Programs Preparing TESOL Teachers

Live to Inspire.
Love to Teach.

Do you enjoy working with students from different linguistic backgrounds and want to make a difference in their lives? Then consider becoming an TESOL teacher.
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.  

Our teacher preparation programs offer the shortest path to New York State initial and professional teaching certification and a guaranteed 50% scholarship.
Guaranteed 50% Tuition Scholarship!Learn More About Our Scholarships

Program Quickview

All of the master's degree programs described below prepare for NYS initial and professional teaching certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in grades K-12 and are offered at the graduate level only.

If you are interested in other TESOL programs, check our Related Programs.
Prerequisites (as required by NYS):
  • Undergraduate degree in a liberal art (BA) or science (BS).
  • At least 12 credits languages other than English.
Key Program Features:
  • Meets All Coursework and Internship Requirements for BOTH Initial and Professional NYS Teaching Certification: In addition, you will need to pass the required state exams and complete the teaching requirements for professional certification.
  • 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.

Warner Programs that Prepare TESOL Teachers

For Preservice Teachers with No Prior Teaching Certification
  • MS Program (TT1): 39 credits, including field experience and two student teaching experiences.
teacher in classroom with globe
Do you want to become even more competitive for teaching positions?  Consider adding one of the following specializations to your teacher preparation program for only a few additional credits and without extending the length of your program – more details about requirements are provided within the program of study of your chosen option below:
  • NYS Certification in Another Language
  • NYS Certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities in Adolescence: Prepares you to better serve students with diverse learning needs while qualifying you to teach in inclusive classes.
  • Advanced Certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership: Prepares you to teach and lead in racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse urban settings.
  • Advanced Certificate in Digitally-Rich Teaching in K-12 Schools: Prepares you to make the best use of digital technology in your teaching.

Licensure in other states. Review certification and licensure requirements for Warner programs.

For Initially Certified ESOL Teachers Seeking NYS 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:
cultural items collected by international students
For Certified Teachers in Areas Other than TESOL Seeking Certification in TESOL
If you already have NYS teaching certification in another area of specialization, and are seeking an additional certification in TESOL, you will still need to meet the same content prerequisites, but will have fewer requirements and internships to complete. 

Check the options that best apply to you from the program choices below:
  • Advanced Certificate (NT1): Fastest path, including specialization courses plus 50 contact hours of field experience and one student teaching experience (no more than 16 credits).
  • MS program (ST1): 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.
family celebrating graduation

Our Approach

Creating Effective TESOL Teachers Who Can Inspire and Lead Change.

Warner’s approach to TESOL reflects what we know about how students best learn a new language. We prepare innovative teachers who can inspire and lead change.
students gathered at table with Warner administrator
Learn More About Warner's Approach to TESOL
At Warner, we prepare teachers who find innovative ways to make learning English fun, meaningful, authentic, and relevant to students from every background. They understand where immigrant and refugee students, as well as domestic students of different linguistic backgrounds, come from and capitalize on the diverse histories, traditions, and educational experiences that they bring to the classroom. And, as strong advocates for their students, they are committed to creating socially just schools and leading changes needed for increased academic achievement of all English language learners.

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 ESOL 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.

ESOL 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 and in a life beyond high school.

The Warner Advantage

Preparing Graduates to Innovate, Advocate, and Elevate.

Warner can help you stand out from other TESOL teachers and prepare you to excel in your career.
  • Become an TESOL teacher who can create learning opportunities that are inviting and accessible for all students – engaging with 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.
  • Leverage the reputation of a leading research university to strengthen the recognition of your degree.
  • Make yourself stand out when applying for teaching positions by pursuing additional specializations for a few additional credits.
  • Learn from an accessible, supportive faculty of researchers and accomplished practitioners who will prepare you to become adaptive experts in today’s K-12 schools.
  • Network with the best and the brightest future colleagues.
  • Shorten your path to a doctoral degree by earning transferable credits.
While rigorous, Warner’s teacher preparation programs are both flexible and affordable.
  • Benefit from a guaranteed 50% scholarship.
  • Take advantage of online learning options to help reduce trips to campus.
  • Be ready to teach the school year following enrollment, as the program can be completed in as little as 15 months, even by those new to the teaching profession.

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.

East High School Partnership

East High School Partnership

Our students have the opportunity to observe and learn from the reforming of an urban high school. As the Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) for East High School, we are overseeing a radical transformation affecting all aspects of the school – including innovative practices to support English Language Learners.

Recognizing the Unique Experiences of Refugees

Recognizing the Unique Experiences of Refugees

Warner faculty member Mary Jane Curry co-edited the 2018 book on Educating Refugee-background Students, a group of English Learners with unique challenges and experiences. This work builds on research conducted as part of a federally-funded project (Project CELLS: Collaborations for English Language Learner Success), led by Curry as the Principal Investigator.

Horizons at Warner: Enrichment Program for RCSD Students in Grades K-8

Horizons at Warner: Enrichment Program for RCSD Students in Grades K-8

Warner hosts a six-week summer enrichment program that engages urban K-12 students in meaningful and authentic learning experiences. The Horizons program creates a unique opportunity for Warner students to interact with young learners in an out-of-school setting. Opportunities for paid teaching experiences in this program are also available after graduation for a limited number of students.

Career Opportunities

Advancing Education and Your Career to the Next Level.

Each year, more and more students whose first language is not English are putting down roots in urban, suburban, and rural schools across the  United States. By 2050, the English language learner population is expected to double, and most, if not all, teachers will need to be prepared to teach this growing population.   As more and more states add new requirements to better serve learners of English as a new language, ESOL teachers will be in great demand.

Graduates from Warner ESOL teacher preparation programs will have the credentials needed to teach ESOL at all grade levels in NYS public schools – as well as many other states that recognize NYS teaching certification.   Unlike graduates of an undergraduate teacher preparation program, our graduates will have already met all the coursework requirements for NYS professional teaching certification, so they will only need to complete three years of teaching and some state exams in order to obtain this additional level of certification – a NYS requirement within five years from beginning a teaching job.

At the same time, some of our graduates have chosen to pursue careers other than teaching in K-12 public schools. These include teaching in private schools and other educational settings, including informal and after-school environments, community-based organizations, colleges, and adult programs for refugees.
teacher working with diverse young students


An Accessible, Supportive Faculty of Researchers and Accomplished Practitioners.

Nicole King thumbnail imageNicole King, PhD
Assistant Professor (Clinical)
LeChase Hall 468
(585) 273-3341


Making Warner Affordable.

The Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester is pleased to offer a number of scholarships to eligible students who enroll in teacher preparation programs. These scholarships are made possible by federal grants as well as the generous support of donors, who are committed to the success of future teachers.

Byron Williams Teaching Scholarships – Guaranteed 50% Tuition Savings
All new students starting their master’s programs in teacher education leading to New York State teaching certification are guaranteed a minimum 50 percent tuition scholarship, provided they commit to teach in a United States school for a minimum of two years after graduation.

Vasquez in class at table with studnets

Try Us Out

Get a Taste of What Warner Has to Offer.

We invite you to visit and observe one of our innovative instructional programs, including:
  • East High: This Rochester City School District secondary school is undergoing major transformation under the oversight of the University of Rochester as an educational partnership organization.
Take A Course! You can also experience Warner as a non-matriculated student for a highly discounted price.

Contact admissions to arrange for a visit or learn more about opportunities for non-matriculated students.
three students pose for a shot in front of East High


Meliora means 'Ever Better.' To our graduates, it means making a world of difference.

  • Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

    “It was more than I expected. Not only what I learned in the program, which I’ve been able to put into practice every day since, but also the connections I was able to make and the relationships I was able to form."

    Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

  • Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children

    “When it came time to interview for jobs, it was very easy for me to talk about anything in the field, and that set me apart,” he says. “You name it, and I had at least one experience in it—largely due to Warner.”

    Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

  • Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

    “As educators, it’s our job to make sure we’re giving students the knowledge to be successful when they move on in their life….Warner was the best grad school experience I’ve ever had because it prepared me extremely well to jump into my career, and I will forever be grateful for that.”

    Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

  • Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

    “I had a very unique situation. I wasn’t going down the typical path of a Warner student, and the school was just so flexible and supportive.”

    Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

  • Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

    "The growth I’ve realized in myself is something I will be forever grateful for. I’ve learned to question, analyze, think and create in ways I never considered. I’ve changed as an educator and as a person."

    Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

  • Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

    "The most important thing I received there was the opportunity to be immersed in the study of education and leadership with very talented people, that think-tank mentality of being surrounded by the best of the best. The intellectual stimulation from both the staff and fellow classmates really did allow me to think about things differently."

    Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

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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