Frequently Asked Questions

About the Course

Is this an accredited course?

Georgetown University is not only accredited, it was recently named among the Best Colleges by the Princeton Review.

How many credits will I receive for this course?

The TEFL Certificate program awards 6 post-baccalaureate non-degree certificate credits: 5 for the online course and 1 for the practicum.

Is this a graduate-level program?

Although the TEFL Certificate courses are not a graduate level courses, the courses were co-listed as part of the moribund MAT graduate program offered by the Georgetown Department of Linguistics.

Can TEFL Online and the TEFL Practicum be taken separately?

No. You cannot take one course without taking the other, and both courses must be taken in the same semester.

I have no experience in the field of teaching/TEFL. Is this course suitable for me?

Yes. If you have strong English skills and a desire to teach, this is the perfect course to gain the foundation skills and confidence you will need for your new career.

How many hours a week should I expect to spend on this course?

During the online portion of the program, trainees can expect to spend 12 hours a week on assigned readings, homework, and contributions to the discussion board. During the one-week practicum, trainees can expect to spend approximately 7 hours a day in class, between lessons, lesson planning, and teaching.

Is the GU-TEFL class culturally diverse?

Yes. We have had representatives from Belgium, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Korea, Turkey, and the U.S. Trainees have plenty of opportunities to learn about other cultures and classroom expectations.

What's the difference between the TEFL Certificate and a TESOL or TESL Certificate?

While this certificate program is titled Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or TEFL, the training provided is also appropriate for prospective trainees in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). TEFL, TESL, and TESOL are often used interchangeably. For more detailed descriptions of these and other common acronyms, click here.

Online Course

Do I have to be available during specific hours for the online course?

No. As long as you meet the instructor’s assignment deadlines, you can do the coursework any time during the week. The only specific times you need to be available are for online meetings that you set up with your instructor. These would be at times that are convenient to you both.

What kind of computer equipment do I need for the online course?

You will need a computer with a fast and reliable Internet connection, MS Office-compatible software installed, Windows Media or comparable audio-visual program installed, and ability and permission to download programs from the Internet. You might also need a set of headphones that can be plugged into your computer.

Do you offer visas for the 16-week online portion of the TEFL Certificate course?

No. GU is only able to offer F1 visas during the one-week practicum option (May or June).


Do you provide housing during the Practicum?

No. Click here for information regarding rental properties in the DC area. (Please note that this link directs you to a page geared toward full-time GU students. However, there is good information about the local area, short-term rentals, and other resources).

How do I get to Georgetown University for the Practicum?

Click here for driving directions, parking information, and public transport options.

Application and Payment

What does the education requirement entail?

In order to be admitted to the TEFL program, if you have not already completed a bachelor's degree, you must be a currently enrolled upperclassman.

I have a degree from an overseas university. What should I do?

Please provide one of the following items in addition to an official University transcript for the highest degree you have obtained: 

  1. A letter or an email from a University Official. The letter should include the Official's name, position/title, and contact information.
  2. A transcript evaluation from a NACES approved service (
Do I need to submit full tuition with the application?

No. Tuition will be charged following your admission to the program.

Do you accept credit/debit card payments?

The Office of Billing and Payment Services does accept credit/debit card payments for the program tuition. Fees apply; see their website for more details. Please note that the application and transcript fees must be paid with a US check/money order and submitted at the time of your application regardless of your method of tuition payment.

Do you have a payment plan?

Three payment plan options are offered through the Office of Billing and Payment Services. See their website for more details.

What does the TEFL Certificate Program offer in terms of financial aid?

Because the TEFL Certificate program is considered a non-degree course, the program is not eligible for federal student aid. Applicants are responsible for identifying and securing alternative financial assistance.

What if I am a Veteran and would like to use my VA Benefits?

You may be eligible to use VA Benefits to cover the tuition costs of the TEFL Certificate Program. Please contact the Veterans Office by phone (202.687.2708) or email ( for more information on the process and eligibility.

Can I buy the textbooks required for the TEFL Certificate program at the Georgetown University bookstore?

No. The GU bookstore does not carry these textbooks. Textbook titles will be provided when participants are notified of selection for the program.

What is the refund policy?

Withdrawals 21 or more days prior to the start of the program will receive a 100% refund of tuition for online and practicum courses. Withdrawals 20 days or fewer before the start of the program will receive a 100% refund of the practicum course tuition only ($705). Withdrawals on or after the first day of the program will receive no refund. The application fee is non-refundable. 

Using your TEFL Certificate

Where can I teach English with the GU-TEFL Certificate?

In the U.S., you could seek teaching positions at adult education centers, community colleges, and private language schools. Overseas, you could consider teaching at all of the above as well as English programs in some public schools. TEFL graduates have attained positions at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown Preparatory School, and Lado College. Others provide private tutoring for international executives or have been accepted by Teach for America. For more examples, see our Alumni News page.

Is this certificate equivalent to certification to teach in U.S. public schools?

No. U.S. public school systems vary in the requirements for ESL teachers but most require a specialized K-12 certificate or endorsement. At present, Georgetown has no agreements with state departments of education and the program is not part of a state-approved teacher licensure program.

Will Georgetown University help me secure a teaching job after the program?

No, but equipped with the TEFL Certificate and a teaching portfolio, each graduate is in a strong position to enter the job market that he or she chooses. TEFL graduates can also take advantage of a strong alumni network and faculty support even after the program ends.

What is in the teaching portfolio?

A complete teaching portfolio will include a description of your teaching philosophy, a video of you teaching a class, sample lesson plans and instructional materials projects, and support letters from your GU TEFL instructors. Graduates will be able to provide either an electronic or a hard copy version of the portfolio, depending on the preference of the prospective employer.

My goal is to eventually attain a Masters in TEFL. Is this course suitable for me?

Yes. In fact, since TEFL Online has been one of the courses offered in GU's Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT ESL) program (no longer offered), you will have a chance to experience Masters-level study. Some of our trainees have entered postgraduate programs at Georgetown University, Columbia University, The Monterrey Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and more.

Other Questions

What is Communicative Language Teaching?

Communicative Language Teaching is an established and highly-regarded approach in which students learn a language by using it in authentic situations. Students learn not through memorization and drills but by actively using the language to perform everyday functions.

I would like to request a syllabus to see if the TEFL Certificate Program is eligible for transfer credits. What should I do?

We are happy to help! Please send the official contact information of the department or program to We will then contact the department or program directly to send any information they might need for their decision-making process.