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English as a Second Language

The English as a Second Language program qualifies candidates for K-12 ESL teacher licensure in Minnesota. The program prepares graduates to meet the English language and literacy needs of K-12 students for whom English is not their native language. The program offers licensure preparation embedded within a graduate certificate (note: the graduate certificate is not taking new students at this time) as well as licensure preparation embedded within the Master of Arts in English as a Second Language degree. The program offers initial licensure for those seeking their first teaching license, as well as additional licensure preparation for those who already hold a classroom teaching license.

"The exciting innovation in this program is that four of the ESL courses are shared with the K-12 Reading Teacher certificate. Our goal is to prepare ESL teachers to meet the literacy needs of their English learners AND to prepare K-12 Reading Teachers who will understand the language needs of their students who are English learners."
- Dahabo Kullane, Program Director

Teachers: Prepare to earn a MN ESL license

  • Add the Minnesota K-12 ESL license to an existing license
  • 28 credits (nine courses) to prepare for licensure
  • Four ESL courses are shared with the K-12 Reading Teacher Program
  • Completion of 10 additional credits also qualifies you to add the K-12 Reading Teacher license

College graduates: Prepare for initial licensure to become an ESL teacher

  • Prepare to earn a Minnesota K-12 teaching license with ESL as your content area
  • 35 credits of ESL coursework plus 24 credits for initial teacher licensure (59 credits total)
  • Any undergraduate major accepted (no pre-requisite courses)

Delivery and Schedule

The program courses are a mix of online and face-to-face sessions for cohorts of 10-15 learners. The program is designed to fit the schedule of employed persons who want to take classes on some Saturdays during the academic year and during the summer months.

Financial Aid

For more information about financial aid, vist our loan information page.

Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in English as a Second Language
Requirements for the M.A. in English as a Second Language


Programs are offered at the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses, plus off-site cohort locations throughout Minnesota upon request. Contact us to create a cohort in your school or district:

Denise Cichosz, Program Coordinator
1-800-635-5987 ext. 6629