English as a Second Language Graduate Certificate

The English as a Second Language Graduate Certificate will prepare you to effectively work with English language learners as classrooms across Pennsylvania and the region become increasingly diverse. Upon successful completion, you will be eligible to earn the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Program Specialist: ESL Certificate.

Through this program, you will develop a foundation in English usage, linguistic awareness and second language acquisition. Coursework will train you to adapt and develop instructional materials for English language learners, as well as administer and interpret a variety of formative and summative assessments. You’ll become knowledgeable about support services for English language learners while developing cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Courses are taught by Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) professors with K through grade 12 teaching experience to ensure that you will be guided by experts in the field and receive a high-quality education. Each course includes fieldwork, so students have frequent opportunities to employ their new concepts and skills by teaching English language learners. In addition, graduate students can apply these course credits to Temple University’s MSEd in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

The ESL certificate can be added to any valid Pennsylvania Instructional I or II teaching certificate. However, to obtain a position as an ESL teacher in a public school, you must be certified in early childhood education, middle grades English or secondary English. If you are certified in other middle grades or secondary content areas, you should take the Praxis II for English to add this credential.

Delivery Method

Students may begin this 12-credit certificate program during the fall, spring, or summer sessions in one academic year (September–May), over one, 12-week summer session and the fall term (May–December), or over the spring term and one, 12-week summer session (January–August). It is not recommended that students take all four courses during one, 12-week summer session. To accommodate practicing teachers and professionals, classes for in-person sections of the courses are held once a week in the evening.

Courses are offered in an asynchronous, online format. This program can be completed on a part time basis and must be finished in four years. Each course has a mandatory fieldwork component. Students can complete their fieldwork requirements in their own schools or they can receive field placement assistance from the College of Education and Human Development’s Office of Field Placement and Professional Experiences.

Classes & Curriculum

The English as a Second Language Graduate Certificate requires completion of four courses. It is recommended, but not required, that students take the courses in the following order.

  • Foundations of Language Teaching: Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners
  • Contexts for Teaching and Learning Language
  • Multilingual Students’ Literacy Development
  • Designing Assessment and Curriculum for Multilingual Students

See a full list of requirements.

Field Experience  

As part of your academic program, you will gain firsthand knowledge in classrooms through immersive field placements.

Clearance Requirements

Students enrolled in courses that require fieldwork or internships must submit updated child abuse, criminal and drug clearances every year. Learn more about submitting clearance requirements.

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Graduate Certificate offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. These tuition costs apply to the 2023–2024 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $1,053.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,449.00 per credit

Learn more about our tuition and fees.


Graduates of this program lead classes for ESL students in kindergarten through grade 12, as well as adult learners in public and private schools, community organizations, private language institutes and more. Graduates are also content area teachers in diverse classrooms from kindergarten through grade 12.

Please note that teaching in a public school requires a Pennsylvania Instructional I or II teaching certificate.

Related Graduate Programs

Related Graduate Certificates


For more information about this program, the College of Education and Human Development, how to apply for admission, and your application status, contact Enrollment Management.

Enrollment Management
Ritter Annex 150
1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: 215-204-8011
Email: educate@temple.edu


Additional Program Information