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Bilingual Education & TESOL Programs

Graduate Admission Information

New Student Orientation (pdf format)

To apply to a graduate program in TESOL, Bilingual Education (Master's or Bilingual Extension) or Bilingual Special Education students should submit a complete admissions application to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Applications are due March 15 for admission in the Fall semester, and October 15 for admission in the Spring semester. Students who miss the application deadline may take up to 9 credits as a non-matriculated student.

The following items are required as part of the admissions process:

  • Completed admissions application (can be downloaded here) and application fee.
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate coursework. For transcripts from non-English-speaking universities, original transcripts as well as an official English translation must be sumitted.
  • 3 letters of recommendation (at least 2 professional recommendations)
  • Copy of LAST Score Report - OR - copy of Initial/Provisional/Temporary New York State Teaching Certificate (For information about the LAST: New York State Teacher Certification Examinations) Students who are applying to the non-certification TESOL Stream B are exempt from this requirement, and not required to submit LAST scores or certificate.
  • After the admissions deadline, applicants will be contacted to come in for an in-person interview and an on-site admissions essay.
  • Applicants to the Bilingual Education program must pass the Bilingual Language Proficiency Exam administered by CCNY prior to admission. (The Bilingual Education Program's Language Proficiency Exam may be waived for students who have passed the language portions of the New York State Bilingual Education Assessment, or BEA. Please see your advisor for more information.)


For more information, please consult the Office of Graduate Admissions.

FAQs Regarding Graduate Admission to the Programs in Bilingual Education and TESOL

How many credits will be required to complete the Master's program, and how long will it take?

Is it necessary to be certified as a teacher prior to admission to the program?

Do I have to take the LAST exam?

Do I have to submit GRE scores?

How can I submit transcripts from outside the US?

What are the application deadlines?

Can I take courses as a non-matriculated student?

How can I register as a non-matriculated student?

Why is TESOL part of the Childhood Education Department?

Is the Bilingual Extension appropriate for those who plan to work in settings other than grades 1-6?

What if my undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0?

Can I transfer credits from another institution to City College?

What is the cost of tuition?

I have experience as a teacher in another country. Can I be certified in New York?

I am interested in certification only, not an additional Master's degree.  What courses do I need to take?

How can I complete the program if I work full-time?

I live out of the New York area.  Can you tell me what City College looks like?

How many credits will be required to complete the Master's program, and how long will it take?

The number of credits required to complete a Master's program in Bilingual Education depends on whether the student already holds New York State initial teaching certification and/or a bilingual extension. Students enroll in either Stream A, Stream B, or Stream C.

The number credits required to complete a Master's program in TESOL depends on whether the student already holds New York State initial teaching certification and/or whether s/he wishes to obtain certification. Students enroll in either Stream A, Stream B, or Stream C.

All candidates for initial teaching certification may also be required to takeadditional courses to meet State liberal arts pre-requisites. Click here for moreinformation.  Students with remaining requirements may be satisfied throughcoursework at accredited institutions (graduate or undergraduate) or throughpassing scores on CLEP examinations.  Effective Fall 2010 students will nolonger be allowed to use LAST or CST sub-scores to fulfill liberal arts prerequisites.

The amount of time it takes to complete the program depends on how many credits a student takes each semester.  However, the minimum time required to complete any Master's degree in the program would be 1 1/2 years (3 semesters).

Is it necessary to be certified as a teacher prior to admission to the program? 

No, it is not necessary to be certified as a teacher prior to admission to the program. TESOL candidates without certification may apply to either Stream B (non-certification), or Stream C (to obtain initial certification). Bilingual Education applicants without initial certification enroll in Stream C to obtain initial certification.

Do I have to take the LAST exam?

All applicants to the Bilingual Education and TESOL Program who do not hold Initial (or Provisional) teaching certification must submit a copy of their LAST score report. The only exception is that applicants to the non-certification Bilingual EducationStream D and TESOL Stream B  need not submit an LAST score. Please note that a passing score is not required for admission, but we must have a copy of a score report as part of the overall admissions package.

International students who are unable to take the LAST prior to admission because they are not in the U.S. may be accepted as non-matriculated students. These students can take the LAST exam during their first semester as a non-matriculated student, and may then apply for full matriculation.

Do I have to submit GRE scores? 

No, GRE scores are not required for admission to the Bilingual Education and TESOL Program.

How can I submit transcripts from outside the US? 

International transcripts and all those in a language other than English must be translated by an approved foreign education evaluation service. Click here for a list of approved evaluation services.

Please note that documents are translated from originals for their content. Often, agencies will provide the notation that a program of study is or is not equivalent to a US Bachelors degree. However, the College makes the final determination as to whether or not a course of study is equivalent to a US bachelors degree and does not rely on an agencies' notations in that regard.

What are the application deadlines?

The application deadline for Spring admission is October 15; the deadline for Fall admission is March 15. Please consult the Office of Graduate Admissions for more information.

Can I take courses as a non-matriculated student?

Candidates may apply up to 9 credits taken as a non-matriculated student to a degree in the School of Education. To register as a non-matriculated student, submit an application to the Graduate Admissions Office.

How can I register as a non-matriculated student?

The School of Education Graduate Admissions Office has information about applying as a non-matriculated student.

Why is TESOL part of the Childhood Education Department?

When the School of Education was reorganized in 1999, it was divided into three departments that don't accurately cover the range of programs we offer: Childhood Education, Secondary Education, and Leadership & Special Education. Our program, which consists of not just Bilingual Childhood Education but also TESOL (certification Pre-K through 12), Secondary Spanish Education (certification 7-12), and the Bilingual Extension, became part of the Childhood Education Program. Our courses now carry the 4-letter prefix EDCE (Education-Childhood Education), but not all the courses are focused on childhood education.

Is the Bilingual Extension appropriate for those who plan to work in settings other than grades 1-6?

Yes. Of the 6 courses required as part of our Bilingual Extension, three of them explicitly cover the age range of Pre-K to 12. Three of the courses in the Extension are focused more on childhood education, but are also applicable to second language learners of all ages: 6500C (Developmental Reading and Writing in a Second Language); 5202C (Teaching Language Arts and Reading to Bilingual-Bicultural Children); 6400C (Teaching Content (Math, Science, and Social Studies) Using Both English and a Native Language.   What if my undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0?

The undergraduate GPA is one factor among several that are considered in the evaluation of an admission application (i.e., LAST scores, recommendations, on-site interview and essay). We recommend that students whose undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0 include a brief statement with their application explaining why they believe their undergraduate grades do not reflect their true potential for graduate study.

Can I transfer credits from another institution to City College?

Up to six credits in advanced standing (transfer credits) may be allowed for graduate work satisfactorily completed at institutions other than The City College, provided that the student's advisor and program head deem the work appropriate to the student's program of study and an official transcript is on file. The course or courses for which such credit is sought must have been completed within the three-year period prior to the date of matriculation in the graduate program, and may not have been used toward another degree. After acceptance to the program, students should meet with their advisor to determine their eligibility to receive transfer credits.

What is the cost of tuition?

Click here for City College tuition and fees.

I have experience as a teacher in another country. Can I be certified in New York?

There are two primary ways to obtain New York State teaching certification:

  • Candidates for certification may apply directly to the New York State Department of Education, which can review your transcripts and experience, and make a determination as to whether you have met all certification requirements, and/or what requirements still remain. For more information, click here.

    If additional certification requirements remain, it may be possible to complete those courses at City College. However, please note that only 9 credits may be taken as a non-matriculant, and we do not supervise student teaching or practicum experiences for non-matriculated students.

  • The other path to certification is to complete a program registered with the State from an accredited university. The Master's programs in TESOL (Stream C) and Bilingual Education (Stream C) are such programs, as they lead to New York State initial teaching certification.

I am interested in certification only, not an additional Master's degree.  What courses do I need to take?

Answer:  Click here for information about applying directly to New York State for certification.  This information is provided for those who may already hold many credits toward certification and do not seek an additional degree.   How can I complete the program if I work full-time?

Our class schedule is geared to part-time students who work full-time, as most of our students do.  Accordingly, our classes meet just once a week, from either 4:30-7:00, or from 7:15-9:45.  Although it is not possible to complete the entire program by taking only classes in the 7:15 time slot, most students find that they are able to make arrangements with their employers to leave early one night a week so they can take at least one 4:30 class.  Most students in the program take one or two classes each semester.

Some courses also require 10-15 hours of fieldwork, which can often be completed in evening or weekend programs.  If you intend to seek New York State teaching certification, one semester of (unpaid) student teaching will be required.  (In some cases, matriculated candidates may apply for an Internship Certificate once at least half the required coursework has been completed and all necessary certification exams have been passed. However, prospective students should plan for one semester of unpaid student teaching during the final semester of enrollment.)

I live out of the New York area.  Can you tell me what City College looks like?

Click here to see a You Tube video that shows the campus at the June 2007 commencement ceremony