Indiana State Online

Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language Certificate


Indiana State University offers a graduate certificate preparing individuals to teach English as a second language (TESL) or English as a foreign language (TEFL). The TESL/TEFL certificate is widely recognized as the first level of qualification in teaching English as a second/foreign language. Graduates are eligible to teach in a variety of settings, including language schools in the U.S. and other countries. All courses are taught by faculty of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Indiana State University.

  • The TESL/TEFL Graduate Certificate is a 12-credit-hour program that can be completed entirely online.
  • Courses in the certificate program are only offered online during the summer. All courses are 12-week courses and are largely self-paced. As these are graduate-level courses, in most cases, students should plan to complete required coursework in two consecutive summers.
  • It is important to note that licensure as a teacher is required to teach ESL in public schools in Indiana (and elsewhere in the United States). Attainment of the TESL/TEFL Graduate Certificate does not qualify an individual to teach ESL in all situations.
  • Representations on licensing apply to licensing in the state of Indiana only. Potential students seeking licensing in other states should check with that state's educational licensing authorities on their requirements. Further restrictions may be found in the state specific information under the program availability link.

Required Courses:

All courses are offered online. On-campus visits are not required. High-speed Internet access is required.

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For details on textbooks for a particular course, see textbooks.

Admission Requirements

This program is open to in-state and many out-of-state students. This program is closed to all students residing abroad (including international students) except for U.S. military and State Department personnel and their family members with APO/FPO addresses.

Applicants must satisfy the following minimum requirements.

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree granted by a regionally accredited institution (for international students, a degree granted by a recognized institution)
  • Have earned one of the following:
    • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.7 in all undergraduate course work
    • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work
    • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in the applicant's major field of study
    • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all courses taken at the graduate level
  • Submit a resume including academic and work experience.
  • Submit a statement of purpose explaining why he/she is interested in pursuing graduate work in the department.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation from former professors, if possible, or employers who can comment on the likelihood of the student's success in the proposed program of graduate study.
  • Optionally, demonstrate competence in English for international students whose first language is not English.
  • The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required.


The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Application Instructions:

  1. Apply online.
  2. Submit official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended sent to Indiana State University, Graduate Admissions, Welcome Center, 318 North Sixth Street, Terre Haute, IN, 47809. E-transcripts should be sent to
  3. Submit a nonrefundable application fee of $45.00 (U.S. citizens and permanent residents) or $65.00 (international students) payable by Visa, MasterCard, or check or money order payable to Indiana State University. Submit payment to: Indiana State University, Graduate Admissions, Welcome Center, 318 North Sixth Street, Terre Haute, IN, 47809.
  4. Submit all other materials (resume, statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation) to the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Root Hall, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 47809.

Once admitted, students receive notification from the University as well as their University ID number needed to activate their Sycamore login on the MyISU Portal. The Portal offers access to online registration, University records, and other important University services, including e-mail, and University announcements.

Note: Returning ISU students must apply for re-admission if they have not attended ISU for more than two calendar years.

Fees & Expenses:

[ current fee rates ]

Financial Aid & Assistance:

Graduate students may be eligible for federal student loans if they are admitted into graduate degrees (or first-time teacher certification programs) and meet other eligibility requirements. Certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid. Private alternative loans can help students pay college expenses that may not be covered by federal loan programs or other financial aid. For more information, visit financial aid.

In addition, students may be eligible for payment plans and veterans benefits.

Further Information:

For further information and assistance, contact:

Indiana State Online
(812) 237-2345

Indiana State Online Students Residing Outside of Indiana: Each of the states has its own approval processes for out-of-state institutions offering online degrees. While Indiana State University endeavors to offer all of its programs to as wide an audience as possible, all ISU online programs may not be available in all states. Currently, online programs are not offered in the state of Massachusetts. To check the status of programs available in a particular state, visit program availability.

The Graduate Catalog and Undergraduate Catalog of Indiana State University are the documents of authority for all students. The requirements given in the catalogs supersede information issued by any academic department, program, college, or school. The University reserves the right to change the requirements at any time.