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University of Pittsburgh    
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jan 19, 2022
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

TESOL Certificate - ESL Program Specialist Course


Any student who wished to earn the certificate must fulfill the following requirements:


(or taken concurrently with the first certificate course)

  • LING 1000 Introduction to Linguistics - 3 Credits

Please note:

  1. LING 2195  involves supervised language teaching concurrent with or following LING 2142 . Candidates fulfill the requirement by signing up for LING 2195  and teaching during that term in an informal ESL course run by the English Language Institute, OR, with permission of the TESOL Certificate advisor, another ESL teaching context.
  2. The certificate candidate must earn a grade of B or higher in each certificate course.

Degree Prerequisite for Admission

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent with a minimum grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4-point scale). Preference is given to applicants who have studied abroad, worked with international students, and/or have any EFL/ESL teaching experience (including volunteer).

Instructional I Prerequisite

Applicants must hold a Pennsylvania Instructional I certificate (or equivalent from another state) and be able to provide a copy as part of the application packet.

Foreign Language Learning Prerequisite for Admission

Native speakers of English should have classroom foreign language learning experience equivalent to at least one year of college level study of a language.

Each applicant who is not a native speaker of English must: (1) achieve a score of 100 or higher on the iBT TOEFL (Skill Requirements: Reading and Listening - High; Speaking and Writing - one skill must be at the level of Good) or 7.5 or higher on the IELTS (Skill Requirements: Speaking and Writing - combined minimum of 13) or their equivalent and (2) have good spoken English skills (a score of at least 4 on the ITA interview test administered by the University of Pittsburgh).

Transcripts and CV and Teaching Certificate

Undergraduate transcripts (and graduate if applicable) and a CV (including a list of references) must be submitted as part of the application. . In addition, a copy of the applicant’s state teaching certificate must be included in the application materials.

Plan of Study

Students must complete a TESOL certificate plan of study form after consultation with the TESOL Certificate advisor during the first term of study.

Completion of Requirements

When nearing completion of all TESOL certificate requirements, students must apply for graduation from the TESOL Certificate program through the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office. This graduation application is separate from any other degree graduation applications. Additional paperwork must be filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Education with the help of the TESOL Certificate advisor.

ESL Program Specialist Suggested Sequence of Courses

2-term option

(entering in the fall term)



4-term option

(entering in the fall term)


Students must enter the program in the Fall term. Students may complete LING 1000 prior to the fall term, however.

Application Deadline:

March 15 for the following fall term start date.

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