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The graduate certificate in teaching English as a second language (TESL) prepares students to teach non-native speakers of English in the United States or abroad. Certificate courses fulfill, in part, requirements for an endorsement in English as a second language to the Virginia state teaching credential. Students who want to earn this endorsement should consult with an advisor.

The certificate may be pursued concurrently with any of several degree programs offered through the College of Education and Human Development, the English Department, and the Modern and Classical Languages Department. Part of the coursework toward the certificate may be applied toward degrees in those departments.

The graduate certificate in teaching English as a second language may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis.

This certificate program qualifies for Title IV Federal Financial Aid. For more information about program graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our disclosure information page.


Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the graduate certificate in teaching English as a second language, see Application Requirements and Deadlines.


Students pursuing this certificate must complete 18 credits, earning a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course.

For policies governing all graduate certificates, see AP.6.8 Requirements for Graduate Certificates.

Banner Code: LA-CERG-TESL

Certificate Requirements

Total credits: 18

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.


LING 520Introduction to Linguistics 13
LING 521Applied Linguistics: Teaching English as a Second Language3
LING 522Modern English Grammar3
LING 523English Phonetics3
LING 525Practicum in ESL3
LING 582Second Language Acquisition3
Total Credits18

This course may be waived if student is concurrently pursuing the English, MA with a concentration in linguistics.