TESL/TEFL Certificate


The TESL Certificate Program at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) is specifically designed for those who intend to teach English to speakers of other languages - English as a Second/subsequent Language (TESL) in the U.S. or English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) abroad. It provides certification that the candidate has received advanced training in the theoretical and practical aspects of English instruction from CSUN through courses taught by CSUN faculty. Coursework deals with the specific approaches to teaching English to people whose native language is not English. The certificate is ideally suited for those teaching in private institutions and in colleges and universities abroad, as well as those working as teachers or tutors in Adult Education programs in California and elsewhere. Those who tutor English language learners will benefit from specialized training in the theory and practice of language instruction.


Admission to the TESL/TEFL Certificate Program is limited to the Fall semesters only. To be accepted into the certificate program, candidates must have completed a bachelor’s from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.85 in the last 60 units of their undergraduate work. International visa students must have a minimum TOEFL score of 563 (paper and pencil version) or 223 (CBT) or 85 (iBT). In addition, acceptance is conditional upon a passing score on the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE)


The certificate is awarded upon satisfactory completion (with a minimum GPA of 3.0, with no grade lower than “C”) of the following six courses (a total of 18 units):

  • LING 300 Approaches to Linguistic Analysis or ENGL 301 Language and Linguistics
  • LING 417 or CHS 433
    • LING 417 Language Development and Acquisition
    • CHS 433 Language Acquisition of the Chicano/a and ESL Speakers
  • LING 525 English Structures for ESL/EFL Teaching
  • LING 530 Introduction to TESL
  • LING 555 TESL Classroom Practices in Post-Secondary Academic Settings
  • LING 568 TESL Testing and Assessment

Applicants should file an online application to the University through Cal State Apply. The Department of Linguistics/TESL does not require a separate departmental application, letters of recommendation or a statement of purpose. For application deadlines and additional information on how and when to apply, please consult the Admissions & Records website.

1The UDWPE is a junior-level exam of English writing ability required by the university for a bachelor’s degree at CSUN. Students accepted by any graduate program at CSUN are also required to pass this proficiency exam.