Graduate TESOL Certificate

NOTE: SJSU's M.A. in TESOL is suspended as of Fall 2023.

The TESOL degree prepares students for teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in a variety of situations both in the U.S. and abroad.

  1. English as a Second Language (ESL) in community colleges
  2. ESL in adult programs
  3. ESL in community-based organizations (refugee programs, job training
  4. ESL in college undergraduate programs or intensive programs
  5. English as a Foreign Language (EFL) for foreign students
  6. EFL overseas. In addition, students may go on to pursue further degrees in TESOL or second language acquisition.

The program emphasizes language structure for teaching purposes, language acquisition processes, teaching methodology, and evaluation.

Course Requirements


Students may enter the Graduate Certificate program in either of two ways.

  1. Apply for an M.A. program AND, on 'Part B' ('Supplemental Application for Baccalaureate or Graduate Admissionand'), item 11a of the Application Form, specify that the specialty being pursued is the TESOL Certificate Program; or
  2. Take the above courses via Open University (Continuing Education).

However, note that Open University students are given lowest priority for course signup. Therefore, because graduate courses usually fill up, Open University students are rarely admitted, making it very difficult to complete the Graduate Certificate in a reasonable length of time. It is thus recommended to pursue option 1 above.

Download Graduate TESOL Certificate Flyer [pdf]

Special Notes

  1. Three (3) units are transferable into the program.
  2. International students must have a TOEFL score of 577 on the paper-based test or 233 on the computer-based test, or 90-91 on the internet-based test.
  3. Students must maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA throughout the program and in the 18 certificate units.
  4. While the TESOL Certificates are not credential, some of these courses may count towards a California State CLAD (Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development) Certificate for K-12 teachers.

If you wish to speak with an advisor, please contact the main office for an appointment.