College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse > Graduate > TESOL (Certificate) > FAQ

TESOL Certificate FAQ

The TESOL Certificate can be completed in one calendar year and can be started in any academic quarter. In some cases, it may be possible to complete the program in three academic quarters, depending on the quarter of entry and how many courses are taken each quarter. In all cases, completing the Certificate requires taking courses during the academic year and possibly a summer course. The Field Experience requirement can be completed at any time after a student has taken at least three TESOL Certificate courses.

Classes meet one evening a week, usually from 6:00-9:15 on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus. Some classes may be offered online in fully asynchronous or hybrid synchronous/asynchronous format.

The Field Experience is a chance for students to spend at least 20 hours in a teaching setting for ESL/multilingual adult students. There are a range of teaching contexts that can be used for this requirement, and we encourage students to find a context that is in line with their own professional goals. Some students complete this requirement at DePaul’s intensive English program, the English Language Academy, while others decide to do it in other settings, including community college classes, community-based ESL or literacy programs, and WRD composition courses designed specifically for multilingual undergraduate writers.

The 20 hours may include some combination of class observation, one-on-one work with students, collaboration with a teacher, and teaching. After completing the 20 hours, students write a final reflective essay, in which they connect aspects of the Field Experience to what they have learned in the TESOL Certificate courses.
No, you can enroll only in the TESOL Certificate program as a non-degree-seeking student, although most students pursuing the TESOL Certificate are also students in the MA in WRD program, and all TESOL Certificate courses are regular graduate classes at DePaul.
Absolutely—and this is an excellent way to get a strong education in Rhetoric and Writing Studies while also building up expertise in the area of TESOL/Applied Linguistics. The four required TESOL Certificate courses can be part of the regular MA in WRD coursework, so no extra classes are needed. The only additional requirement for the TESOL Certificate is completion of the Field Experience.

If you have a BA and the TESOL Certificate, you would be a candidate for some English language teaching jobs overseas, as well as job opportunities in U.S. adult-education settings and possibly some K-12 settings. Completing the TESOL Certificate together with an MA in WRD, or a related field, makes you a strong candidate for a wider range of jobs.

In recent years, alumni have drawn on their TESOL expertise to help secure the following jobs:

· Full- or part-time teaching positions at U.S. colleges and universities

· Full-time teaching positions at universities or secondary schools abroad

· Positions in student support in U.S. higher education, including jobs in student advising centers, writing centers, and career centers

· Positions in faculty and instructional support in U.S. higher education

Some alumni have also gone on to pursue doctoral studies in applied linguistics or related fields.

The TESOL Coordinator is always willing to meet with TESOL Certificate students to discuss job opportunities, advise about the teaching markets both abroad and in the U.S., and to help in the preparation of application materials. Also, we work to maintain contact with our recent graduates, who are often great sources of information for current students.
DePaul’s Graduate Certificate in TESOL offers a much richer intellectual engagement with both the theory and practice of English language teaching than short-term programs, which typically help students develop classroom teaching skills based on a particular method. Also, all courses in the TESOL Certificate are at the master’s level, so students work with DePaul’s graduate faculty to encounter advanced readings in a university-seminar environment. For students who enroll only in the TESOL Certificate but are considering future MA or PhD studies, the program provides an excellent introduction to graduate coursework and a strong foundation in Applied Linguistics, which can inform a wide range of future academic pursuits.

Non-degree-seeking students can expect to pay approximately $12,000-12,500 for the Certificate. The Certificate requires 16 hours of graduate credit (four courses). Graduate tuition at DePaul is calculated at cost per credit hour. To see the current tuition rates in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences visit the Office of Student Financial Accounts web site. There is no extra cost to complete the TESOL certificate in conjunction with the MAWRD graduate degree. The four required TESOL Certificate courses can be part of the regular MAWRD coursework, so no extra classes are needed. DePaul graduate students outside the WRD department may need to take additional courses to fulfill both their MA and TESOL requirements, which could result in some added cost.

Graduate students who are also pursuing the TESOL Certificate qualify for federal aid by submitting their yearly FAFSA. Unfortunately, federal aid is not available for non-degree-seeking students who are only pursuing the TESOL certificate. 

Don't see an answer to your question? Please contact the TESOL Coordinator, Jason Schneider.