UC San Diego Extension’s Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Professional Certificate program provides aspiring ESL and EFL educators with the necessary knowledge and skills to become a resourceful and confident teacher of English as a second language or English as a foreign language. We offer a high-quality curriculum of in-class and online courses which provide specialized training and necessary skills to people interested in teaching English in the U.S. or overseas. A TEFL Professional Certificate, along with a bachelor's degree, will open doors to job opportunities around the globe as an English teacher.
UC San Diego Extension TEFL Professional Certificate courses provide a unique opportunity for international students and American students to study side-by-side, developing their knowledge of applied linguistics and their teaching techniques for the various English language skills and competencies. Students are given just enough theory to provide a good foundation while taking courses which focus on the successful application of information about the English language and pedagogical principles for student-centered language teaching. Students will take many courses to strengthen their ability to teach English grammar, listening skills, pronunciation and fluency, speaking, writing, reading, and vocabulary development. For the program electives, we recommend the TEFL Practicum: Developing & Delivering Lesson Plans course which provides the chance to observe classroom teaching in action, and to develop and deliver a portfolio of effective lessons plans which are extremely useful when searching for employment. A TEFL job resources guide is also available for graduates of the program.
If you are interested in a specialized TEFL program, our Teaching English to the Young Learner (TEYL) program offers courses focused on teaching English to kindergarten to middle school-aged children (K-8), and includes fieldtrips to local schools and teacher specialty stores to learn how to obtain the latest and most effective educational materials.
Whether you are looking to begin a new career, change careers, live and work abroad, travel overseas, or volunteer in the local community, our TEFL programs will help you to become a successful, resourceful, and confident English teacher in any educational setting. Let the adventure of a lifetime begin now!
How much does the program cost?
Course tuition is paid as you enroll in each course. No upfront fees must be paid in advance. The Program Fee can be paid at any time and is not required to begin enrolling in classes.
Program Discounts & Scholarships
It is recommended that students begin by taking EITHER of the following courses:
Learn more about the TEFL certificate program at our free information session.
Can't make it to our in-person information session? Please try our 10-minute online information session!
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There will be a $95 fee upon acceptance into the program
From the 'Apply Now' button, login to your student account, complete the online application, and pay the application fee if applicable.
It is preferable that you create an account before proceeding if you have not already done so.
Candidates are encouraged to apply in the certificate program as early as possible to take advantage of program benefits.
See Certificate FAQs for more information.
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The TEFL certificates provide in-depth study and training in best practices and methodology for teaching EFL students, which involves (a) teaching English to non-immigrants in a multilingual classroom, and (b) teaching English in an overseas monolingual classroom. The major goals are to provide training which results in highly advanced knowledge and skills in explaining the English language -- its use both by native speakers and as a lingua franca - and to provide training which provides and increases skills in facilitating student's acquisition of English as a foreign language.
Alliant International University
EC Language Schools
Professor, Department of Linguistics
UC San Diego
Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy
TESOL is primarily for those who want to teach K-12 and adult education. TEFL is specially designed for those who want to teach overseas or at an intensive English language program in the U.S., in classes where students are always in classes with other non-native speakers of English.
Many countries require a four-year degree plus a TEFL certificate in order to qualify for an English teaching job and a job visa. Competition is increasing, and employers are looking for those with the skills and the experience to be successful English teachers.
Students must fill out the online application by clicking the APPLY NOW button on this page. Once approved, students will then be prompted to pay the $95 TEFL certificate fee. For non-native English speakers, a strong command of English is a prerequisite for the program. (iBT TOEFL: 80, TOEIC: 760).
No, with the exception of the Practicum class. Students must take and pass at least two other TEFL classes before taking the Practicum. Otherwise, it is entirely up to the student to decide which classes to take, depending upon his or her personal schedule and availability.
This depends upon the student’s personal schedule. The 24-unit program, roughly 8 classes, takes on average, less than 1 year with students taking 2 classes per quarter. However, students have five years in which to complete the program.
The approximate cost of the TEFL Professional Certificate program is $3,200-$3,700. This includes the cost of the courses plus books and materials.
All TEFL classes are held at the Extension complex of the main UC San Diego campus in La Jolla.
All classes are offered in-class (face-to-face). However, we do have four courses offered optionally as online classes. Classes are offered on a quarterly rotating basis. View the course matrix for more information about when courses are generally offered.
This can be paid at any time during the program, but we recommend that students pay it as soon as possible. Should any requirements of the program change, those who have not paid the fee yet will be subject to those changes/new requirements.
TEFL graduates can teach abroad and at intensive English languages institutes and other ESL programs in the U.S.
No. In fact, employers often prefer that teachers not speak the native language so that the students will have greater exposure to spoken English, and so that the students must use English rather than their native language to communicate with their teacher.
For students enrolled in our program, we offer a TEFL Job Resources Guide, which lists our recommended job boards, schools, and agencies. We are continuously contacted by schools and agencies looking for instructors, and while we cannot guarantee the employment conditions of all the schools and/or agencies, if we feel they look reputable, we will pass that information along to our students. In the end, it is up to the student to decide which job they would like to pursue.
For more information regarding financial assistance, please refer to: extension.ucsd.edu/financial.
UC San Diego is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). UC San Diego Extension—like all other UC San Diego schools, colleges, and departments—is accredited by WASC through the University. For more information on accreditation click here.
There will be a $95 fee upon
acceptance into the program
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