Programs and Degrees

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages : Online

Why study Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages : Online?

The certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is an online undergraduate approved program of study that can lead to an Ohio P-12 TESOL endorsement and a University of Cincinnati (UC) TESOL certificate. In response to the growing population of English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. classrooms locally and nationally, this certificate will prepare prospective teachers and other professionals to meet the unique instructional and communication needs of ELLs, thus increasing their marketability upon completion of undergraduate degrees at UC and elsewhere. 

The certificate in TESOL will provide teacher education students with a deep and comprehensive understanding of effective methods of teaching and assessment for ELLs in K-12 settings. Coursework required for the certificate is aligned with requirements to obtain the Ohio P-12 TESOL endorsement. When added to a teaching license, this endorsement qualifies a teacher to work as an English as a second Language (ESL) Specialist within a school, thus expanding her/his job opportunities.

Successful candidates in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certificate should:

  • Respect other languages and cultures
  • Be interested in working with people
  • Enjoy a multicultural life
  • Take risks in creativity and application of ideas

Linguistic talents and previous language and learning experiences could be valuable assets but are not necessary. 

Career Possibilities

English language learners can be found in all school districts and communities. There is a great need for teachers and other professionals with this expertise in Ohio and across the nation. 

  • ESL specialist within a school
  • ESL specialist within various community organizations that provide language service to immigrant children
  • ESL personnel within a school districts (e.g., resource coordinator, ESL manager, ESL curriculum director) within a school district
  • ESL or EFL (English as a foreign language) teacher in overseas schools
  • Social worker helping immigrant students and their families
  • Guidance counselor working with ESL students
  • Speech pathologist working with ESL students

Major Maps

  • This UG certificate consists of 15 semester hours (undergraduate credit).  All credits must be earned at the University of Cincinnati; no credits can be transferred in from another university or program.
  • LSLS 4078   Practicum in TESL is a course involving a practicum experience with second language learners.  Students admitted and enrolled in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: Online must find their own practicum experience site, which must then be approved by the course instructor.  
  • Please note that completion of this undergraduate certificate does not lead to an Ohio teaching license.  In addition, enrollment in this certificate program does not lead to eligibility for a visa and the program does not provide any financial support.

Admission Requirements

This program is open to both education major students and non-education major students who are in good academic standing, with a cumulative university grade point average of 3.0 or higher and the desire to succeed. Simply apply for the certificate and register for the appropriate classes.

Although admission is open to any major, students accepted into the program must meet the academic standards of the program to advance to upper levels of study. Education majors may be admitted into a course in the UG TESOL certificate program in the spring semester of their sophomore year, but that does not guarantee that students will be admitted to the professional cohort.

Please note: In order to obtain this certificate, 50% or more of the required coursework must be taken from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. Application materials for the certificate program can be located here

Applicants must submit:

  • Proof of having graduated from a secondary education program either in the US or from your home country.
  • Proof of one year of post-secondary experience (30 semester hours) or equivalent experience.  A short explanation of the equivalent experience will be reviewed by the TESOL faculty.  
  • International students should have all of their university transcripts evaluated by a member of the National Association of Credit Evaluators, such as SpanTran or WES. Please have the evaluator send both the course-by-course evaluation and the original, official university transcripts. 

All documents must also come with a professional, certified English translation, if  needed. Notarized/certified copies of original documents are considered official.

International students should send TOEFL test scores to UC directly from the testing agency. The minimum TOEFL iBT total score is 66, with at least 15 points for each separate section. The IELTS overall score is 6 with a minimum of 5.5 for each section.  Link for UC test codes: http://://

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete program requirements with a grade of C or better in order to obtain the certificate. Students who already hold an initial Ohio teaching license who would like to add the K-12 TESOL endorsement must apply to the Ohio Department of Education. 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines:

Fall semester - July 1
Spring semester - November 1
Summer semester - March 1


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

Quick Facts

Undergraduate Certificate Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages : Online

Full-Time Program Duration

2 Years


Uptown Campus West


PO Box 210014
Cincinnati, OH 45221
Phone: (513) 556-6308
Office of Recruitment