Graduate Certificate

The Adult/University-Level TESOL Graduate Certificate Program is designed to meet the needs of graduate non-degree students or graduate students concurrently enrolled in a UWM master’s or PhD program who wish to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults or university-level students abroad. Requirements for this program are very similar to those for the “Adult/University-Level TESOL Undergraduate Certificate Program,” which accepts undergraduate students and post-baccalaureate special students, but training in the graduate certificate program is more rigorous. Up to 12 of the 21 credits earned can be applied (concurrently or subsequently) to the Linguistics Department’s MA program.


Students who wish to apply to the program should submit the following materials to the TESOL Certificate Program coordinator in the Department of Linguistics:

  • Adult/University-Level TESOL Graduate Certificate Program application form (available from the TESOL Certificate Program Coordinator);
  • Transcripts of all college-level academic work, with evidence of a GPA of 2.75 or better;
  • A statement of purpose;
  • Two letters of recommendation from persons knowledgeable about the applicant’s recent academic and/or work experience.
  • Applicants who are not native speakers of English should also submit TOEFL scores of at least 550 (paper-based test) or 79 (internet-based test), or at least 6.5 on the IELTS exam, and 45 on the TSE, or an equivalent means of demonstrating proficiency.

Additional Information

Students who previously have taken any of the required courses at the graduate level while enrolled in other programs at UWM may transfer the credits earned into the certificate program, so long as the courses have been taken within the last five years. Students who have taken comparable courses at other institutions may be allowed to transfer in up to 6 credits of course work, upon approval by the certificate program coordinator. Students who have completed any of the required courses for undergraduate credit must substitute courses at the graduate level, selected in consultation with the certificate program coordinator.

The teaching internship is completed at one of the internship institutions affiliated with the certificate program, and placement is made by the TESOL coordinator. The student is expected to complete approximately 50 hours of supervised teaching over the course of the semester.

Students receive the certificate upon completion of all the required course work and the teaching internship with a GPA of 3.0 or better.

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