Teaching English as a Second Language, Graduate Certificate

Department of English

College of Arts and Letters

We designed this program for teachers who wish to teach English language skills to adults in the U.S. and abroad.

  • Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Many certificate programs require more than 12 credit hours.

    No more than one 400-level NAU course (3 or 4 units) may be used on a certificate program.

    No more than 25% of the units required for the certificate program may be transferred from another university.

    A 400-level course (undergraduate course) completed at another university is not eligible for transfer credit.

    A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved to obtain a graduate certificate. No more than three units of coursework with a grade of "C" may be used in a certificate program.

    A graduate student may pursue a graduate certificate concurrently with a graduate degree. Each graduate degree program must decide which, if any, certificate courses can be counted toward the graduate degree.

    Students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and approved by the academic unit and the Graduate College.
  • Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program).  See the “Details” tab for additional information.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 18
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Purpose Statement

The TESL certificate provides foundational coursework on the nature of the English language and practical second-language teaching skills—including lesson-plan design, instructional-materials development, and assessment of language-skill learning. The certificate targets the needs of pre- and in-service teachers who work in a range of instructional settings with ESL or EFL students, and those working toward an Arizona ESL Endorsement. The TESL certificate prepares students for (a) careers that serve diverse student populations in need of second-language education and (b) further graduate study in applied linguistics and related fields.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Knowledge of the social and regional diversity and history of the English language, the structure and uses of the English language
  • Ability to apply the knowledge described above to issues of English language teaching and learning
  • Ability to address issues of language learning in real world settings
  • Understanding of second language learning processes in their diverse cultural contexts
  • Understanding of the many issues relating to cross-cultural communication

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • Personal statement or essay 
Certificate Requirements
  • Please note that we accept one course taken at the 400 level.

  • This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate. Federal financial aid cannot be used if the certificate is completed as a stand-alone certificate.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.