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Adult/International TESL

The Adult/International TESL Certificate is designed for those individuals who intend to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to adult learners, either domestically or abroad.  The certificate is issued by the University of Cincinnati. Certificate graduates are qualified to work in international and domestic language schools or in community ESL/EFL programs for adults.


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Required teaching experience, Research




Distance Learning Only


Literacy & Second Language Studies
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services


Teachers College Office 610R
Cincinnati,OH  45221
Dr. Mary Benedetti
Phone: 513-556-3598

Student Success Factors

Experience in working with diverse populations; interest in cultures, languages, and teaching; commitment to social justice and promoting diversity; love of travel.

Career Possibilities

  • Teach adult English Language Learners in both national and international setting/contexts 
  • Teach English language (reading and writing) to adult learners of non-English speaking populations
  • Teach adults in both formal and informal educational settings.

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

The Literacy and Second Language Studies program at the University of Cincinnati provides an exemplary educational, research, and teaching program addressing issues of access, social equality, and diversity. The program’s work is conducted in partnership with other programs and centers at our University and in our community, in a way that is relevant to regional, national, and global concerns. Our mission is to educate individuals to take leadership roles in literacy and language acquisition settings within local, regional, and national arenas, while serving the needs of our multiple clients from the immediate urban area. We strive to create professional and scholarly opportunities for students to become theoretically informed and practically equipped, caring, committed, and competent educators and scholars. Our program aligns its mission and its work with university initiatives, and the national professional organizations: the American Association for Applied linguistics (AAAL) and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

The Adult/International Certificate program is geared toward individuals who are interested in teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) in international language schools, community colleges, non-profit organizations, or private companies. This program is designed to meet international TESOL standards. The aim of the program is to prepare theoretically informed and practically equipped caring, committed, and competent ESL/EFL teachers, curriculum developers and consultants, as well as program administrators for schools, colleges, university ESL and Intensive English Programs (IEPs), and corporations.


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

Adult/International TESL curriculum

Predominant Program

    Adult/International TESL Curriculum
    • LSLS7053, Foundations of First and Second Language Learning, 3
    • LSLS7060, Applied Linguistics, 3
    • LSLS7068, Sociolinguistics and Bilingual Education, 3
    • LSLS7071, Adult/International Practicum, 3
    • LSLS8061, Teaching and Assessing College ESL: Reading and Writing, 3
    • LSLS8062, Teaching and Assessing College ESL: Oral, 3

Special Programs

Annual study abroad opportunities.  Practicum possibilities include international sites, community agencies, and language schools, both university and proprietary.

Admission Requirements

The applicant must possess a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.

The applicant must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 at the undergraduate level leading to the Bachelor Degree. The applicant who possesses a master’s degree prior to admission must have a graduate grade point average of at least 3.0 in any graduate level work undertaken before admission. All calculations are based on a 4.0 scale.

In rare instances, candidates who graduated from a non-accredited college or university or who do not meet the minimum grade point averages requirement for admission may be admitted based upon an evaluation of evidence submitted by the candidate. As a minimum, the evidence must address mastery of the knowledge prerequisite to the courses required by the program, acceptable writing skills, the ability to engage in critical thinking, and a personal commitment to completing the program. The evidence, very often including Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, must convincingly demonstrate the candidate's potential for success in graduate level work.

Admission decisions are not be made on the basis of race, age, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

Candidates who are not accepted for admission may reapply once they have addressed the weaknesses identified during their initial application review. During that period, such applicants may be encouraged by the program to enroll in appropriate course work to develop the knowledge, skills, and values deemed necessary for admission into the program, or to demonstrate that the applicant already possesses such qualifications. Whether such course work may apply to the degree program is left to the discretion of the program. Applicants may also be encouraged to take or re-take the GRE. Completion of recommended course work or the GRE does not guarantee admission into the program.

Advanced standing for a limited amount of course work taken prior to admittance to the program is possible. Course work completed 5 or more years prior to admission will not be applied to the requirements. To maintain active status in the program, students must register for at least 1 semester credit every academic year.

The application is not complete, and cannot be reviewed, until the School of Education has received all of the following:

  1. A cover letter clearly stating to which degree and program strand (i.e., Adult/International or K-12 TESOL) the application is being made.
  2. A statement of the applicant's academic and professional goals, approximately two pages long. This writing sample will be used as one of the criteria for evaluating the application. The applicant should explain specifically what areas s/he would like to study so that an appropriate advisor may be assigned to the applicant if admitted into the program.
  3. A resume relevant to academic and professional data. It should include the applicant's name, address, phone, email, colleges attended with degrees, dates conferred, and grade point average, employment history, professional experience, present employer, and names of references.
  4. Three letters of recommendation from people familiar with the applicant’s academic and professional abilities.  At least one letter should be from a faculty member in higher education. Those writing letters should explain who they are, their relationship to the applicant, and what they know of the applicant’s academic and professional abilities. The applicant should be prepared to provide the recommenders e-mail addresses in the electronic application. Since recommenders are not prompted to submit their letters until the electronic application has been submitted, and application fee paid, it is wise to encourage recommenders to prepare their letters in advance so that they can upload them immediately upon receipt of the prompt.
  5. Transcripts showing all undergraduate and graduate course work completed, including degrees granted and dates of degrees conferred. Applicants whose previous degrees were earned at the University of Cincinnati may substitute "on-campus" transcripts.

Application Deadline and Procedures

Prospective students will complete the on-line application for their requested program by the posted application deadline.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials and support documents are successfully submitted.  Incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed.


Providing academic records during the application process. All applicants are required to upload their unofficial transcripts during the application process. The university defines “unofficial” transcripts as transcripts that have been in the hands of students, are typically printed on plain paper, and do not have a college seal or registrar's signature. Applicants should NOT send official transcripts as part of the application process.

Providing academic records after admission. Once an applicant has been extended an offer of admission to the University of Cincinnati and has accepted the offer, s/he must submit an official transcript showing conferral of a baccalaureate degree or higher as soon as possible to the address below. The university defines “official” transcripts as transcripts that have been received from a secure, authenticated issuing institution and bears validation (e.g., a seal, logo, or watermark), including a date and an appropriate signature. Official transcripts MUST be sent forward in their original, sealed envelope. The absolute final deadline for submission of official transcripts is one week before the start of the student’s first semester. Students will NOT be allowed to complete a full semester without providing verification of an earned baccalaureate degree or higher. Any discrepancy later found between student-provided unofficial transcripts and official transcripts will be grounds for dismissal. Official Transcripts should be sent to one of the following addresses:

Regular U.S. postal mail: Delivery via parcel delivery service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):
Graduate School
University of Cincinnati
110 Van Wormer Hall
P.O. Box 210627
2614 McMicken Circle
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627
Graduate School
University of Cincinnati
2614 McMicken Circle
110 Van Wormer Hall
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627

UC Alumni

Students who have received degrees from the University of Cincinnati do not need to submit official paper copies of their UC transcripts.


Students with degrees received in China

Applicants who have received degrees in China will upload their unofficial transcripts during the application process. The university defines “unofficial” transcripts as transcripts that have been in the hands of students, are typically printed on plain paper, and do not have a college seal or registrar's signature. Unofficial transcripts do NOT need to be verified at this stage of the application process.


After being accepted to join a graduate program

Applicants who have earned a degree in China must submit an English-version verification report from the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) of their final transcripts and degree certificates.  All verification reports must be sent to the University of Cincinnati directly by the CDGDC to be considered official. No other verification will be accepted. Applicants with Chinese transcripts must contact the CDGDC after their degree is completed and request that their degree verification report be submitted directly to the University of Cincinnati. Students who request a verification report prior to degree conferral will be required to submit a second report after conferral.

Verification reports can be ordered at the following websites:


Verification reports are due to the Graduate School one week prior to the start of the student’s first semester. Failure to submit verification reports on time will result in a student being placed in non-matriculated status and loss of his/her student visa status. Verification reports should be sent to one of the following addresses:

Regular U.S. postal mail: Delivery via parcel delivery service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):
Graduate School
University of Cincinnati
110 Van Wormer Hall
P.O. Box 210627
2614 McMicken Circle
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627
Graduate School
University of Cincinnati
2614 McMicken Circle
110 Van Wormer Hall
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627


Changing Majors Within UC

Courses taken prior to admission into the program may be eligible for transfer into the program, if taken within 5 years prior to admission and if approved by the program faculty. Official paperwork is required and the appropriate forms may be obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies. To maintain active status in the program, students must register for at least one credit every academic year. Degree requirements must be completed within 5 years of date of admission.

Up to nine (9) semester credit hours can be transferred into the program upon approval of the department.

International Student Requirements

International student applicants are required to provide specific information about their transcripts or degree programs to facilitate the applicant review process, including transcript translation and evaluation by a recognized translation/evaluation agency. For a list of translation/evaluation agencies accepted by the University of Cincinnati, please contact the International Students Services office:; 513-556-4278

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IELTS, or PTE is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. The following minimum scores must be obtained:

  • Internet-Based Test (iBT): 79-80  OR
  • Paper-Based Test (PBT):  550
  • IELTS: 6.5
  • PTE:53

All exams must have been taken within the two-year period preceding admission.  The University of Cincinnati maintains an International Student Services Office (ISSO), which serves international students attending the University.  For questions regarding international student information, contact the International Student Services Office at (513) 556-4278,

Graduation Requirements

  • Students may graduate at the end of any semester provided they meet the necessary degree requirements and all Department and University deadlines. Students should confer closely with their advisors regarding graduation as they approach the completion of their degree requirements. The initial step in the graduation process consists of a formal application for graduation. This must be done by the announced deadline (usually during the semester prior to the semester of anticipated graduation) and is completed online at
  • A complete list of important deadlines and responsibilities that must be met prior to graduation, as well as further instructions and guidelines for completing the application for graduation can be found at
  • The student must be registered for at least one graduate credit in their program in an academic year, after having met minimum degree/candidacy requirements to be considered a graduate student throughout the academic year. Further, students must be registered for at least one graduate credit during the academic year in which they will graduate.

Before graduation for all students, submission of Notification of Removal of all NG, N, I, UP, SP, and F grades must be sent as well as posting of all satisfactory grades for the graduation semester.

Application Deadlines

Admission Term

Application Deadline

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The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


 Programmatic Disclosure

Teaching English as a Second Language – Graduate Certificate

ONET Occupational Crosswalk Match Links

Institutional OPEID – 3125
CIP Code – 131401 
SOC Code – 25-3090

Estimated Costs

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On-Time Completion and Job Placement Rates


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Students Completing Program 07/01/11 – 06/30/12

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*Not required for programs with less than 10 graduates