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English as a Second Language (ESL) PreK-12 Online
Graduate Certificate

Earn a English as a Second Language (ESL) certificate online with this four-course 12-credit program.

Candidates who already possess a Massachusetts initial license in another field will receive the initial license in ESL once they pass the ESL MTEL and evidence teaching 150 hours of instruction in an ESL setting.

This program does not provide endorsement but enables candidates to seek endorsement directly from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The program can be completed in as little as one year.

Required courses (12 credits)

  • EDU 651 Language, Culture & Linguistics
  • EDU 652 Current Sociolinguistic Issues in TESOL
  • EDU 653 Theories of Language Acquisition - Implications for Instruction
  • EDU 654 Field Experience: Methods & Materials for Language Teaching

*course schedules are subject to change

Course descriptions, schedules and requirements


To earn a license, candidates must pass the following MTEL tests:

  • English as a Second Language

Provisional license

You will qualify for a Massachusetts Provisional license in English as a Second Language (ESL) after completing the relevant MTELs for the license.

Initial license

If you are an educator with a Massachusetts initial license you will qualify for an initial license in ESL once you pass the ESL MTEL and evidence teaching 150 hours of instruction in an ESL setting.

Applicants who are non-MA teachers must already hold a license in their home state that is equivalent to a MA initial license.

Application requirements

  • Submit graduate application (select online modality to see program)
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited University with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.
  • Personal statement describing your beliefs about teaching and learning and why you have chosen teaching as a profession.
  • Resume
  • $60 application fee

For Massachusetts teachers

  • Submit either a copy of teaching license or proof of one year teaching experience outlined in your essay if you do not have a MA teaching license.

For out-of-state teachers

  • Submit teachers license of initial licensure or higher in your state.

University requirements for graduate admissions

  • Submit an application via the online portal. Be sure to provide your full legal name and to capitalize the first letter of all proper nouns.
  • Pay non-refundable $60 application fee (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa) via the online portal. For Nursing applicants, the non-refundable application fee is $75.
  • Statement of Purpose, minimum 300 words. Unless otherwise indicated in the program requirement details, indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist us in making assistantship decisions.
  • Resume
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether a credential is earned or not). Unofficial transcripts are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled a final official transcript is required. International students applying with an transcript evaluation, please submit that document with your unofficial transcripts. International applicants for Data Science must submit semester-by-semester transcripts as well as consolidated transcripts. 
  • Many programs have specific recommendations/requirements, please see the additional program-specific requirements for more information.
  • International students: official TOEFL iBT, IELTS, Pearson PTE or Duolingo (if accepted by program) score. Unofficial scores are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled official scores are required and must be sent by the testing agency (copies/scans not accepted). This is required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country, see exemptions for more details. We require an overall/total minimum score of 72 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.0 on the IELTS or a 52 on the Pearsons PTE Academic for entrance to any program and a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.5 on the IELTS for consideration for a teaching assistantship. Some programs require higher minimum scores (see program-specific requirements). Most programs also accept the Duolingo with a minimum score of 95. The following programs do not accept the Duolingo: Art Education, Biology/Marine Biology, Nursing (MS, DNP, PhD), Psychology: Clinical, and Public Policy. 
  • All official documents are required for enrollment, please have documents (ie. test scores) sent prior to the expiration. 

Program deadlines

Expand your opportunities

Add a English As a Second Language (ESL) endorsement to your existing (or in-process) Massachusetts initial license.

Learning Style: Online

Online courses are taught by UMass Dartmouth faculty to provide high quality instruction and personal attention. Students have the flexibility to accommodate work and home responsibilities within the structure of defined assignment due dates. The majority of our online courses are taught asynchronously.

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Course descriptions, schedules and requirements

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