Program Overview

This program will prepare you to teach students for whom English is a second language (ESL) in a school setting. You will learn the skills necessary to teach English to speakers of other languages by studying specialized methods and techniques that differ from those used by teachers of English to native speakers.

In your coursework, connections to the English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom are emphasized and you will participate in extensive field experiences and practice. Students spend considerable amounts of time observing and participating in educational settings in addition to attending classes at Hunter.

Coursework and Clinical Experiences

Courses are offered in the afternoon and evening. Some courses may be available in an online or hybrid format. Select courses have required hours of classroom experience (fieldwork) in a New York City public school. Students also participate in supervised teaching (student teaching and/or practicum) as the culmination of their course of study. Student teaching and/or practicum requires five full days per week for at least one semester.


36 to 42 credits


ESOL PreK-12

Eligibility and Admission Requirements

This program is for applicants who do not hold New York State teacher certification.

  • Bachelor’s degree with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 or a master’s degree with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.5
  • A liberal arts of sciences major or interdisciplinary concentration of at least 30 credits
  • 12 credits in a world language other than English documented on a transcript or equivalent credits on a standardized proficiency test such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or the NYU Proficiency Test in Foreign Language, 9 credits in communication and English with at least one course in written analysis and expression and once course in English literature, 9 credits in science and mathematics, with at least one course in math one course in science (a college course in calculus satisfies 6 credits of this requirement), 6 credits in social studies (to include at least one course in history or geography), 3 credits in the arts
  • An on-site oral interview and writing sample may be required
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose – Please describe your purpose and objectives in undertaking graduate study in the field of TESOL.  Indicate how your talents, skills, and experiences might contribute to the Hunter School of Education community and mission. You may include: diverse cultural experiences, family backgrounds, extracurricular activities, accomplishments, career goals, life and work experiences, obstacles you have overcome, or special talents.  Explain why the TESOL program is a good fit for your goals.
  • An official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score report (Waived for Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 applicants)

To Apply

Applications are accepted each Fall and Spring semester.

To start your application, visit the Hunter College Online Application.

When applying to this program, under Program of Study, select School of Education – Other Programs and T.E.S.O.L. (Grades PreK-12) No prior NYS Teacher Cert.

Application Deadlines

Fall Start

  • March 15 (Priority Deadline)
  • June 1 (Extended Deadline)

Spring Start

  • October 15 (Priority Deadline)
  • November 1 (Extended Deadline)

Visit How to Apply for information about deadline extensions.

Related Programs

If you hold New York State teacher certification, consider applying for our master’s degree program in TESOL PreK-12 for NYS Certified Teachers.

If you have Master’s degree and hold New York State teacher certification in one of the following areas: early childhood, childhood, middle childhood, or adolescent education; special subjects; students with disabilities; or literacy, consider applying for our Specialized Additional Teaching Certificate in TESOL.

If you have a Master’s degree in TESOL or Linguistics and seek TESOL PreK-12 certification, consider applying for our Advanced Certificate in TESOL for applicants who hold advanced degrees in TESOL or Linguistics.

Contact an Admissions Advisor

Program Leader

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