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Online Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as an International Language

The online graduate certificate in Teaching English as an International Language (TEIL) is designed for bachelor’s degree holders who do not have a background in education but want to teach English language learners abroad and in other scenarios where a teaching license is not required.

Offered by the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville, the TEIL graduate certificate will prepare you to effectively teach English in a wide variety of professional or global settings that do not require a teaching license or certification (Note: This does not include teaching in a U.S. P-12 public school classroom. If you are a Kentucky-certified teacher and are interested in teaching English Language Learners, you may be interested in the ESL Endorsement). In this program, you will learn strategies and methods to equip English Language Learners with the skills they need to strengthen their English language proficiency.


Complete this program on your own time through fully online classes.

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Earn this specialized certificate in just 4 courses (12 credit hours).

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Complete this certificate in as little as 1 academic year.

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Online learning video - Online Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as an International Language

"The demand for skilled professionals who can effectively teach English Language Learners in international settings is only increasing. With this graduate certificate, our students will have an exceptional skill set that will meet that growing need."


How Much Will I Pay?

$764 per credit hour
$250 military rate per credit hour

Tuition & Aid    


  • Gain essential skills for teaching and/or tutoring non-native English speakers—no previous experience in education required!
  • Learn strategies to work with English language learners in a variety of settings both in the U.S. and abroad including humanitarian outreach organizations, private/parochial schools, tutoring opportunities with non-native students, missions work or international work with multi-national companies.
  • Take advantage of the flexibility and convenience of 100% online classes in the Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Earn the TEIL certificate as a standalone graduate certificate or as part of a UofL master's degree (must be approved by an advisor).


The field of teaching English to speakers of other languages - ESL/TEIL/EFL - is one of the fastest growing areas among all teaching areas and specializations. A graduate certificate in TEIL earned from an R-1 research university like UofL can add great value to your credentials, open many windows of professional opportunities, and enhance your ability to travel and work abroad.

Application Deadline Term Start Date
August 1 Fall August
December 1 Spring January

Although applications are processed as they are received and admission is granted on a rolling basis throughout the year, we encourage you to start and submit your application as soon as possible, as gathering admission materials may take more time. Available spots for the online classes fill quickly, and applications received at least 6 weeks prior to the beginning of a term will be given priority consideration.

Steps to Apply

  1. Complete application for admission
  2. $40 non-refundable application fee
  3. Submit official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work (all transcripts not in English must be certified by an official agency as authentic and translated verbatim into English)
  4. Submit a 500-word essay outlining your rationale for pursuing this certificate

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on 4.0 scale

International Students – Additional Notes/Requirements

The Teaching English as an International Language graduate certificate program is open to international students.

International students whose primary language is not English must show English language proficiency.

These applicants must either submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score, or hold a baccalaureate degree from a English language institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

  1. All transcripts not in English must be certified as authentic and translated verbatim in English by an approved official agency.
  2. Students whose primary language is not English must show English language proficiency by attaining one of the following:
    • Total score of 80 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-based test, 213 or higher on the computer-based test, or 500 or higher on the paper-based test.
    • English proficiency can also be met by submitting an official IELTS score of 6.5 or higher for the academic module.

Note: International students will not be issued a U.S. visa if admitted to an online program, since there are no campus attendance requirements.

Mail all materials to:
Graduate Admissions
University of Louisville
2211 S. Brook Street
Louisville, KY 40292

For additional questions regarding your graduate application, please contact gradadm@louisville.edu. Please do not send application materials to this email.

For additional information on the TEIL graduate program or application process, please contact our Online Learning Enrollment Counselor at 800.871.8635 or by email at online@louisville.edu.

The online graduate certificate in Teaching English as an International Language is a 12 credit hour program. The program of study must be completed with a 3.00 overall GPA with no grade lower than a “B-” for all graduate courses that are required for the TEIL certificate.

Courses List Hours
EDAP 518 Survey of Linguistics for Educators (must be taken in the first semester) 3
EDAP 525 World Englishes 3
EDAP 530 Language, Society and Power 3
EDAP 535 Teaching English as an International Language 3
Total Required Credit Hours 12

Course Descriptions

EDAP 518 Survey of Linguistics for Educators
This course is a survey of both the theoretical and applied aspects of Linguistics. This is not an in-depth exploration of single-topic in the field of Linguistics but rather, a course designed to introduce students to the discipline of linguistics, especially those who are classroom educators. This course serves to introduce students to aspects of theoretical linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, L1 & L2 acquisition) and explore various aspects of applied linguistics (Sociolinguistics, Linguistic Anthropology, English Language Learners). This course will encourage students to think critically about language and its use and apply the theoretical aspects of linguistics in a way that informs best practices.

EDAP 525 World Englishes
This course will explore the historical, social, and political contexts of the discipline of World Englishes. Topics such as language standardization, the internationalization of English, and challenges of teaching and testing of English as an international language will be discussed.

EDAP 530 Language, Society, and Power
Prerequisite: EDAP 518 (or concurrently). Exploring the intersection of language and culture by challenging students to think critically about language and culture and the impact of both across ages, genders, social classes, ethnicities, and personal identities.

EDAP 535 Teaching English as an International Language
This course will introduce students to the theoretical construct and practical consideration of teaching English overseas. It necessarily assumes English language teaching is an activity infused with social and political implications. By providing a theoretical construct as the course platform, the course will explore the roles of teachers and learners, the context of curricula, and the choice of methodology to reflect the cultural values of teaching English in an international setting.

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    • Is this program open to international students?

      Yes, this program is available for international students.

    • Will I be able to teach in a traditional P-12 classroom in the U.S.?

      No, completing this graduate certificate will not give you the credentials you need to teach in a P-12 classroom. We encourage Kentucky licensed teachers to complete our ESL endorsement.

    • I am a licensed KY teacher, should I pursue this certification or the ESL endorsement?

      We encourage licensed KY teachers to complete our ESL endorsement. Teachers who receive the ESL endorsement are qualified to apply for ESL teaching positions in KY public school districts. The endorsement credential can also be completed as part of your master’s degree.

    • Does my bachelor’s degree need to be in a related field?

      No, all backgrounds are welcome in this program.

    • Is there a GPA requirement?

      Yes, you must have a minimum of GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

    • Is the GRE required?

      No, the GRE is not required for admission to this program.

    • Are there any foreign language prerequisites?

      No, you do not need to have completed a foreign language prior to starting this program.

    • I don’t have a 3.0 GPA, could I be accepted provisionally?

      Possibly. The Admissions Committee will assess applications on a case-by-case basis.

    • Are there any additional fees outside of tuition?

      No, you will need to purchase your textbooks, but there are no additional fees.

    • Can I transfer in credits?

      No, this program does not accept transfer credits.

    • Can I complete this graduate certificate in tandem with another graduate program at UofL?

      Yes. Please check with your advisor to make certain these courses will count toward that program’s requirements.

    • How long are the courses?

      Courses are 16 weeks (one semester) long.

    • Can I take summer classes?

      Classes are available in the summer term, but they are only offered as a hybrid courses, which include face to face meetings (EDAP 518 in May is an exception; it is offered completely online).

    • I have noticed that programs in this field often have different names such as Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Are these programs one in the same?

      Yes, these programs have slightly different names, but they all have the same goal, to educate people on how to effectively teach English Language Learners.