Graduate Programs in TESOL

Live to Inspire.
Love to Teach.

 Do you want to help people understand and communicate in English? If so, consider becoming a TESOL/EFL teacher.
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.  People of all ages need to become proficient in English and are looking for opportunities to learn English in many different contexts – including schools and universities abroad, specialized language schools, adult programs, and even daycare centers.  While there may be no required credentials for TESOL/EFL teachers outside of U.S. K-12 public schools, the quality of their preparation matters!  

Warner will enable you to stand out as an TESOL/EFL teacher who can be effective, innovative, and culturally responsive.  It also provides multiple opportunities for international students to experience American culture and education, and domestic students to interact with people from other countries and languages.
Attention International Students!

Program Quickview

The programs described below are designed for those who aspire to be TESOL or EFL teachers or to better assist students who are English language learners, but who do not require state certification. These programs do not lead to New York State teaching certification.

  • 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; inquire with admissions.
Key Program Features:
  • TESOL Core: Includes three required core courses on learning and teaching TESOL.
  • 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.
  • Option to Add Specializations:  Can be combined with Advanced Certificates in Online Teaching or Digitally-Rich Teaching in K-12 Schools to learn how to integrate these powerful technologies in your teaching.
  • Network of International Alumni: Past students have come from various countries, including the United States, China, Kosovo, Chile, and Turkey.
  • 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.
  • Customizable: The program can be customized to be most relevant to your context and role, and to leverage courses taken in prior or concurrent programs.
  • Flexible: The program can be pursued full time or part time, allowing you to go at your own pace.
  • Combined Program Option:  Students adding at least one advanced certificate may enroll in a “combined program” that will help secure the appropriate visa for international students and extend loan eligibility for domestic students.

Warner Programs in TESOL

MS in TESOL (TT3) (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) (TT4):  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.
Warner administrator talking with new students

Advanced Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Non-Certification) (GT2) (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.

Opportunities to Complement/Combine the EFL certificate with Another Program

While an Advanced Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Non-Certification) is great on its own, it is also a helpful and marketable complement to an existing Warner program, especially the program choices below:

Master's in Teaching Not Leading to New York State Certification
Warner offers several master’s degrees that prepare for teaching in settings other than K-12 public schools in the United States (where state teaching certification is required), with options to pursue various areas of specialization.  Any of these programs can be complemented by an Advanced Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Non-Certification). By choosing your electives strategically, you may only need three additional credit hours to earn this advanced certificate.

To learn more, visit Master's in Teaching (Without Certification).
Master’s in Educational Leadership
Schools are experiencing increased numbers of students for whom English is a new language. Leaders will greatly benefit from a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of English language learning as they support their school community.

Warner offers a flexible master’s degree to prepare educational leaders who are not interested in New York State school certification (only required for administrative positions in K-12 public schools).  This customizable master’s program can be enhanced by an Advanced Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Non-Certification). By choosing your electives strategically, you may only need three additional credit hours to earn this advanced certificate.

To learn more, visit Master’s in Educational Leadership.
Doctoral Programs
International students interested in faculty positions abroad should consider pursuing an Advanced Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Non-Certification) as part of their doctoral program. By choosing your electives strategically, you may only need three additional credit hours to earn this advanced certificate.

To learn more, visit Doctoral Programs in Teaching.

Our Approach

Preparing Effective and Innovative ESOL or EFL Teachers.

At Warner, we prepare teachers who find innovative ways to make learning English fun, meaningful, authentic, and relevant to students from every background. Through coursework and field experiences, our graduate students deepen their understanding of the English language, linguistics, and language acquisition while learning innovative and effective ways to teach this growing population. Our program aims to prepare teachers who understand that learning English includes communicative competence, cultural expertise, and mastery of the structural complexities of the English language. Students become TESOL or EFL teachers who know how to create and adapt curricula and classroom instruction around authentic materials, contexts, and purposes that engage students in the English language.
Warner stduetn in classroom with globe
Learn More About Warner’s Approach to TESOL
ESOL and EFL teachers are constantly learning from students, their families and communities, and the curriculum they develop around their students. By bridging planning and instructional strategies with theory and research that supports them, our graduates know how to develop curriculum and teaching practices that are learner centered—where they start from what English language learners already know and build on that to link to their students’ home and community lives. And, they seek out and develop habits of reflective practitioners and collaborate with other professionals to improve learning opportunities and meet the diverse needs of all students. These powerful classroom practices and experiences give their students, who are learning English, an equal opportunity to succeed both in and out of the classroom.

The Warner Advantage

Preparing Graduates to Innovate, Advocate, and Elevate.

Warner can help you stand out as an TESOL/EFL teacher and prepare you to excel in your career.
  • Become an TESOL/EFL teacher who can create learning opportunities that are inviting and accessible for all students – building on cutting-edge research and educational innovations.
  • Be challenged to be an agent of change, who can effectively introduce new ideas and practices that will enhance students’ learning and address current inequities.
  • International students can benefit from rich opportunities to learn about United States culture and schooling, through both coursework and field experiences.
  • Leverage our collaboration with international universities in China and Mexico.
  • Learn from an accessible, supportive faculty of researchers and accomplished practitioners who will prepare you in best practices in teaching TESOL/EFL.
  • Network with the best and the brightest peers from around the world.
  • Leverage the reputation of a leading research university to strengthen recognition of your degree.
  • Shorten the pathway toward your doctoral degree by earning transferable credits.
  • Make yourself stand out when applying for teaching positions by pursuing some additional specializations for a few additional credits.
Our flexible programs have been designed to meet the needs of domestic as well as international students.
  • Use your electives to specialize in your area of interest and add specializations.
  • Take advantage of online learning options to reduce time in residence or in commuting.
  • Start the program in any semester and go at your own pace.
  • Are you a University of Rochester employee? Make full use of your tuition benefits!

All About Experience

Your experience at Warner will be informed by the many research projects and community initiatives we are engaged in. In addition, you'll benefit from the experience of faculty that include nationally recognized researchers, award-winning authors and accomplished practitioners.

Nationally Recognized Author on Global Academic Publishing

Nationally Recognized Author on Global Academic Publishing

Warner faculty member Mary Jane Curry recently published Global Academic Publishing, her third book on the topic of supporting authors who are not native English speakers in getting their work published in academic journals. Curry has also published essays on the topic that have appeared in national and international journals.

Global Collaborations

Global Collaborations

Warner students can benefit from the agreements recently established with two universities in China – Nanjing Normal University and Wuhan University – as well as Tecnologico de Monterrey University in Mexico, to support collaborations and exchanges among faculty and students.

Expert on International Student Experiences

Expert on International Students’ Experiences

Program Director Hairong Shang-Butler conducted research into the experiences of Chinese students studying at U.S. universities. Her findings and recommendations provided the foundation for the extensive support services offered by Warner to international students.

Career Opportunities

Advancing Education and Your Career to the Next Level.

Graduates from these programs will be prepared to teach in a great variety of contexts, and will be employable in any organization that does not require state credentials – such as charter and independent K-12 schools in the U.S., schools abroad, community colleges, community organizations, museum, afterschool programs, or summer camps. 
Vasquez in class at table with studnets


An Accessible, Supportive Faculty of Researchers and Accomplished Practitioners.

Hairong Shang-Butler thumbnail imageHairong Shang-Butler, PhD
Program Director and Advisor
LeChase Hall 450
(585) 276-7426


Making Warner Affordable.

Some of our TESOL/EFL program students benefit from merit-based scholarships to decrease tuition costs.

Contact admissions for more information about merit-based scholarships.

Are You a UR Employee? Inquire about your tuition benefits. If eligible, up to 95% of your tuition costs can be covered depending on your position. Contact the UR benefits office at   

Vasquez in class at table with studnets

Try Us Out

Get a Taste of What Warner Has to Offer.

Take A Course! You can experience the Warner advantage as a non-matriculated student for a highly discounted price.

The following courses may be of special interest to students who are not residing in Rochester, as they are fully online and do not require any presence on campus:
  • EDE434: Master's Academic Writing (offered in summer)
  • ED480: Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism (online section offered in spring)
  • EDU446: Entrepreneurial Skills for Educators (offered in summer and spring)
Contact admissions to learn more about opportunities for non-matriculated students.
hands in a circle


Why Warner is the right choice.

Contact Admissions

The admissions team looks forward to assisting you as you explore graduate education at the Warner School. Please feel free to use the form below to contact us with any questions. You can also email us at or call (585) 275-3950.

Application Deadlines

The next application deadline is March 01, 2023. View all Admissions Deadlines.

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