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Undergraduate Minor/Certificate in TESL Admissions

What we look for

Undergraduate students and professionals who want to teach English in community ESL programs, during study abroad, or after graduation with programs like JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching), the Peace Corps, or the Fulbright English Teaching Assistants program.

Note: This certificate will not qualify you to teach in K-12 public schools. If you want to earn your teaching license, visit the Initial Teaching License in Second Language Education program.

Dates and deadlines

Priority Admissions:

  • August 1 for fall
  • December 15 for spring
  • April 15 for summer

Required application documents

If you are not currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota, you will need:

  • Official college transcripts: Arrange to have an official transcript from all colleges or universities attended (even if no credit was earned) submitted to the address below directly from the institution (University of Minnesota transcripts do not need to be submitted by applicant). An official transcript is in a sealed envelope and has an official signature or seal, or is on security paper. Transcripts not sent in this way are unacceptable and must be resent. Each transcript must have been issued within the last year.
  • Official high school transcripts (if needed): If you have earned fewer than 26 semester (or 39 quarter) college credits that are transferable to the University of MN, you must arrange to have an official high school transcript submitted to the address below directly from the institution. If you have not graduated from high school, but have taken the GED (high school equivalency), submit your GED test scores. If you attended or graduated from a secondary school in another country, please submit official transcripts and any test results required to enter a university in that country.

International applicants

International applicants may also need:

International applicants may also need:

TOEFL Exemption Policy

Please send an official report of TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB scores to the Office of Admissions directly from the testing agency (from one set of exam results). The UMN TOEFL institutional code is 6874.

Freshman applicants may be exempt from the total score requirement if they have:

  • Scored 430 or greater on the SAT critical reading (verbal) section; or
  • Scored 18 or higher on the ACT exam on the English and Reading sections.

Additionally, a student may be exempt from the writing sub score requirement if they have:

  • Score greater than 470 on the SAT writing; or
  • Scored greater than 20 on the ACT writing

Transfer applicants may be exempt from the total score requirement if they have:

  • Successfully completed 26 or more transferable semester credits at a two or four year post-secondary institution in the United States and have completed the full freshman English requirements at that school with a grade of C or better; or
  • Successfully completed 60 or more transferable semester credits at a two or four-year postsecondary institution in the United States.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credit is only allowed for LING 3001/5001, with approval from the program director. CI 3611W, CI 3612, and CI 3613 must be taken through the ESL minor program at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

Earn your Master’s of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language in Higher Education

Are you interested in teaching English as a second language at a university, college or community program? The M.A. in TESL might be the right educational choice for you. Find out more about the M.A. in TESL.

Financial Aid

Tuition varies depending on your degree program, student status, and residency. Cost calculator and aid for undergraduate programs.

How to Apply

A 2.0 GPA minimum is required for admission.

Submit this application to the TESL certificate/minor to declare your intent to enroll in the ESL Minor/TESL Certificate.

  • The program coordinator for the ESL Minor/TESL Certificate will contact you.

Application Checklist