Secondary English Language Arts (Certificate)

Secondary English Language Arts (Certificate)

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The Certificate in Secondary English Language Arts (SELA) is a four-course (twelve graduate credit hours) series of graduate courses designed to provide content and pedagogical methods for secondary English Language Arts educators who seek competencies in literature, writing, and language study.
This program is targeted for the practicing English teacher who wants to:
  • Enhance specific areas of professional practice.
  • Understand current English Language Arts theory and research.
  • Study borderlands literature to use in secondary ELA classrooms.
  • Acquire   analytical   skills   for   understanding   varied   language patterns.
  • Practice culturally relevant pedagogy.
  • Develop, critique, and deliver effective curricula.
  • Apply College and Career Readiness Standards.
  • Prepare for teacher licensure subject area tests.
  • Acquire specific knowledge for teaching advanced courses.
Admission Requirements

Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at There is no application fee.

Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to or mailed to:

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The Graduate College
Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
1201 W. University Drive
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

*Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

Review and submit all Program Requirements:

  • Bachelor's  degree  from  a  regionally  accredited  institution  in  the United States or a recognized international equivalent in a similar or related field.
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).

Students whose native  language is not English  or  who studied at a University outside the U.S.:

  • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
  • Certified English translation of educational records.


  • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

Program Contact

Program Coordinator: Dr. Joe Noe

Phone: (956)665-3430

Office: Edinburg Campus, LABS 219




Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.


  • This program only admits applicants during Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Students admitted only to a Certificate Program are not eligible to obtain a Student Visa from UTRGV.

Tuition Estimate

Residency Per 3-Credit Hour Course Semester (9-Credit Hours) Total Estimated Cost
Texas Resident $1,481.39 $3,894.17 $5,925.56
Non-Resident/International $2,708.39 $7,575.17 $10,833.56

*We estimate that tuition and fees will closely approximate the rates shown above; however, rates are subject to change. Please note that the rates above are estimated for on-campus students and those enrolled in 16-week online programs. The rate is different for Accelerated Online Programs (AOP). Visit the tuition and fees page for detailed information.

Course Requirements

Required Courses 9
ENGL 6324: Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy 3
ENGL 6360: Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics for Teachers 3
ENGL 6390: Special Topics in English (when content is Literature for Secondary Teachers) 3
Elective 3
Total graduate hours for certificate: 12

Course Descriptions

ENGL 6324: Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy               [3‐0]

Explore issues related to teaching of rhetoric, composition, and other literacies, with emphasis on a theoretically informed practice. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

ENGL 6360: Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics for Teachers              [3‐0]

An introduction to the methods of linguistics science with emphasis on problem solving techniques and the application to specific problems. This course includes a research project exploring the application of linguistics to specific situations.

ENGL 6390: Special Topics in English              [3‐0]

In depth trans‐disciplinary studies of intersections among English sub‐disciplines. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

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