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Master's in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Applications open September 1, 2023

Guaranteed 50% scholarship

Online learning options

Possible job embedded placement

Program overview

Few careers give people the opportunity to impact individuals and communities like teaching.  Can you think of a specific teacher who made a difference in your life?  Would you like to become that kind of teacher? 

Teachers who work with speakers of other languages in K-12 schools are increasingly important, given the growing number of students who need to learn English as a new language.  Warner will prepare you to become an innovative TESOL teacher, committed and able to help all students succeed.  

Key program features

  • Shortest Program: Preservice teachers can complete the program in 15 months of full-time study (if starting in summer); certified teachers seeking additional certification in TESOL may require less time.
  • Focus on TESOL: Includes three courses as well as internships (taken concurrently with methods courses) that are specific to teaching and learning a new language.
  • Focus on Teaching ALL Students: Includes courses on diversity and working with students with disabilities (may be transferred in for certified teachers).
  • Option to Add Specializations: For a few extra credits you can pursue additional NYS certifications or Warner advanced certificates that can can strengthen your effectiveness with diverse learners and make you more marketable.
  • Hybrid-Online Courses: Some of the courses are offered online, and can be taken from all over the world, allowing students to personally experience the potential of online learning and to shorten residency on campus.
  • Flexible: The program can be pursued full time or part time, allowing you to go at your own pace.

Prerequisites (as required by NYS)

  • Undergraduate degree in a liberal art (BA) or science (BS).
  • At least 12 credits languages other than English.

Prerequisites (international)

  • Undergraduate degree (although undergraduates can begin the advanced certificate while completing their program).
  • Experience learning another language.
  • Proficiency in the English language (for international students, this means TOEFL scores of 90 or above, or equivalent in other recognized tests). Occasional exceptions may be made; contact us

Scholarships, Tuition, & Financial Aid

Byron Williams Teaching Scholarships guaranteed 50% tuition savings


International students

The demand for people who can teach English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and English as a foreign language (EFL) is growing, both in the United States and abroad. While there may be no required credentials for TESOL/EFL teachers outside of U.S. K-12 public schools, the quality of preparation matters! With a degree from Warner you will stand out as an TESOL/EFL teacher who can be effective, innovative, and culturally responsive.

We recommend international students consider non-certification options

(Not eligible for guaranteed 50% tuition)

  • Opportunities for Field Experiences: International students can benefit from a wide range of internships and volunteer opportunities, gaining important learning experiences in area schools, colleges, and community agencies, while also strengthening their English skills.
  • Leverage our collaboration with international universities in China and Mexico.
  • Network of International Alumni: Past students have come from various countries, including the United States, China, Kosovo, Chile, and Turkey.

Certification options

Choose a certification to earn in addition to your degree.
What certification do you need? Learn more

Initial Certification

MS Program 39 credits, including field experience and two student teaching experiences.

Professional Certification

If you have already obtained NYS initial teaching certification in TESOL, and are seeking NYS professional teaching certification in the same area, you can choose among several Warner programs to help you to achieve this goal.  Check the requirements related to the option(s) that best apply to you from the program choices below:

  • Leading to Professional Certification Only (30 credits; no internships): Our most flexible option, including 12 credits of electives; allows for possible addition of Advanced Certificates in Digitally-Rich Teaching in K-12 Schools or Urban Teaching and Leadership, or taking some leadership courses that can provide a jump start toward school leadership certification in the future.
  • Distance Option Leading to Professional Certification Only (30 credits; no internships): With an option to take online courses that can reduce trips to campus to less than half.
  • Leading to NYS Certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities in Adolescence (35 credits, including field experiences and one student teaching experience): Enables you to better serve your students' diverse learning needs and teach in inclusive classes.
  • MS program: 35 credits, including 50 contact hours of field experience and one student teaching experience; also leads to NYS professional teaching certification in your original area of certification.


International recommended

MS in TESOL (30 credits): A non-certification program that includes, in addition to the TESOL core courses, foundational courses in literacy and a master’s essay supported by an academic writing seminar; electives allow students to customize to their interests and/or add additional specializations for a few additional credits.

M.S. in TESOL (combined option)  This non-certification combined program will allow you to pursue the master’s program described above concurrently with at least one advanced certificate (see list below) – thus leading to multiple credentials for only a few additional credits.  The length of the combined program and its total number of credits will depend on the chosen advanced certificate(s) and other optional enhancements.  This option may be especially desirable for international students interested in additional specializations and willing to devote 4-5 semesters to their master’s program.

Advanced Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Non-Certification) (10 credits): Expedited non-certification path to prepare native English speakers to teach English abroad, or international students to add a TESOL credential to their main degree program; consists of the three TESOL methods courses and a field experience; also open to undergraduate students with advisor’s permission.

Advanced Certificate only

Fastest path to your certificate. Skip the degree and only get your Advanced Certificate. 

Customize your degree

Our degrees are designed to meet your interests and career aspirations. Whether you want to add an advanced certificate or specialize in a distinct area of emphasis, we can help craft the best option for you.


Applications open September 1, 2023

ROC Urban Teaching Fellows Program

A paid teacher residency program designed to prepare teachers for the Rochester City School District.

  • 1 year paid teacher residency while studying
  • 2 years of employment following graduation
  • $10,000 toward your tuition
Teacher standing in front of class pointing to papers mounted on the chalkboard

Program Director

Nicole King

Assistant Professor (Clinical)

International Director

Hairong Shang-Butler

Associate Professor (Clinical)

Contact admissions

Request information

Receive a $70 application fee waiver when you complete the form below.


Take a course before you apply

Take a course before you apply to one of our programs for a highly discounted price. Some credits also apply toward degree requirements.

Related certificates and degrees

Related Advanced Certificates

Opportunities for additional specializations with minimum additional credits required.

  • NYS Certification in Another Language
  • Advanced Certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership
  • Advanced Certificate in Digitally-Rich Teaching
  • NYS Certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities in Adolescence

Related degrees

  • Doctoral Programs Focusing on TESOL
  • GRADE Program for Undergraduate Applicants

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