Jun 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Teaching English as Second Language, Graduate Certificate


Department of Linguistics
1024 Human Health Building (Map)
(248) 370-2175 • Fax (248) 370-3144

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Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Federal Gainful Employment Disclosure


Graduate Adviser:
Michael B. Smith
1030 Human Health Building
(248) 364-8811

Graduate TESL Coordinator:
Rebecca Gaydos, Special Instructor
1019 Human Health Building
(248) 370-2176

This program does not meet Michigan Department of Education requirements for NS Endorsement of K12 Educators in TESL.  Refer to K12 Teaching English as a Second Language TESL Certificate Program (24 credits).

Program description

The Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program consists of 20 credits in Applied Language Studies (ALS) and Linguistics (LIN) as set forth below. It is designed for completion in one or two years by individuals who are already teaching and seeking further professional development or by those seeking additional preparation in order to enter the field of English as a Second Language (ESL).

Admission terms and application requirements

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

  • February 15 (early), April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
  • October 1 (early) and November 15  (regular) for winter semester
  • March 1 (regular) for summer semester
  • International applicants  

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • All applicants with baccalaureate degrees from a regionally accredited institution will be considered.
  • Ordinarily, a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 is required for admission to the program (as is the case for admission to the Master of Arts degree program in linguistics).
  • Applicants who are non-native speakers of English must satisfactorily complete an oral and written examination of English in order to be admitted to the Certificate Program.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.

Certificate requirements

Course requirements (20 credits)

b. Electives

Students will choose at least 8 additional credits from among the following list. Other ALS or LIN courses may be substituted with the approval of the graduate certificate adviser. Courses included in the graduate certificate should be selected to enhance competency in a specific field of interest and/or application.

A minimum grade of 2.5 in each course and an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 are required for the graduate certificate program.

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Oakland University Graduate School.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

Practicum eligibility

 Eligibility for the Practicum (ALS 5960 ) requires completion of ALS 5518  with a grade of 3.0 or higher. Non-native speakers of English must, in addition, satisfactorily complete an oral and written examination of English.

Relationship to the Master of Arts in Linguistics

All courses taken to fulfill the requirements for the graduate certificate will count toward the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program in linguistics with a TESL specialization. It is anticipated that a graduate of the graduate certificate program who has all the prerequisites for the M.A. in linguistics can apply for admission to the program and complete the additional credits in about two calendar years as a part-time student or in one calendar year as a full-time student. The department will consider applications from students who complete the graduate certificate program with less than 3.0 grade-point average, on an individual basis.