Degree or Program Details


Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate


Note: The TESOL Certificate Program is not a degree or major; it is an enhancement that students can receive with additional coursework.  

The TESOL certificate program allows students in any discipline at NMU to develop their English language abilities beyond the baccalaureate level, such that they can teach English to students who have not learned it as their first or native language.

Students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty scholars and practicing language teachers in advanced seminars to master the fundamental knowledge and methodologies for teaching English as a second language to adult learners. They are also expected to become competent in a modern language other than English because competence in another language helps one to better understand and articulate the structure of English, anticipate and address the problems a non-native English learner is likely to have, and function in a foreign cultural setting.

TESOL is a growing area of opportunity, with employment options in a wide variety of academic and non-academic settings worldwide. It enhances the ability of graduate students in any discipline to teach English and to adapt their field-specific knowledge to international contexts and occupations where the knowledge of English is a precondition for access.

Each student's program culminates in an internship experience teaching English as a second language.

Courses taken toward the TESOL certificate can also fulfill requirements of appropriate majors or graduate tracks.

Program Requirements

Candidates design, in consultation with the director of graduate study and their adviser, a plan of study that includes a minimum of 20 credit hours. It has the following requirements:

  • Twelve credits of core courses
  • Four credits in an approved elective
  • Four credits of internship/practicum
  • Completion of or demonstrated proficiency in a modern language other than English at the 200 level

Admission Requirements

Regular Admission: We seek students who are already proficient in the English language. Applicants are required to comply with the regular admission requirements of the Office of Graduate Education. They may be simultaneously enrolled in any graduate program at NMU. In addition, admission may be granted to

  • any student with a bachelor's degree who has completed foreign language at the 200 (sophomore) level for that degree, or
  • any student with a bachelor's degree who can demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at the 200 level

Conditional Admission: Applicants who do not meet regular admission criteria may apply for conditional admission, in which case they must complete specific courses prior to conversion to regular admission status. These courses, such as courses to improve proficiency in English or another modern language, do not count toward the minimum 20 credits of course work required for the certificate.

For department information or additional degree requirements, click here

For course description, click on the course.

Total Credits Required for Degree 20
Core Courses 16
Electives 4
Choose one from the following: 
    when on an adviser-approved TESL/TEFL topic