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Our Purpose Is Helping You Fulfill Yours

Fairfield offers programs in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and bilingual education to prepare prospective and practicing teachers to educate K-12 students who are learning English as a second or additional language.

For prospective candidates seeking to become K-12 teachers -

  • a master's degree (MA) with initial certification in TESOL

For practicing teachers seeking cross-endorsement -

  • MA degree and Sixth Year Certificate with cross-endorsements in TESOL and elementary or secondary bilingual education

For candidates interested in TESOL for adults

  • MA only program option

Fairfield's programs benefit from being located near K-12 schools in our partner districts (Bridgeport, Danbury, Greenwich, Norwalk, Stamford, and Stratford) with long-established TESOL and bilingual education programs.



Fairfield University's TESOL program has been awarded "national recognition" by the TESOL International Association. A nationally recognized program is one that has systematically assessed candidates' learning and met rigorous standards developed by the specialty professional association (SPA) in that discipline. The TESOL/Bilingual Education programs are housed in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, which received continuing accreditation status from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in April 2015. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, NCATE is "the profession's mechanism to help establish high quality teacher preparation [programs]. NCATE's performance-based system of accreditation fosters competent classroom teachers and other educators who work to improve the education of all K-12 students." (See NCATE website.)

NCATE accreditation and TESOL program's national recognition are achieved following rigorous external review. SPA recognition informs prospective students that the accredited college or university and nationally recognized program have met national standards for the professional and operate at a high level of educational quality and integrity.

If you are interested in further information about the TESOL or bilingual education programs or would like to start as a non-matriculated student at Fairfield University, please contact Dr. Anne Campbell, Associate Dean and Director, TESOL, World Languages, and Bilingual Education programs at acampbell@fairfield.edu or call 203-254-4000 ext. 2873.

Information Session

Come meet our deans and faculty to learn more about our graduate programs.

Message From The Director

Dr. Anne Campbell headshot‌Dear Prospective Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in Fairfield University's TESOL and bilingual/multicultural education programs, which were established in 1972. Fairfield is one of two NCATE and TESOL accredited universities in Connecticut to offer initial certification and cross-endorsement programs in TESOL. We also have elementary and secondary cross-endorsements in Bilingual Education at the graduate level. The program benefits from the University's location near schools with long-established bilingual and TESOL programs, and has received numerous teacher-training grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

The TESOL and Bilingual Education programs are housed in the Department of Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation, a professional community that lives out the ideals of our Jesuit mission as advocates for equity and justice through the transformative powers of education. Upon their graduation, TESOL and Bilingual Candidates continue this mission through teaching and a commitment to meet the needs of the linguistically and culturally diverse students in Connecticut schools.

Our TESOL and Bilingual Education full-time faculty, adjuncts, cooperating teachers, and field supervisors are experienced educators with a deep commitment to serving the needs of students, families, communities, and schools. TESOL practicum and student teaching include an 8-week elementary and an 8-week secondary placement. One of the strengths of the program is the network of experienced teachers, newly certified teachers, and administrators (many of whom are Fairfield graduates) who share their knowledge and expertise at local and regional meetings.

Upon admission, you'll be assigned an advisor who will work with you to plan your program of study and support you throughout your program as you work toward your professional goals.

Please feel free to explore this program site further. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a time to meet with me for further discussion, e-mail or call me at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2873.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Anne E. Campbell, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Director
TESOL and Bilingual/Multicultural Education

Career & Professional Opportunities

TESOL and Bilingual Education are two critical shortage areas in Connecticut. Fairfield's TESOL and Bilingual Education program graduates are in high demand in Connecticut and throughout the region.

The comprehensive curriculum and field placements prepare candidates to work as TESOL teachers in grades K-12, or as bilingual elementary or bilingual secondary content area teachers.

Additional career opportunities include teaching overseas or in adult education.

Learn more about how the University's Office of Career Planning can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

Course Offerings

View the course catalog

  • SL 419 Special Learners in the Bilingual/ESL Classroom
  • SL 421 Linguistics for Language Teachers
  • SL 422 Teaching Grammar in Second Language Settings
  • SL 423 Principles of Bilingualism
  • SL 426 Methods and Materials in Bilingual Programs
  • SL 433 TESOL/Bilingual Advanced Practicum Elementary
  • SL 436 Methods and Materials for Second Language Teaching
  • SL 439 Methods of Foreign Language Teaching for Elementary School
  • SL 441 Teaching and Learning within Multicultural Contexts of Education
  • SL 445 Comprehending and Communicating in a Second Language
  • SL 450 Second Language Methods for Secondary Teachers (6-12)
  • SL 451 Content Area Instruction in Bilingual/ESL Classrooms
  • SL 453 Differentiated Instruction for English Language Learners
  • SL 461 Reading and Writing in a Second Language
  • SL 467 Language Acquisition
  • SL 475 Sociolinguistics
  • SL 477 Culture and Second Language Acquisition
  • SL 489 TESOL/Bilingual Advanced Practicum Secondary
  • SL 498 Thesis Seminar
  • SL 504 The English Language Learner in the Regular Classroom
  • SL 520 Foundations of Dual Language Instruction
  • SL 522 Emergent Literacy in Bilingual Early Childhood Education
  • SL 526 Historical and Sociopolitical Issues in Bilingual/Multicultural/ESL Education
  • SL 527 Testing and Assessment in TESOL and Bilingual Programs
  • SL 528 Second Language Curriculum Development
  • SL 581 Directed Observation and Supervised Student Teaching
  • SL 582 TESOL/Bilingual Student Teaching & DSAP I Seminar
  • SL 588 Directed Observation for TESOL/Bilingual DSAP Candidates: Part I
  • SL 589 Directed Observation for TESOL/Bilingual DSAP Candidates: Part II
  • SL 590 C.A.S. Advanced Practicum
  • SL 595 Independent Study
  • HI 400 United States History for Educators
  • SL 99-01 Comprehensive Exam in TESOL and Bilingual/Multicultural Education

Core Faculty

Background Check and Fingerprinting Requirement

Fingerprinting and background checks are required for certification programs. Please contact your course instructor and/or program director for updated information.


Admission Requirements

Applicants for the M.A. in TESOL with initial certification must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent) and give promise of meeting the standards set by the School. For all initial certifications, a minimum of 39 semester hours of credit in general academic courses in five of the six following subject areas is required:

  • English
  • Natural science
  • Fine arts
  • Social studies (including a survey course in U.S. history)
  • Foreign language
  • Mathematics

Candidates without prerequisite coursework may be asked to fulfill this requirement before formal admission or before student teaching, depending on the number of missing credits.

Formal Admission Process

Students seeking admission must submit:

  • A completed online application
  • A Non-refundable $60 application fee paid by credit card.
  • A Professional Resume. Applicants are required to submit a current resume that includes employment and education history (submit online).
  • An Admission Essay. Students should describe why they want to undertake graduate studies in TESOL  (submit online).
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended demonstrating a cumulative GPA of at least 2.67 (or receive a GPA waiver from the department, available on a case by case basis). You must hold a bachelor's degree with an approved subject major or interdisciplinary major. (All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an approved evaluating service.
  • Two Recommendation Forms and Letters, one of which must be, preferably, from a current employer or supervisor. The Recommendations are completed online. At the time of application you will need to provide your two Recommender's names and e-mail addresses.
  • Participation in an Admission Interview.


Students from Non-English Speaking Countries

Students from non-English speaking countries are required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report. A TOEFL composite score of 550 for the paper test, 213 for the computer-based, or 84 on the Internet-based test (iBT) with a minimum score of 21 in reading and 23 in writing is strongly recommended for admission. Fairfield's ETS code is 3390.


All application materials for formal admission should be sent to:

Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies Admission
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824-5195
Phone: (203) 254-4184
Fax: (203) 254-4073


How to Apply

For detailed admission requirements, please refer to the links below:

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Financial Aid

To be considered for financial aid, Fairfield University requires students to complete a FAFSA form. For further information, visit the Office of Financial Aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

When are applications due?

Applications are processed on a rolling basis; however, they need to be submitted at least two weeks before the start of the semester or summer session to be processed in time for the semester.


What are the application requirements?

For master's, PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators tests (formerly PRAXIS I) (PPST) or waiver, minimum GPA of 2.67, 2 letters of recommendation, résumé. Additional exam requirements/recommendations for international students: Required - TOEFL (A TOEFL composite score of 550 for the paper test, 213 for the computer-based, or 84 on the Internet-based test (iBT) with a minimum score of 21 in reading and 23 in writing).

Our Office of Graduate Admissions is available to explain the application requirements and to help you get your application together. You may contact them by submitting a request for information or by phoning (203) 254-4184 or toll-free (888) 488-6840.


How much does it cost?

Tuition and fees for our graduate programs


When are courses offered?

Most of our courses are offered from Monday-Thursday in the late afternoon and evening. A few courses are offered online. We also offer summer courses from late May through early August.


Can I take classes before I am accepted into the program?

Yes, you are able to take up to six (6) credits as a non-matriculated student before being accepted into the program.


What types of classes will I be taking?

Courses include topics such as, bilingualism, the role of culture in language acquisition, theories of learning, second language methods of teaching, curriculum and materials development, linguistics, and assessment of English language learners.


What is the average class size?

We keep our classes small. The typical maximum class size is 20, but class sizes range from 6 to 20.


What undergraduate degree or courses do I need to be eligible for admission?

Our students come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds and have majored in a wide variety of disciplines. The Program Director reviews applicant's transcripts and identifies what courses, if any, the applicant needs in order to be admitted to the program.


How long does it take to complete the degree?

Students who attend full-time take 9 credits each Fall and Spring semester and up to 9 credits in the summer sessions. For full-time students, the program can be completed in about 2 years. For students who attend part time, the time will vary based on how many courses are taken at a time. Students are required, however, to complete their degree within 6 years after they begin their first course.


What financial aid is available?

Our Office of Financial Aid can best answer that question for you. You may reach them by phoning (203) 254-4125 or by e-mailing them, and you can visit the Office of Financial Aid website.

Our graduate assistantships provide tuition credit for work. Please see the information noted on the website regarding available positions. Additionally, there may be an opportunity to do an internship in a public school and earn up to $15,000 toward tuition. Email the Internship director for additional information.


Contact Us

For more information about Fairfield University's graduate programs, please contact:

Office of Graduate Admission
Fairfield University
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

Call (203) 254-4184 or email gradadmis@fairfield.edu.

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