What you need to know about TEFL course entry requirements - TEFL-Certification

What you need to know about TEFL course entry requirements

Choosing a TEFL course is one of the most important steps to teaching abroad, which is why it can feel a litle overwhelming. A quick Google search for “which TEFL course to take” and the “best TEFL course” means being barraged by a range of options. Luckily, we’ve sifted through these to simplify one of the most critical factors to consider when picking a TEFL course: entry requirements.

Right off the bat, you should know that as far as most TEFL certification courses go, there are very few (if any) prerequisites to enroll. Starting a TEFL course can be as easy as a few clicks – especially if you choose to opt for taking yours online.

With that said, though, TEFL course entry requirements do vary depending on the provider, so it’s important to do your research very carefully! We’ve gotten started with a few of our faves below.

Do I need to have a degree to enroll in a TEFL course?

For the vast majority of TEFL courses, you won’t need to have your bachelor’s degree to take the course. However, some countries and employers will not hire you without a degree.

should i get tefl certified

TEFL course admission requirements

Entry requirements for online TEFL courses

What you DON’T need:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • A teaching license or credential

What you DO need:

  • Proficient/fluent-level English skills
  • Tuition fee

Entry requirements for in-person TEFL courses

Enrolling in an in-person TEFL course is likely to include one or more extra steps, whereas online courses have little to no prerequisites. You’ll need to:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Meet minimum educational requirements of a high school diploma/GED (or equivalent)
  • Interview with a TEFL course advisor over the phone

Non-native speakers may also be asked to submit a one-page statement and/or an English language proficiency test such as an IELTS score.

If you opt to take your TEFL course abroad rather than at home or online, then you would obviously be required to be present for your classes.


TESOL/CELTA course admission requirements

TESOL and CELTA program entry requirements are more stringent than the average TEFL course and usually require you to hold at least a bachelor’s degree before applying.

TESOL and CELTA programs frequently run concurrently with the academic calendar (fall, spring and summer), which can mean pretty strict start dates. Additional requirements could include:

  • An interview
  • Written application
  • Academic transcripts
  • Piece of identification

If you’re interested in pursuing a master’s degree in TESOL, then you’ll also need to fulfill all credit and GPA requirements set out by the program.


TEFL certificate entry requirements


TEFL certification program Admission requirements
OISE University of Toronto TEFL
  • None
International TEFL Academy
  • Minimum education requirements for online TEFL course:
    • High school diploma/GED
  • Minimum education requirements for in-person TEFL course:
    • Bachelor’s degree
  • Proof of English profiency for non-native speakers
  • Scan of government ID
  • Written application and essay
Oxford Seminars
  • Native English speaker/non-native speaker with fluent English capabilities
  • At least 18 years of age
  • None
  • None
Oxford TEFL
  • University degree
  • C1 level of English or proof of English fluency through interview and written task


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