in the community.


Applicants to the TESOL Certificate Program must have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and a GPA of 3.0 over the last two years of undergraduate coursework. Applicants who have not graduated from an accredited college or university in the United States (at the undergraduate and/or graduate level), and whose native language is not English, must achieve a score of 21 on the listening section of the computer-based TOEFL test with a composite score of 550/213, or a score of 84 on the MTELP, or a score of 6 on the IELTS. Exceptions to the testing requirement are students from countries where English is the official language. See the Graduate Catalog for examples of qualifying countries. TESOL applications must include the Graduate School Application form, the Graduate School application fee, undergraduate and any graduate transcripts, TOEFL scores (if required), three letters of recommendation, and a 500-word statement of purpose. GRE scores are optional. 

All applicants, including those applying to or enrolled in the English MA or PhD, need to apply directly to the TESOL Certificate Program.

For more information about where to send application materials and application dates, see the Graduate Application Information.


The certificate course consists of twelve credit hours of graduate-level courses. All students must take the following:       

  • ENGL 6680–Introduction to Linguistics
  • ENGL 6681–Theory of Second Language Acquisition
  • ENGL 6682–TESL Methodology
  • ENGL 7783–Practicum in Second Language Teaching    

Complete course descriptions can be found under the Department of English and Philosophy offerings in the ISU Graduate Catalog.          

Contact Information

For further information about the program, including admissions policies, please contact one of the directors listed below:

Brent Wolter, 208-282-2478  brentwolter@isu.edu

Sonja Launspach, 208-282-2237  sonjalaunspach@isu.edu

Federal law requires that all certificate programs provide the following disclosure information about their certificate programs.

How much will this program cost me?*

$8,046 for in-state tuition and fees

$12,366 for out-of state tuition and fees

$1,050 for books and supplies

$4,590 for off-campus room and board

Miscellaneous fees: $100 new graduate student fee, $35/semester computing fee, parking permit (optional, fee varies)

Visit https://www.isu.edu/english/programs/english-graduate/cost-of-attendance/ for more information.

*The amounts shown above include costs for the entire program, assuming normal time to completion (3 semesters) at part-time attendance (2 courses per semester). Please note that the information is subject to change.

What financing options are available to help me pay for this program?

Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans. Most students in this program add the certificate to the M.A. in English or Ph.D. in English and the Teaching of English, accomplishing the certificate requirements alongside those for the M.A. or Ph.D. Therefore, most of these students are supported through teaching assistantships or fellowships. Because there were fewer than 10 graduates in this program during the past 2 years, median amounts are withheld to preserve the confidentiality of graduates.

How long will it take me to complete this program?

The program is designed to take 1 and ½ years (3 semesters) of part-time coursework (2 courses per semester). The program may be completed alongside the M.A. in English, Ph.D. in English and the Teaching of English, or graduate degree in other liberal arts fields offered at Idaho State University. Because there were fewer than 10 graduates in this program during the past 2 years, the number who finished within the normal time has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of graduates.

Program graduates may be employed in college or secondary education teaching. We are not currently required to calculate a job placement rate for program completers.

This program has no licensure requirements in any state.

Federal Gainful Employment Disclosure

View the Federal Gainful Employment Disclosure information.