Skip Navigaton

Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

Beginning Fall 2015, this program will no longer be offered, but will be replaced with a new program. Please contact Nokteh Taheri at (949) 824-9427 or if you have any questions.


UC Irvine Extension’s Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) certificate provides you with the most up-to-date knowledge and practical skills you’ll need to be an effective ESL teacher. Created and taught by experts in the field, the TESL program has an excellent reputation worldwide and will open the door for you to teach in a variety of settings.

Where can I teach with a TESL Certificate?

TESL certificate holders have found teaching opportunities with intensive English language programs, adult schools, community colleges, private ESL schools, corporations, and overseas English schools. Many employers require only a TESL certificate and a bachelor’s degree.

Will the TESL certificate qualify me to teach in the K-12 public schools?

In most cases, a teaching credential issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) is required by the K-12 public schools. For more information, contact

How long is the program?

The TESL certificate consists of 26 units (19 required units and 7 elective units). By taking two or more courses a quarter, many students complete the certificate in 12-18 months.

How much does it cost?

Fees range from $215-$520 per course. Depending on which electives you choose, the cost of entire TESL certificate is approximately $4,910. There is also a $125 certificate application fee.

English Proficiency Requirement
All certificate programs at UC Irvine Extension (classroom and online formats) require professional-level English language proficiency in listening and note-taking, reading comprehension and vocabulary, written expression, and oral presentation.

Stay Informed About
Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

What are the special requirements for non-native English speakers?Joe Jaskowiak

Non-native English speakers must submit a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (100 for the Internet-based test) to UCI Extension Education Programs, PO Box 6050, Irvine, CA 92616-6050.

What are the requirements for the TESL certificate?

A certificate is awarded upon completion of 26 units (19 required and 7 elective) with a grade of “C” or better. To become an official candidate in the program, students pursuing the certificate must submit a Declaration of Candidacy. Students are encouraged to declare candidacy as soon as possible, but no later than after the third course in the program. To receive the certificate after completing all program requirements, students must submit a Request for Certificate. All requirements must be completed within five (5) years after the student enrolls in his/her first course. Students not pursuing a certificate are welcome to take as many individual courses as they wish.

Students who complete the Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate are eligible to transfer credits to Saint Michael's College Master of Arts Program (MATESOL).