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Certificate in TESOL (Graduate)

School of Education


Biola’s Graduate Certificate in TESOL is designed to provide students with a solid academic foundation in second language pedagogy and develop their understanding of practical skills in teaching English in cross-cultural settings. The knowledge students attain through this program will broaden their global perspective and provide them with the resources to confidently step into a variety of roles that will help others in need of the language to pursue education, careers, or survive and establish themselves in English-speaking countries.

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Why Pursue a TESOL Certificate at Biola?

English has become the most widely used language in the world today, particularly in the areas of science, commerce, and education — and the demand for qualified teachers of English is growing. The Certificate in TESOL will give you the tools to confidently step into the classroom and guide others toward reaching their personal and professional language goals. This program affords you the opportunity to:

  • Learn On-Campus. Studying on campus allows you the opportunity to connect with faculty and classmates in person and practice your TESOL skills throughout Southern California, one of the most linguistically diverse cities in the world.
  • Study Online. Biola’s Certificate in TESOL program is available fully online, giving you the flexibility to receive biblically-centered training in TESOL from nearly anywhere in the world.
  • Gain the Essentials. Biola also offers a noncredit Essentials of TESOL class through Biola LEARN. Self-paced, fully online, and low-cost, this course will prepare you to teach English in informal settings while giving you a taste of what you will learn in the Certificate in TESOL program.
  • Train for a Higher Calling. Our Christ-centered curriculum will develop your expertise in language teaching — characterized by professional preparation, contextual sensitivity, cultural appropriateness, and ethical service in the name of Jesus.

What Will I Study?

The Graduate Certificate in TESOL is a 21-credit certificate program that can be completed on-campus or online over the course of 2-3 semesters. You will expand your knowledge of TESOL as you dive into courses such as:

  • Structure of English
  • Introduction to TESOL - Adult
  • Materials Evaluation & Preparation
  • Practicum in TESOL
  • Ethics, Values & Intercultural Communication for TESOL Professionals
  • Vocabulary Learning and Teaching
  • Bible Theology Course (3 Credits)

Be sure to review the official program requirements in the Biola University catalog.

2-3 Semesters
Standard Duration
This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary depending on transferred coursework and preferred courseload.
Total Program Credits
Every program at Biola University features rigorous academics, biblically integrated curriculum and vocational preparation.
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.

Career Paths

A certificate in TESOL can qualify you to work in a part-time or entry-level English language teaching position at a language institute in the United States or other institutions worldwide. The type of career you are seeking will determine what level of certification or degree to pursue. Note: Students interested in seeking higher-level roles or ESL positions at a university may require a master’s degree.

Biola offers three certificates in TESOL:

  • Graduate Certificate in TESOL (21 credits): Graduate students may acquire this certificate after completing their first year of the M.A. in TESOL, in conjunction with another master’s program, or on its own as a stand-alone program.
  • Undergraduate Certificate in TESOL (18 credits): Undergraduate students may earn this certificate in conjunction with their undergraduate program.
  • Departmental Entry-Level Certificates: Students who complete one or more courses but do not fulfill the credits required for the graduate certificate can receive a certificate that specifies the number of contact hours. One 3-credit class is equivalent to 45 contact hours (an estimated amount of 180 hours total based on three hours of homework per in-class contact).

Note: In the United States, K–12 teaching jobs require a credential, not a certificate, whereas, in other parts of the world, job and education requirements may differ. Those interested in K–12 ESL should consult with a TESOL faculty member for advice on which program or certification to pursue.