Graduate Certificates Certificate

Are you an experienced K-12 teacher or an educator working in the community ready to extend your own education to better serve your learners? Choose a graduate certificate program in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education, build on your existing experience, achieve a broad and deep understanding of educational practice, develop a professional identity, and engage in informed conversations about important teaching/learning issues. 

There are five graduate certification programs available:

Application Deadline for all Certificate programs: February 1st (summer or fall admission) or October 1st (spring admission).

Application to this program

Minimum requirements for all graduate certificate programs include:
  • Undergraduate GPA equivalent to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

  • A good match between your goals and the TLTE’s ability to address those goals

  • A completed application submitted to the UNL Office of Graduate Studies

  • A completed department application submitted through GAMES which includes the following:

  1. Resume
  2. Two (2) letters of recommendation (K-3 Mathematics Specialist Certificate ONLY)
  3. Application Essay

*Application Essay. The Graduate Admissions Committee looks closely at the applicant's goals in the application essay for further evidence of your meeting the admissions criteria. A well-written essay is crucial to admissions decisions. This application essay is a concise statement in which you address clearly why you want to pursue graduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In this essay you should address clearly:

  1. Your academic and/or professional goals and how the certificate program in Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education will enable you to meet these.
  2. Your academic strengths, with specific attention to your background in education and how this qualifies you for graduate study at a major university.
  3. Any professional experience, knowledge, and skills you possess and how these further qualify you for graduate study at a major university.

This statement should be between 700-1000 words.

*Please note that a complete background check may be required upon admission to the program. Many institutions today require a criminal history background check before an individual is allowed to work, volunteer, conduct research or collect data within their facility. CEHS students who are required in their program to go into daycare facilities, schools, hospitals, or other community agencies must complete a background check before CEHS can place them in these facilities.

Only completed application files will be reviewed. Following the review process, you will be informed in writing of the admission decision.

Application Deadline for all Certificate programs: February 1st (summer or fall admission) or October 1st (spring admission).


Degree Requirements

Early Literacy

  • Successful completion of the sequenced course work will be required, with an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 required. The graduate certificate program is 15 credit hours
  • Early Literacy required coursework


German Language Teaching 

  • The Global Online Language Development Education Network (GOLDEN) Certificate for World Language Educators focuses on the pedagogy unique to teaching the German language.
  • This certificate program is aimed at enhancing the capacity of German teachers in K-12 and higher education. It is a great option for teachers in school districts requiring that educators secure professional development at the graduate level in a combination of content (language and culture) and pedagogy specific to that content area.
  • Leading nationally in this area, the GOLDEN program offers courses that use an innovative approach to professional development for German language teachers. The certificate courses are designed to integrate research-informed practices into the language classroom practice. Expertise is garnered simultaneously in content, pedagogy, and technology in this program through courses taught in German and developed using the TPACK (technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge) theoretical framework.
  • German Language Teaching required coursework


K-3 Mathematics Specialist 

  • The K-3 Mathematics Specialist Certificate is a 18 credit hour program.
  • To earn the certificate, participants must first be admitted to the program.  Students will complete a 3 credit hour pre-req and then continue by completing the five designated certificate courses, which are also 3 credit hours each.
  • K-3 Mathematics Specialist required coursework


Response to Intervention: Reading

  • The certificate program includes two core courses, one required workshop, and two other TEAC/SPED courses for a total of 13-15 credit hours (course list here). TEAC 890: Workshop in education (specific section must be approved for inclusion by the advisory committee)
  • Response to Intervention: Reading required coursework


Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

  • The TESOL Certificate is a 12 credit hour program.
  • All participants must maintain a 3.25 GPA in TESOL certificate courses and may not receive a grade less than B in any TESOL certificate course.
  • To earn the certificate, participants must first be admitted to the program and then complete the four designated courses, which are 3 credit hours each. Students can retroactively count up to 6 hours (of the 12) of relevant previous coursework into their certificate program.   
  • TESOL required coursework
  • Applicants for this certificate must be current UNL graduate students who have significant experience in education and / or language (learning or instruction). Therefore, current UNL graduate students engaged in the study of education or language are eligible to apply for the certificate. This includes graduate students in the departments of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education; Child, Youth and Family Studies; Special Education and Communication Disorders; Educational Administration; Educational Psychology; English; and Modern Language and Literatures. Current UNL graduate students in departments other than those listed above who have previous degrees OR significant experience in either education or language may also apply. In your application file, please explain the degrees and/or experiences that qualify you for the certificate.

UNL’s ELL Endorsement vs. the TESOL Certificate


ELL Endorsement

TESOL Certificate

Teach English to speakers of other languages (TESOL)



Teach K-12 English learners in public schools in Nebraska



Teach all ages, including adults



Teach English to learners in other countries



Learn methods for teaching English learners




UNL’s ELL (English Language Learner) Endorsement
is a teaching endorsement that allows you to teach in K-12 public schools in Nebraska and many other states in the U.S.  The ELL endorsement is a supplemental endorsement and can only be added to an existing teaching certificate.  Teachers certified in any area may seek the ELL endorsement.  The coursework in the endorsement focuses on K-12 contexts.  The endorsement is 18 credit hours, and you can view the endorsement coursework here

 If you are interested in the ELL endorsement, please contact Dr. Jenelle Reeves (

 UNL’s TESOL Certificate is a graduate certificate that allows you to teach English learners of all ages in educational contexts both domestically and internationally.  The TESOL certificate is designed for current UNL graduate students interested in adding an emphasis in TESOL to their master’s or doctoral program.  The TESOL certificate is 12 credit hours, and you can view the certificate coursework here .

 If you are interested in applying for the TESOL certificate, begin your application here

 You may, if you qualify for each, pursue both the ELL endorsement and the TESOL certificate.  

Graduate Chair

Graduate Project Associate