Additional License in English as a Second Language

For teachers who already hold a teaching licensure, advance your career and skill set by earning an additional license to teach ESL in Minnesota K-12 classrooms. Our license is highly transferable to other states. Programs are individualized based on your past experience. This ensures you get maximum credit for previous academic work and experience.

This program is designed for working professionals. Most of the courses are offered in the evening during the school year and some are offered during the summer.

Admission information


  • Current state of Minnesota teaching license.
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution or foreign equivalent with at least a 2.8 GPA.
  • Experience learning a second language (including American Sign Language) as demonstrated by:
    • Four years of high school second language study OR
    • Two years of college or university second language study OR
    • A non-English language background and bilingualism in English and another language [nonnative English speakers must demonstrate proficiency in English at the "Superior" level on an Oral Proficiency Interview. Schedule an interview through the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)] OR
    • Significant experience in a second language community setting or a foreign country with a primary language other than English

    Application Deadlines:

    • October 1 for Spring admission
    • February 1 for Summer admission
    • June 1 for Fall admission

    Admission decisions are made up to eight weeks after the application deadline. The number of credits required to complete this program varies based on past coursework, which will be determined upon receipt of your application.

    Visit the additional license admissions page for more details on costs, aid, and how to apply.

    For additional information, contact faculty advisor, Sam David.


The core curriculum topics include:

Following are the state-required competency areas and corresponding U of M course requirements for the ESL license.

  • Introduction to linguistics
  • English grammar for ESL teachers
  • Introduction to language acquisition
  • Language, culture and education
  • Teaching literacy in second language classrooms
  • Teaching speaking and listening in second language classrooms
  • Second language curriculum design
  • Assessing English learners
  • Practicum: Teaching ESL in the elementary school
  • Student teaching in second languages and cultures

In order to be recommended for your Minnesota K-12 English as a Second Language teaching license, you must successfully complete these licensure requirements required by the state of Minnesota.

This material is available in alternative formats upon request. Direct requests to the Office of Teacher Education at, 612-625-5060.

Master's of Education

You can pursue the additional licensure alone or together with an MEd Professional Studies in Second Language Education. You will need to apply to both the additional licensure program and the MEd and then work with your adviser to plan your coursework to meet both requirements simultaneously.