About the Program

The TESOL 4+1 is an accelerated pathway for students in programs leading to a bachelor’s degrees in Early Childhood, Childhood, or the combined Early Childhood and Childhood Education.

Adding one semester of graduate study, candidates can be recommended for a Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) and New York certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  

Enrollment in this pathway allows candidates to begin the graduate course work for the TESOL C.A.S. during the bachelor’s portion of their program. Candidates can complete the C.A.S. during their final year of undergraduate study and one semester of graduate study following completion of the bachelor’s degree. The graduate courses in the pathway will fulfill the coursework requirements for a college recommendation for initial certification in TESOL (Pre-K-12).  Initial certification in Early Childhood, Childhood or both will be recommended by the college following the completion of the Bachelor’s Degree. Candidates may also continue graduate study in the Curriculum and Instruction master’s degree program, applying 15 credits of the C.A.S toward their master’s degree.

Candidates in the pathway must have a 3.0 GPA prior to enrollment in the initial graduate courses of the 4 +1 pathway.  For most candidates, this will be at the end of their junior year (sixth semester).  In their senior year candidates will begin the 4+1 pathway by completing ESL 540, Second Language Acquisition Theory and ESL 600, English as a Second Language Methods in the semester prior to student teaching.  Candidates must maintain a 3.0 GPA and earn a grade of B or better in graduate courses to remain in the Advanced Certificate program and to complete the TESOL portion of student teaching. After successfully completing their undergraduate program, including the TESOL courses in their final semesters, candidates will be officially accepted into the graduate C.A.S. program.  At this time, graduate credits will be applied to the graduate course of study, and all the policies and privileges relevant to graduate students will apply.

Please note, successful application for certification in TESOL requires evidence of a minimum of 12 credit hours of college- level study of a foreign language and evidence of English language proficiency for candidates whose native language is not English (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, local proficiency exam, or bachelor’s degree from an English-speaking university).  This can be done prior to or during the coursework for the CAS.

Enrollment in all teacher education programs follows the guidelines for "Admission to Teacher Education Programs" found in the Graduate Catalog. Applicants who do not yet meet all admissions criteria should consult with the department.

All teacher education programs include a clinical/field component. If you have been convicted of a felony, your criminal history record may impede your ability to complete this program and/or become a NYS certified teacher. Please review Buffalo State's Admission of Persons with Prior Felony Convictions Policy.

Completion of a Buffalo State Educator Preparation Program leads to a college recommendation for NYS Teacher Certification. Buffalo State cannot determine the acceptability of an Educator Preparation Program for licensure/certification in another U.S. state or territory. To access Buffalo State’s full Interstate Disclosure document, including a full list of education departments for other states, go to teachercertification.buffalostate.edu/teaching-other-states.

Students accepted into the pathway must follow the curriculum map as outlined by the department in order to complete the program as scheduled. Students begin graduate coursework during their senior year and are formally accepted into the Graduate School after verification of the completion of bachelor’s degree requirements and submission of the application. Graduate applications fees are waived for 4+1 students.

Students enter the pathway either as incoming freshmen or at any point in their undergraduate degree. Each successful candidate electing the 4 + 1 option will be required to submit a statement indicating the candidate’s intent to remain at Buffalo State for both undergraduate and graduate studies as part of the initial application packet.


  • Entering first-year students must have a high school average of at least 85.
  • Undergraduates must submit an SAT or ACT score for successful admission to the pathway. Current SUNY students who are changing majors and apply in their junior year may take the GRE or MAT instead.
  • Current students already accepted in ECE, CEC, or ECC programs who have completed 75 or more credits with a 3.0 GPA or higher may apply for this pathway prior to their final year of undergraduate study. This application includes submission of a statement of interest in TESOL and intent to remain at Buffalo State for the graduate portion of the pathway.


  • Transfers from two-year and other four-year institutions will follow the institutional admissions requirements as all other transfers into teacher education programs.
  • Acceptance into the 4 + 1 course sequence will be contingent on courses completed at previous institutions that have transfer equivalence to those in the Buffalo State undergraduate Early Childhood, Childhood and combined programs.
  • Transfer students should speak to the chair of the department or designee prior to applying. Contact the Department of Elementary Education and Reading Department at (716) 878-5916.
  • Meet with the designated TESOL adviser to discuss the application process and then complete an application packet. 
  • Together, with your adviser, complete the Accelerated and 4+1 Pathway Application.

    4+1 Accelerated Pathway Application

  • The application must be signed by both your undergraduate department chair and graduate department chair/program coordinator).

For all candidates to Early Childhood, Childhood, or the combined program, an acceptable application to the department includes evidence that all requirements for admission to a teacher education program have been met. The usual writing sample for admission to the childhood and early childhood majors includes a descriptive writing sample regarding the applicant’s relevant teaching and/or experiences with young children.  

For applicants to the 4+1 pathway, this written sample should include a commitment to the TESOL 4+1 pathway that affirms the candidate’s intent to remain at Buffalo State for both undergraduate and graduate studies. The writing sample will be assessed by the faculty as an essential part of a successful application.

Contact the Elementary Education, Literacy, and Educational Leadership Department at (716) 878-5916 with questions and to make an appointment to meet with a TESOL Pathway adviser.