Skip to main content
Asian man with white board that has english words

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

We welcome applications on a rolling basis.

Guaranteed 65% 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

Guaranteed 65% tuition savings

Byron Williams Teaching Scholarships


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 65% 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 & Professional Certification

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

Professional Certification Only

If you have already obtained NYS initial teaching certification in TESOL, and are seeking NYS professional teaching certification in the same area.

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.

30 credits; no internships

With an option to take online courses that can reduce trips to campus to less than half.

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.

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

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.

This non-certification combined program will allow you to pursue the master’s program described above concurrently with at least one advanced certificate – 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 Only

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.

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.

We welcome applications on a rolling basis.

University of Rochester Teacher Residency Programs

ROC Urban Teaching Fellows Program and Monroe Regional Teacher Residency Consortium are a paid teacher residency programs designed to collaboratively prepare and sustain skilled teachers to effectively serve the varied needs of students, families, and school communities.

  • 1 year paid teacher residency while studying
  • $15,000 toward tuition
  • Earn your Master's in Teaching with Initial Certification
Teacher and young student smiling in classroom

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 discounted price. Inquire with admissions to learn about credits that also apply toward degree requirements.

Related certificates and degrees

Start your application