This program requires a preliminary screening. Please read the application materials section carefully for complete instructions.
Deadlines and Important Dates
Application deadline for:
- April 1 for summer
- August 1 for fall
- October 1 for spring
For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either a (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granted institution in the country in which it operates.
To be considered for admission, you must demonstrate a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (out of 4.0).
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with some exceptions.
Minimum acceptable scores for admission to the Graduate Certificate in TESOL are 100 on the TOEFL, with a 23 on the speaking section. If you took the computer-based test (IBT), the minimum acceptable score is 250. For the IELTS, a minimum of score of 7.0 is required.
The graduate certificate in TESOL is not a certification to teach in public schools in the United States. Each state has its own requirements for the certification of ESL instructors. If you already have primary state certification in a specific content area, the TESOL certificate can serve as an additional specialization to give you an edge in a competitive job market.
How to Apply
Step 1: Do not skip this step
When you apply for the Graduate Certificate in TESOL, your application is pre-screened at no cost by faculty members in the Department of Applied Linguistics. For this step, unofficial copies of your documents are acceptable.
You must email a PDF or fax a copy of your transcripts and TOEFL or IELTS test scores (if available) to the departmental office:
Email documents to Sally Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax documents to 1-814-863-7986, with "Attention: Sally Arnold" on the cover page
We will review your preliminary application and let you know within 2 or 3 days whether you have been accepted into the Graduate Certificate in TESOL. Acceptance in this preliminary screening guarantees that your official application to the Graduate School (certificate programs) will be accepted.
Step 2: Official online application to the Graduate School (complete this step only after completing step 1 above)
After your preliminary application has been approved by the Department of Applied Linguistics, you must apply for admission to the Graduate School (certificate programs) for your application to be considered complete. You will not be considered officially enrolled in the certificate program if you skip the pre-screening step and apply directly to the graduate school. Please follow both steps to ensure you are enrolled under the correct status.
You'll need to complete the following steps:
- Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
- Submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores. Request ETS to send official TOEFL scores to Penn State (our institutional code is 2660). (TOEFL scores will automatically be uploaded to your Penn State application record.)
IELTS Test Report Forms (TRFs) should be sent to:
Attention: Sally Arnold
234 Sparks Building
Department of Applied Linguistics
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802
- Pay the nonrefundable application fee.