Enrolls In
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Online, Onsite (Seattle), Mixed Mode
Total Credits

Teach English as a Second Language at Home or Abroad

City University of Seattle’s Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is a dynamic, hands-on learning experience designed to bridge theory and practice. Our students gain valuable knowledge in language acquisition theories, course development and materials selection, practical classroom management, and application skills. Courses are available in online, hybrid mode, or in-class format. We offer one of the only online-certified Graduate Certificate in TESOL programs that include 10 hours of observing live English instruction.

City University of Seattle offers a unique, fast-track opportunity for students who would like to earn their graduate Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate and transition to teaching abroad. A TESOL certificate is a globally recognized standard that can be the key to unlocking new opportunities abroad. The TESOL program offers the flexibility you need to continue working while taking classes. You choose your own timeline for completion – our five-week, on-campus summer intensive or three quarters online/mixed mode. CityU provides the perfect place for you to see and practice what you’ve learned. Our Intensive English Language Program serves as a live laboratory for teacher candidates.  At CityU, we have a whole team ready to answer your questions and get you on the road to success. If you are interested in learning more about our Graduate Certificate in TESOL, connect with our advisors to learn more, or visit the Washington Academy of Languages website.

Note: This certificate program is not an eligible program to receive federal financial aid funding, unless the classes are required for a Master's degree program. This is an eligible program for students using their military educational benefits.

Learning Outcomes

Throughout the TESOL certificate program, you’ll learn:

  • Major theories of first and second language acquisition and how the two processes are related
  • Historical overview of language teaching methodology
  • Form, meaning, and use of English grammar structures
  • Strategies for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking to English language learners
  • Needs-based, learner-centered approach to selecting, adapting, supplementing, and developing classroom materials for the adult learner of English

Intern in Mexico Experience

The Intern in Mexico Experience is an option for students who are planning to start an MEd in Adult Education with a TESOL emphasis after completion of their TESOL certificate, or who wish to experience teaching abroad.In this program, students spend one quarter (11 weeks) at one of nine bilingual high schools in the beautiful city of Puebla, Mexico, where they assist English and content instructors in the classroom and act as cultural ambassadors of English. The roles and responsibilities of the intern are determined by the host high school and vary based on each school’s immediate needs. These expectations are clearly outlined before students are placed in a given school. The program is offered in partnership with Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP).

Intern in Seattle Experience

The Intern at City University of Seattle Experience is only an option for students enrolled in the MEd in Adult Education program. Students who choose CityU as their internship site work with an experienced mentor as they assist in facilitating classroom activities. City University of Seattle’s campus is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Seattle and in close proximity to our residence hall.

Domestic Students

An undergraduate degree and proof of English proficiency qualify you to apply for this program. Admission to the graduate-level TESOL program requires students to hold a four-year baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited or otherwise recognized institution. Complete the CityU online application; or complete, sign, and return a paper application form to Admissions at City University of Seattle, 521 Wall St., Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98121. Submit the non-refundable $50 application fee. If mailing a paper application form, please include the fee with your completed application. Request transcripts from all institutions you’ve attended. Have them sent directly to City University of Seattle Registrar’s Office, 521 Wall St., Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98121.

Note: Electronic transcripts are accepted at City University of Seattle if sent from another recognized institution using proper security measures. They may also be emailed to evaluations@cityu.edu. Electronic transcripts sent directly or forwarded from students or other individuals/businesses not in a direct agreement with CityU will be considered unofficial. Submit proof of English proficiency, if applicable.

International Students

International students are eligible to study online in your home country or on an F-1 visa for the summer intensive session. We will provide an I-20 to accepted applicants, which will be used to apply for the F-1 visa. Please submit the following items to apply:

  • Application
  • Application fee: $50
  • Copy of your passport ID page
  • Copy of your bank statement that shows the amount you have in the bank, the address of the bank, and a signature from someone at the bank.
  • Official score reports of an English placement test (iTEP or TOEFL)

If you don’t meet the English Language Proficiency requirements, we have an English program that you may attend before you begin your TESOL studies. You must successfully complete level 8 of our program in order to start the TESOL program. Please email us for more information about this option.

Total Required Credits (15 Credits)

For full course descriptions please visit the 2020–2021 Course Catalog. 

Required Courses

TESOL 510 Principles of Language Learning and Teaching (3)

TESOL 525  Methods of Teaching Language (3)

TESOL 530 Teaching Grammar (3)

TESOL 540 Strategies for Teaching the Four Language Skills (3)

TESOL 555 TESOL Materials Development and Selection (3)

Whether you’re entering the workforce or changing careers, the graduate certificate in TESOL online or on-site programs will prepare you to face the unique rigors of classroom teaching. You can apply this certificate toward the Master of Education in Adult Education and Instructional Design, or directly enter the classroom working with English language learners. Other options include:

  • Teach English to adult learners overseas.
  • Use your skills in administrative roles with English acquisition organizations in the U.S. or abroad.

Networking Opportunities

At CityU, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with faculty working in your field, students from around the globe, and alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies. Plus, you’ll be part of a supportive community that’s dedicated to helping you reach your career goals.

Tuition Cost

Learn more about tuition and fees for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

Financial Aid Opportunities

At CityU, we’re committed to helping students achieve their academic goals no matter their economic situations. Our financial aid counselors are here to find the resources you need to pay for your education, including grants, loans, work study, and scholarships.

Learn more about financial aid opportunities at CityU, or contact our Financial Aid Team at 800.426.5596, 206.239.4540, or finaid@cityu.edu.

Military Tuition Benefits

As a Yellow Ribbon school, CityU is proud to serve those who have served in the military. We offer military tuition discounts for active-duty servicemembers and their spouses and accept military benefits such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and Tuition Assistance.

Learn more about military tuition benefits, VA benefits, and military partnership programs designed to help you reach your military and career goals.


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Founded in 1973, City University of Seattle offers over 60 on-site and online programs designed for busy working adults like you. When you enroll at CityU, you’ll have the support of a community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who are dedicated to helping you finish your degree and reach your goals.


CityU is recognized as a Top 10 educator of adults nationwide.1 In fact, students complete their degrees at twice the national rate.2


Develop marketable, real-world skills in courses taught by faculty who are practitioners working in your field.


Expand your expertise and your global perspectives in on-site and online courses with students from around the world.


Network with alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies, including Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft.