Undergraduate Certificate

The Adult/University-Level TESOL Undergraduate Certificate Program is designed to meet the needs of students who wish to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults or university-level students abroad. The program is open to undergraduates with at least junior standing, to post-baccalaureate special students, and to those who do not plan to pursue a college or university degree (non-degree students) but who have a strong interest in this subject. Graduate students or post-baccalaureate non-degree students should pursue instead the “Adult/University-Level TESOL Graduate Certificate Program.” Training in the graduate certificate program is more rigorous, and some credits earned can be transferred to the Linguistics Department 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, Dr. Glenn Starr (starrg@uwm.edu):

  1. Adult/University-Level TESOL Undergraduate Certificate Program application form;
  2. Transcripts of all college-level academic work, with evidence of a GPA of 2.5 or better;
  3. A statement of purpose;
  4. 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 also should submit scores of at least 550 on the TOEFL exam and 45 on the TSE.

Additional Information

Undergraduate students concurrently completing a bachelor’s degree receive the certificate upon completion of their degree requirements; post-baccalaureate special students receive the certificate upon completion of the required course work and internship.

Students who previously have taken any of the required courses while enrolled as non-degree undergraduate students or students in other undergraduate 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 undergraduate-level courses at other institutions may be allowed to transfer in up to 6 credits of course work, upon approval of the certificate program coordinator.

There is a time limit of three years from initial enrollment for completion of the certificate.