TEFL Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate

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Teach English overseas, live abroad, and experience another culture

Hamline has been preparing people to become effective teachers of English to speakers of foreign languages for more than thirty years. Whether you have little to no teaching experience or have already spent your career in a classroom, this program provides you with what you need to join our graduates who have taught in more than 40 countries worldwide!

Why study at Hamline?

  • Learn the teaching techniques you need to function effectively in an English as a foreign language classroom from internationally recognized faculty
  • Gain hands-on experience through 40 hours of teaching and observation in a classroom with English learners—real-world training is not often found in most other programs
  • Earn an internationally recognized certificate that follows rigorous international standards that reputable employers expect and respect
  • Experience the Hamline difference: Our program is one of only two university-based, accredited programs in the Midwest, with global recognition of our program and preference for our graduates, whom employers know receive the best training available

What will it take?

Cost per Credit
Time to Complete
Next Session Starts
August 26, 2024

TEFL Certificate program details

Important Dates
Time to Complete
Application Requirements

Start dates and application deadlines

We review applications on a rolling basis, meaning that you can apply anytime.

You can start the TEFL Certificate program once per year in the fall. We recommend applying at least six weeks before the term you want to start to ensure your spot.

How to Apply

Fall 2024 term starts

TEFL Certificate program format

Hamline's Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate is on campus. Classes meet one evening a week, typically from 6 to 9 p.m.

Time to complete your TEFL Certificate

The typical time to complete the certificate is typically 9 months when you take TEFL I in fall term and TEFL II in spring term.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language courses

You’ll finish your certificate in two courses. You’ll earn a total of eight semester credits. If you hold a bachelor's degree you’ll receive graduate credit; if not you’ll get undergraduate credit.

  • ESL 7621: TEFL Certificate Part I
  • ESL 7622: TEFL Certificate Part II

The certificate program covers two fundamental areas for the TEFL practitioner, as follows:

The context of language learning

  • Factors that affect second language acquisition
  • Understanding cultural traits and norms—your own and others'
  • Learning theories

Language teaching practices

  • Analyzing students’ needs
  • Teaching listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  • Teaching grammar in context
  • Teaching pronunciation
  • Teaching vocabulary
  • Teaching English for special purposes
  • Lesson planning
  • Using classroom aids
  • Error awareness and correction
  • Classroom management
  • Assessing teaching effectiveness

TEFL course descriptions

How to apply to the TEFL Certificate program

Applying to the TEFL certificate program is simple and only required if this is the first certificate you’ve applied for at Hamline or if you are not enrolled in another Hamline School of Education degree or certificate program.

  • Online application (no fee)
  • Official transcript of a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least 2.5 from a regionally-accredited college or university.
    • This should be sent directly from the institution to Graduate Admission or provided in a sealed, signed envelope. Official electronic transcripts should be emailed from the institution to gradprog@hamline.edu
    • You do not have to supply transcripts for courses taken at Hamline University.
  • One-page statement that addresses why you aspire to teach English as a foreign language


Nick Reishus '14

One of the things that attracted me to the program was that the TEFL certificate counted toward a master’s degree, which was a great way for me to test out the program. I had a great time in the program, which inspired me to continue on and earn my master’s.

Nick Reishus ‘14, MAESL; TESOL technical officer II at FHI 360 in Washington, D.C.

How we help make your TEFL certificate affordable

Competitive tuition

When you invest in a master's degree in TESOL from Hamline, you benefit from a prestigious degree from Minnesota's first university. We work hard to ensure our tuition, accompanied by scholarships, tuition discounts, and other financial aid, is a worthwhile investment for all students.


Financial aid

Federal student loans are available for the evening courses, depending on eligibility. You also have the option of setting up a payment plan with the student accounts office. A minimal fee is charged for the payment plan.

Financial Aid

Our graduates have taught in more than 50 countries around the world.

Explore career paths and career support

Positions and organizations

The majority of jobs you can get with a TEFL Certificate are in private language institutes, working with adult learners. There are many private schools around the world that serve young learners as well, but completers report that most of their work is with adults.

There are also positions through some exchange programs working in K-12 schools. Our graduates have secured positions with:

  • JET (Japanese Teaching Program)
  • French government teaching assistant program
  • Central European Teaching Program
  • Fulbright Teaching Assistant Program
  • Universities in China and Korea

Some of these allow you to teach in the European Union, where it can otherwise be difficult to get a work permit.

Career support

We are dedicated to supporting you in your job search, both during the course and following completion. When you enroll in the program, you have access to the following services:

  • A career opportunities workshop, where you practice interview skills, and learn about writing your resume and cover letter
  • Our job placement files, including listings of schools, job openings from the internet, and postings from our completers
  • A panel discussion with completers who have returned from teaching abroad
  • On-going job counseling including feedback on resumes, cover letters, and more
  • Job referrals and recommendations are available for successful completers

Apply your certificate toward an advanced certificate or degree

Advanced TEFL Certificate

Once you complete the TEFL Certificate, you can apply your credits to earn an Advanced TEFL Certificate where you will learn more about language theory and linguistics. While the initial TEFL certificate is offered on-campus, the courses for the advanced certificate are offered online.

Master’s degrees

Enrolling in a certificate program is a great way to experience what the master's programs at Hamline are like. With the TEFL certificate, you’ll earn credits that you can apply toward the following Hamline master's degrees:

TEFL Certificate FAQs

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