Endorsement Program for English as a Second Language Certification

Program Details

Area(s) of Study:
  • English as a Second Language
Associated Degree:
  • Certificate/Endorsement
  • Online
Program Level:
  • Non-Degree Program
Program Type:
  • Certificate
  • Nondegree Professional Development


Attention: The 18-credit ESL endorsement program has changed to the new 15-credit ESL endorsement program, effective fall 2020. Any new admissions starting spring 2021 or later should consult the new Non-Degree Endorsement Program in ESL requirements.

Current students enrolled in the 18-credit non-degree ESL endorsement program who began on or before fall 2020: please note that the new 15-credit program requirements do meet the New Jersey Department of Education certification requirements. If you began the ESL endorsement program on/before fall 2020, you have the option of taking the new program with less credit requirements. Please contact Christelle Palpacuer Lee and Marie Pavelchak if you have any questions.


The nondegree endorsement program for English as a Second Language (ESL) certification is designed for individuals who possess a New Jersey standard teaching certificate in a content field or elementary education and who wish to become certified to teach English as a Second Language.

The program consists of six courses (18 credits) and does not, by itself, lead to an academic degree. Candidates will be recommended for the ESL endorsement upon completion of the 18-credit program and then will have the option of continuing in the Ed.M. program.


All applicants who are not currently in a graduate/non-degree program and don't have an active RU ID # will need to complete a Graduate Study application. Applications can be completed online.

Applications for current students are available from the Office of Student and Academic Services in the GSE building.

Along with the application, the applicant must submit the following credentials:

  • A photocopy of a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate or CEAS.
  • Official academic transcripts of all undergraduate studies. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants are not usually admitted with a GPA of less than 3.00 in their most recent degree.
  • A letter of recommendation.
  • A personal statement that briefly describes an experience with English language learners and bilingual students and explains why the applicant wishes to enroll in our non-degree ESL Program.
  • Provide passing scores on the Oral Proficiency Interview and a Written Proficiency Test in English administered by ACTFL.

Applicants are responsible for reviewing and confirming that they meet program requirements before the application is submitted. Rutgers Graduate School of Education WILL NOT refund the application fee if an applicant is not accepted. Applications are due two weeks before the beginning of the next semester. Students are admitted throughout the year for this non-degree program.

Program Requirements

The program requires 18 credits of study in six courses. All 18 credits in the endorsement program must be completed at Rutgers; no transfer credits will be accepted. All students must provide evidence of a second/foreign language or cultural experience. All students seeking certification in ESL are required to pass an oral proficiency interview and a written proficiency test in English administered by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

Accepted students will have 5 years to complete the program, from the beginning of any course work to be counted toward the program.

A complete listing of program requirements are available for download or at the Office of Student and Academic Services.

If you have more specific questions about this program, please contact Christelle Palpacuer Lee.


Additional Requirements for New Jersey Certification

New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 18A:37-22 requires that educators entering the work force in the 2012 school year and beyond must have completed through their pre-service preparation (e.g., courses, practicum) a program on harassment, intimation and bullying (HIB) prevention. The HIB prevention requirements apply to the following programs: (a) teachers and education services personnel certifications; and (b) administrative certifications, including chief school administrators, principals, and supervisors. Details on the required training can be found here.


If you have general questions about this program or need any assistance with the application process, please contact the Office of Student and Academic Services by email, by phone at 848-932-3232, or simply drop by our office for assistance.