Graduate Certificate TESL - Prospective Students

This 15-credit certificate is designed as professional development for in-service teachers and for candidates with a background in education, language studies, linguistics or a related field.  This certificate can also serve as preparation for application to our MA in Second Language Education.

A complete list of program requirements, including course descriptions and prerequisites can be found on the eCalendar program entry.

Please note that this is a Part Time program.  Information on tuition can be found on the the Student Accounts page.

Program Overview



  • The 5 courses which comprise the certificate provide a solid background and offer in-depth study in the field of second language education from a range of perspectives and with a focus on research and applications to teaching.
  • The first 3 courses are offered online, and can be undertaken anywhere an internet connection is available.  (Courses are sequential and must be taken in order)
  • The final two courses are offered face-to-face, on-site at McGill in an intensive summer institute.  This also includes a practicum that takes place in a nearby community centre.
  • The program begins in the Fall term only.
  • This certificate does not lead to teacher certification.
  • Certified teachers accepted into this certificate may be eligible for the Bourses individuelles de perfectionnement - Formation accélérée en enseignement - Apprentissage de l'anglais, langue seconde. Please click on the link for more information.
  • The courses are sequenced in such a way that students can complete the certificate in one year.  The maximum time for completion is three years, subject to the Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies regulations regarding residency and leaves of absence.


Applicants should meet the following requirements:

  • Possess an undergraduate degree
  • The minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is 3.0 out of a possible 4.0, or a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.2 out of 4.0 in the last two years of full-time studies.
  • Formal or informal teaching experience

Admissions (Application Deadline Extended to June 1st for Fall 2023 admission (Canadian applicants). For applications after June 1st, please contact [at] (here).


Admissions for all graduate level programs are done online, via uApply.  Click on the red "Apply Now" icon to begin the process.  The deadline  to apply is June 1 for the Fall  (February 1st for International applicants). 

Required Documents

  • A current working CV
  • A 1-2 page Letter of Intent, specifying relevant academic and professional experience, particularly experience related to education or other work with secondary aged children, and outlining your reasons for pursuing the teaching profession. In addition to the importance of subject matter expertise, please comment on your commitment to the social, ethical and political responsibility inherent in the teaching profession.
  • A copy of your unofficial transcripts from all previous university level studies (undergraduate and graduate).  Official transcripts are required after the students is officially admitted to the program.
  • Two letters of recommendation, one from a university-level instructor and the second from a professional who has supervised you in a formal or informal education or youth sector position (if you have experience working in a formal school setting, one letter must be from a school / school board administrator qualified to assess your professional qualities). Applicants will be prompted to provide the names and contact information of their referees in uApply.  An email request will be generated prompting referees to upload their letter for the applicant.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores Graduate eCalendar  here.


    About the Test

    The test consists of two parts: a written part and an individual oral interview. The written part includes an English editing task, a cloze task, and an extended writing task. During the written part, you will be allowed only writing utensils and an eraser. You may not use a paper dictionary, nor any electronic aids.

    The written part of the test will take place from 9:00 – 11:00 AM, after which individual oral interviews are scheduled. Please plan to be available until 4:00 PM on the testing day.

    Payment - $37.71 (NON REFUNDABLE)

    GCTESL applicants are required to pay a $36.29 fee (NON REFUNDABLE) to take the test. Applicants must bring a certified cheque or money order made out to McGill University with them to the test. This can be obtained at any bank or Canada post office. Our office is not equipped to accept cash, personal cheques, debit or credit cards.

    Distance Testing

    If you are unable to attend a testing date at McGill and reside more than five hours round-trip from Montreal, distance testing is an option for you. Please contact [at]  for more information.

    International Students:

    Please note that international students completing this program on a part-time basis could face challenges when applying for their immigration documents. Please contact International Student Services (ISS) if you plan to complete this program on a part-time basis. ALL international students, whether you plan on completing the program in one semester in Canada or intend to follow the first 3 courses (online) from your home country, and then travel to Canada only for the purpose of attending the final two courses held on-site at McGill in the summer institute, must apply for the Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ), Study Permit and a Co-Op work permit. You may also be required to complete a medical exam to apply for the co-op work permit. Please refer to International Student Services (ISS) for detailed information on how to apply for these immigration documents. You may also wish to contact ISS for help with obtaining a CAQ, Study Permit and Co-Op work permit.

    [DISE Diversity and Equity]

    Advisor Contact Info:

    Graduate Certificate TESL Program Coordinator: [at]

    TBA – Graduate Certificate TESL Program Director

Program information is organized for two distinct groups:

Prospective Students    Currently Registered


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