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Certificate in TEFL (on campus and online)

Study Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at Azusa Pacific University

Start your career as an English language teacher with a graduate-level TEFL certification without needing a full Master of Arts in TESOL degree. You’ll  have the qualifications to work in an entry-level English as a Foreign Language (EFL) position abroad, ready to teach in a multicultural setting. We make it possible to complete your certificate anywhere in the world, with practical teaching experiences and guidance from an experienced mentor teacher.

Program at a Glance

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers diverse well-rounded degree programs to prepare critical thinkers to make a difference in the world for Christ.

Upcoming Events

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Same Day Admissions Event

April 18, 5-7 p.m., Online via Zoom

Application Deadline

Early Action (Freshmen Only)

  • November 15

Regular Decision

  • March 1 priority application deadline
  • June 1 final deadline
  • August 1 final transfer deadline

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Program Units

Cost per Unit

Base Cost


  • Azusa (Main Campus), International/Off-campus, Online
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Gain Hands-on Experience

  • Prepare to teach English with professional excellence, intercultural sensitivity, and compassion. 
  • Experience hands-on teaching and observation experience.
  • Integrate work, family, and other commitments with easy, flexible format options.

By the Numbers

1 of 126 Best Western Colleges according to Princeton Review's 2023 Best Colleges Guide
13 :1 Student-to-faculty ratio

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Program Details

The Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) program equips students who desire to learn the basics of how to teach English and gain practical experience in order to explore the field of English language teaching. This graduate-level certification provides students with the basic qualifications needed to teach in a multicultural setting, and is earned by completing  two courses in the MA in TESOL program, which can be applied toward the master’s degree if further graduate work is desired. Coursework can be completed on campus or online.

Browse the tabs below—if you have questions, visit the Student Services Center page, and we’ll make sure you get the info you need.

Domestic Applicants


While no prerequisite courses must be completed for the TEFL certification, courses in English and linguistics are recommended. Before graduating, however, you will need to have completed the equivalent of six semester units of college-level foreign language with a grade of B or better. This requirement may be satisfied by language courses taken within 10 years prior to beginning your program at APU.

Admission Requirements—Domestic Applicants

The university graduate and program admission requirements below must be met before an application is considered complete.

Applicants must possess:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants for the TESOL programs are not required to have undergraduate majors in fields such as English, linguistics, or education; however a strong background in one of these is recommended.
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with a GPA between 2.5-2.99 may be considered for provisional admission.
  • A TOEFL score of 600 or above, for nonnative speakers only. Nonnative speakers of English must score 600 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), at least 250 on the computer-based TOEFL or 100 on the IBT, and must pass a test of written English. Applicants who score between 550 and 600 (213-249 on the computer-based TOEFL; 79-99 on the IBT) may be granted conditional admission, but will be required to complete TESL 500 English for Internationals (3 units) during their first semester of graduate work.

Applicants must submit:

  • Graduate application for admission
  • $45 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions leading to and awarding the applicant’s bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and all postbaccalaureate study

    An official transcript is one that Azusa Pacific University receives unopened in an envelope sealed by the former institution and that bears the official seal of the college or university. A cumulative minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average on the posted degree is required for regular admission status. Provisional admittance may be granted to individuals with a lower GPA if competency can be shown through multiple measures.
  • Statement of purpose describing educational and professional goals, including reasons for studying TESOL at APU
  • Résumé or statement of experience
  • Two letters of recommendation. At least one recommendation should be from a professor or teacher acquainted with the applicant’s academic work.
  • TOEFL scores for nonnative speakers of English. Request official TOEFL scores be sent directly to Azusa Pacific University.

Admission Requirements—International Applicants

Azusa Pacific University is authorized under federal law by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of State to enroll nonimmigrant, alien undergraduate and graduate students. APU issues and administers both the I-20 and DS 2019 (F-1 and J-1 status documents respectively).

To apply for a graduate program at APU, the following requirements must be fulfilled in addition to meeting the domestic applicant and program-specific admission requirements specified above.

International applicants must also:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in English through a placement test with the Academic Success Center, or through a TOEFL/IELTS score that meets program-specific requirements. Refer to APU’s English proficiency requirements to learn more. Request that official test scores be sent to APU. All other forms of proof indicated in the English proficiency requirements must be submitted directly to International Services.
  • Provide a Graduate Affidavit of Financial Support (PDF) and a bank statement from within the last six months proving financial ability to pay for education costs through personal, family, or sponsor resources.
  • Submit a copy of a valid passport showing biographical data, including your name, country of citizenship, date of birth, and other legal information.
  • Get foreign transcripts evaluated. International credentials (transcripts, certificates, diplomas, and degrees) must be evaluated by a foreign transcript evaluation agency. View our policy and a list of approved Foreign Transcript Evaluation Agencies.

Send official transcripts to:

Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
[email protected]

What to Expect

After all admission materials have been received by the Student Services Center, the faculty or department chair reviews the applicant’s file. The applicant is notified in writing of the admission decision.


We have rolling admissions, but you should allow at least one month for your application to be processed from the time that all materials are received, including three recommendations. All admission materials for the TEFL certification program should be received by the end of July for fall admission and by the end of December for spring admission. International applicants should contact ISS for current deadlines.

Tuition (per unit) $596
Units 6
Base Program Cost $3,576

Estimated Cost Breakdown

See the table below for the tuition charges and fees that comprise your estimated total TEFL certification cost. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Tuition and Fees
Graduate Application Fee for U.S. Students $45
Graduate Application Fee for International Students $45
Tuition ($596/unit) $3,576
Textbooks (approximately $100/course) $200
Intent to Commence and/or Graduate Fee $100

View a complete list of university fees for graduate programs.

All stated financial information is subject to change. Contact the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020 for more information.

Paying for Your Degree

APU offers a variety of ways to help you pay for your online degree. From scholarships and grants, to loans and institutional aid, we're committed to being sure that cost doesn't keep you from reaching your educational goals.

Learn more about the financial aid opportunities available to you.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Tuition Discounts

APU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) offers an alumni tuition discount for APU alumni starting in the following graduate programs:

Students must be in good academic standing and maintain satisfactory academic progress with a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0. Students must be enrolled at least half-time. If qualifications are met, the discount may be renewed each term. APU will pay $500 per term (up to $2,000 over the course of the program). This discount cannot be combined with other institutional aid. Contact Student Financial Services for complete eligibility details.

Note: Award and eligibility are applicable for the 2022-23 academic year and apply to students admitted beginning fall 2020. The discount is subject to change.

TeachBeyond Employee Tuition Discount

APU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers a 15 percent tuition discount (savings of over $2,700) to employees of TeachBeyond for the following online or on-campus programs:

Students fill out the MOU Discount Form and provide proof of employment every year of enrollment. Contact Student Financial Services for complete eligibility details.

Additionally, TESOL programs are also available to TeachBeyond employees at an already-discounted tuition rate.

To view specific requirements and coursework information, visit the current academic catalog:

Marketplace Opportunity

The growth of the use of the English language worldwide has been remarkable, presenting English teachers with unprecedented opportunities for intercultural service.

  • In the last 50 years, English has rapidly become a global language, particularly for international politics, business, transportation, science and technology, the media, and higher education.
  • Although English is the principal mother tongue in less than a dozen nations, it has significant or official status as a means of communication in more than 70 countries. Nearly a quarter of the world's population, more than 1.2 billion people, are already at least reasonably competent in English. This surpasses the spread of any other language in history.
  • English is now taught as a foreign language in more than 100 countries, making it the most widely taught foreign language in the world. In most of these countries, it is becoming the primary foreign language in the educational system.* Consequently, almost every nation in the world is demanding competent English teachers to help develop their professional labor force.
  • Those who hold master's degrees in TESOL are among the most sought-after professionals in the world today. TESOL instruction represents an extraordinary opportunity for a meaningful career in education, both at home and abroad. As a field of practice, TESOL is unparalleled in its ability to provide:
    • A natural platform for cultivating intercultural relationships.
    • Opportunities for initiating self-supporting business ventures.

Why Study TESOL at APU?

  • APU's TESOL programs combine an orientation toward compassionate Christian service with strong academic preparation and practical preparation for language teaching.
  • The programs represent a blend of coursework and practical experiences which equip graduates to respond to the wide range of language needs, sociocultural differences, and program requirements they will encounter.
  • Qualified faculty share their professional and cross-cultural experiences while adapting coursework to the unique needs and interest of students.
  • APU is located in the greater Los Angeles area, where more than 150 languages are spoken. This diverse linguistic and cultural environment offers students an unmatched variety of multicultural practice-teaching and research opportunities.
  • Graduates of APU's TESOL and TEFL certification program are currently serving both internationally and in the U.S. — in public schools, colleges and universities, private institutes, and businesses. Others have gone on to complete doctoral work in such fields as applied linguistics, international education, or intercultural studies.

Will I have to complete any part of my Online Certificate in Teaching English as Foreign Language at an APU campus location?

No. You can complete your TEFL certification degree entirely online. No campus visits or meetings are required.

What type of computer and Internet connection do I need?

In order to make the most of your online learning experience, your computer and Internet connection should fulfill APU's online course technical requirements.

How often do I need to be online for the online program?

You must be online sufficiently throughout each week to participate in threaded discussions and to complete all assignments by their designated deadlines. However, there is no prescribed amount of time that you will be required to be online because assignments and their deadlines will vary with each course.

Are scholarships available?

Several types of financial aid, ranging from federal loans and state grants, to fellowships and scholarships, are available. Learn more about the financial aid opportunities available to you.

If you have questions, we’re here to help! Connect with a representative who can walk you through the program details and application process.

Contact Your Admissions Representative

Additional Program Contacts

  • Richard Robison, PhD, on-campus program director, [email protected], (626) 815-6000, Ext. 3416
  • Tasha Bleistein, PhD, online program director, [email protected], (626) 815-6000, Ext. 2414
  • Mary Shepard Wong, PhD, field-based program director, [email protected], (626) 815-6000, Ext. 3483
  • Manar Metry, program coordinator, [email protected], (626) 815-3844

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


(626) 815-6000, Ext. 3500


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000

Student Services Center

Contact (626) 812-3016 or [email protected], and visit for details on the admissions process, financial aid, and class registration.

International Services

International students should contact +1-626-812-3055 or [email protected], and visit

Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Featured Faculty

Tasha Bleistein

Tasha Bleistein

Interim Associate Dean; Director, Online TESOL Programs; Professor, Department of Sociology, TESOL, and Modern Languages

Mary Shepard Wong

Mary Shepard Wong

Director, Field-based TESOL Programs; Professor, Department of Sociology, TESOL, and Modern Languages; Fulbright Program Advisor

Career Outlooks and Outcomes

Mary sitting with Vietnamese lady

Mary Wong Teaches Translanguaging in Vietnam

Mary Shepard Wong, PhD, director of APU’s field-based TESOL programs, recently traveled to five cities across Vietnam over three weeks to co-lead four workshops on translanguaging/ 

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.
*Base Cost (cost per unit x program units) is provided to aid in program comparison only.
All stated financial information is subject to change. View Tuition tab above.

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