TESL certificate

The TESL certificate provides foundational coursework and a coherent educational experience for people wishing to teach in a range of settings with ESL or EFL students, or wanting to work toward an Arizona ESL endorsement.

Credit hours earned for the TESL certificate can be applied to an MA-TESL degree. If you’re a certificate student and decide to pursue an MA-TESL degree, you must submit an application for the MA-TESL degree, independently of the application for the TESL certificate.

TESL Certificate Program Information

To earn a TESL certificate from the English department at Northern Arizona University, at least four of the six classes (or 12 credit hours) must be ENG-prefix courses.

For more information on the courses available, visit the academic catalog.

The NAU academic catalog is the official, authoritative source for all academic requirements and policies. Any discrepancies in curricular requirements from other sources will default to the catalog as the official, authoritative source. 


Graduate Student Association of Applied Linguistics

NOTE: Teachers who choose the TESL certificate program to fulfill Arizona ESL endorsement requirements will also need to demonstrate a second language learning experience and will need to show that they have already taught ESL students for two years in their classes, or they will need to take a teaching practicum course.

Certificate students cannot take more than one NAU 400-level course for the TESL certificate.

TESL / Applied Linguistics Faculty

Apply to our program 

To qualify, you must have a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 grade point average. The deadline for applications is June 15th for the following fall semester, which begins in late August.

There are two major steps required to apply to the TESL certificate program at Northern Arizona University:

1) Submit an application for graduate study to the Graduate CollegeYou can find information about the application for graduate study at the Graduate College. 

GRE scores are not required for the TESL Certificate.

Non-native English speakers must also submit a current, official TOEFL score. A TOEFL score of 89 iBT (230 CBT, or 570 paper) or higher is required for regular admission.

Applicants with lower scores can be conditionally admitted. In the first semester, non-native English speakers often take English 506: Introduction to American Language and Thought.

2) Submit a statement of purpose to the TESL Certificate Program. 

The statement of purpose (1-2 pages) should describe why you are interested in obtaining a TESL Certificate from Northern Arizona University and how you intend to use your certificate. Send the statement of purpose to:

TESL Program
Department of English
P.O. Box 6032
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-6032 USA
If you have specific questions, please contact:

Dr. Luke Plonsky
luke.plonsky@nau.edu