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PhD in Language and Literacy Education (TESOL and World Language Education)

Become an expert literacy educator-scholar in your field with our flexible, challenging Ph.D. program in Language and Literacy Education.

This emphasis aligns with the Georgia Performance Standards requirements for certification upgrade.

The TESOL and World Language Education community includes faculty and students with interests in several areas, including:

  • Second-language acquisition
  • Language assessment
  • Teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESOL)
  • Bilingual and world language education
  • Heritage language education
  • Less commonly taught languages
  • Bi/multiliteracies
  • Spanish children’s literature
  • Multilingual poetry and memoir
  • School-university partnerships
  • Multicultural education
  • Computer assisted language learning
  • Language policy
  • Bilingual cognition

We focus on a range of language education research methodologies including qualitative and quantitative analysis, arts-based inquiry, corpus analysis, discourse analysis, systemic functional linguistics, narrative inquiry, and ethnography. We bring these areas together in order to better address the needs of all learners in increasingly global and local (“glocal”) communities.


  • Become eligible for high levels of teaching certification from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission
  • Work with nationally and internationally celebrated faculty
  • Our graduates are placed in top-tier universities across the country


Become proficient in TESOL and world Language Education through formal internships (in both research and university teaching), special courses, and independent research projects.

You will gain a broad core of proficiencies through the language and literacy education program’s courses as well as courses in other departments and programs. Students who wish to qualify for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission T6 or T7 promotions must consult planning sheets for their emphasis area.

To receive your doctoral degree, you will take a minimum of 46 semester hours of academic credit. This includes a minimum of 30 semester hours for admission to candidacy, and a minimum of 16 hours of 8000- and 9000-level courses. Requirements include:

  • An introductory seminar (LLED 8000)
  • Four research methodology courses
  • Diversity studies
  • A research apprenticeship

In consultation with a major professor, you will form a doctoral committee made of faculty who reflect your research goals. This team charts a path through the coursework, the comprehensive examination, the prospectus, and eventual dissertation.

The research apprenticeship pairs doctoral students with our nationally and internationally recognized faculty on a range of research activities. Past students have worked on writing grants, research design and implementation, collaborative writing and presenting, and community service work.


Our Faculty

A hallmark of our program is the close mentoring relationships doctoral candidates develop with our award-winning faculty. You will have numerous opportunities to apprentice on research projects, author articles and book chapters, present at national and international conferences, and teach university courses.

Our faculty have formed partnerships with local public school districts and community organizations. They also are affiliated with Linguistics, Germanic and Slavic Studies, Romance Languages, the Qualitative Research Program, the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute, and other units on campus.

Additional information and disclosures regarding state licensure for professional practice in this field can be found at the UGA Licensure Disclosure Portal .

Financial Assistance

Research Assistantships and Fellowships

A limited number of highly competitive research assistantships and fellowships are available for those who are seeking to begin their degree program in Fall (August). These assistantships offer four years of funding (tuition, the majority of fees, and a monthly stipend) and focus on research. There may also be opportunities to teach undergraduate courses, depending on the requirements of the research assistantship or fellowship. Those interested in this type of funding should apply to our degree program by January 1st. Prior to or upon notification of admission from the Graduate School, contact the TESOL and World Language Education (TWLE) program coordinator to express your interest in applying for these awards. Assistantship notifications are typically sent between March and May.

Teaching Assistantships

We offer a limited number of teaching assistantships every year for those who are seeking to begin their degree program in Fall (August). These assistantships provide one year of funding (tuition, the majority of fees, and a monthly stipend) with the possibility of renewal for up to three additional years. Teaching Assistants typically serve as an Instructor of Record (IOR) for undergraduate courses offered by the department and/or provide instructional assistance to faculty teaching graduate level courses. Those interested in this type of funding should apply to our degree program by January 1st. Prior to or upon notification of admission from the Graduate School, complete the Teaching Assistantship Application . Assistantship notifications are typically sent between March and May.

Additional Funding Opportunities

Please visit the following websites for more information about graduate student scholarships, in-state tuition waivers, and other funding opportunities.

How to Apply

Applicant Requirements

To be considered for our doctoral program, we

  • recommend that applicants’ undergraduate GPA be at least a 3.0 and that applicants have at least two years of teaching;
  • require all applicants to have a master’s degree from an accredited college or university in an area of language and/or literacy education, or a related field; and
  • require international applicants
    • score at least a score of 100 on the TOEFL test, with a minimum score of 26 in speaking and 25 in writing;
    • score at least a score of 7.5 on the IELTS test, with a minimum score of 8 in speaking and 7.0 in writing; and
    • demonstrate proficiency with two languages as evidenced by a bachelor’s degree in English linguistics and literature OR a master’s degree where English was the medium of instruction

While completing your Graduate School application, include the required documents listed below. For anyone applying for Fall 2024 matriculation, GRE scores are no longer required.

  • Statement of Purpose that includes the emphasis area of your doctoral studies (English Education, Literacies and Children’s Literature, or TESOL or World Language Education)
  • Current resume or CV
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (required for international applicants)
  • Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample of no more than 20 pages

Fall semester is the only admissions term in which funding is awarded each year. Funding consideration will be given to students who apply for Fall matriculation by January 1.

Apply to the University of Georgia

The Graduate School handles admission for all graduate programs at the University of Georgia, including those in the College of Education. The Graduate School website contains important details about the application process, orientation, and many other useful links to guide you through the process of attending UGA at the graduate level.

Start A Graduate School Application

Deadline To Apply

If you plan to start in a Spring semester, the deadline for applications is Nov. 15 (Oct. 15 for international applications)

To start in the Summer or Fall, applications are due April 1.

Log Into Existing Application

Additional Resources

Please use our online form if you have any questions for the department. Please be as specific as possible so that we may quickly assist you.

Faculty and Advisors

The College’s programs are taught by dedicated faculty who are experts in a range of areas and are passionate about helping students succeed both in their programs and professionally.

Meet the Faculty

Most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance. A close working relationship with your advisor is paramount to progressing through your program of study.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Almost all in-state students begin their studies at UGA paying limited tuition or fees. Please note that these amounts are subject to change and are meant to give prospective students an idea of the costs associated with a degree at the University of Georgia College of Education.

Students may qualify for a variety of assistantships, scholarships, and other financial awards to help offset the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.

Tuition Rates   Browse Financial Aid

Student Life

Our students have a range of opportunities available outside the classroom as well, from professional organizations, experiential learning, clubs and other non-academic experiences.

See for yourself how much UGA College of Education has to offer! Schedule a tour of campus to learn more about the UGA student experience.

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