You are here: Home / Programs / Online Graduate Certificate in TESOL / Application Procedure

Application Procedure

Applying to the online Graduate Certificate in TESOL is a two-step process. After reviewing the program information, admissions requirements, and course schedule, please follow the instructions given below to help us make sure that you will be registered into the Graduate Certificate program successfully.

How to Apply

Step 1

Submit your documents to our department for a preliminary screening. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP

When you apply for the Graduate Certificate in TESOL, your application is pre-screened at no cost by faculty members in the Department of Applied Linguistics. For this step, unofficial copies of your documents are acceptable.

Send us a PDF by email, or fax a copy of your transcripts and TOEFL or IELTS test scores (if available) to the departmental office:

Email documents to Ms. Sally Arnold at
Fax documents to 1-814-863-7986, with "Attention: Sally Arnold" on the cover page 

We will review your preliminary application and let you know within two or three days whether you have been accepted into the online Graduate Certificate in TESOL program. Acceptance in this preliminary screening guarantees that your official application to the Graduate School (certificate programs) will be accepted.

After your preliminary application has been approved by us, the Department of Applied Linguistics, you must then apply for admission to the Graduate School (certificate programs) for your application to be considered complete. 

Step 2

Complete the official online application to the Graduate School (complete this step only after completing step 1 above) using the Graduate School online portal.

Pay the nonrefundable application fee.

Submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores. Request ETS to send official TOEFL scores to Penn State (our institutional code is 2660). (TOEFL scores will automatically be uploaded to your Penn State application record.)

IELTS Test Report Forms (TRFs) should be sent to:

Attention: Sally Arnold
Department of Applied Linguistics
234 Sparks Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802

You will not be considered officially enrolled in the certificate program if you skip the pre-screening step and apply directly to the graduate school. Please follow both steps to ensure you are enrolled under the correct status.

Admissions Help

If you have any questions about applying to the online Graduate Certificate in TESOL program, please contact Ms. Sally Arnold at (814) 867-4284 or

Note: The online Graduate Certificate in TESOL offered through World Campus at Penn State does NOT fulfill any requirements for public school certification in ESL. If you are a public school teacher looking for information on state certification or licensing in ESL, please visit the ESL Program Specialist page by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education.