Bilingual and Multicultural Education

The Bilingual and Multicultural Education concentration provides coursework for individuals seeking to pursue a master’s degree, sixth-year certificate, Ph.D., or graduate certificate focused on the equitable education of multilingual learners.

Master’s Degree or Sixth-Year Certificate

Sandra Silva-Enos.
Sandra Silva-Enos, now a UConn Neag School doctoral student in the Dean's Doctoral Scholar program. (Photo courtesy of Sandra Silva-Enos)

The course requirements for the master’s degree and sixth-year certificate are largely the same. The primary difference lies in the prior educational attainment of the student – individuals with a bachelor’s degree pursue the master’s degree, and individuals with a master’s degree may elect to pursue a second master’s or a sixth-year certificate.

The majority of individuals who pursue either of these options at UConn are practicing K-12 teachers who wish to obtain the Bilingual Education and/or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) cross-endorsement. The required courses for the two cross-endorsements overlap, so that interested individuals may complete the coursework requirements for both cross-endorsements at the same time. The TESOL cross-endorsement requires 30 graduate credits across five topic areas in addition to passing the TESOL Praxis II exam. The bilingual education cross-endorsement requires 18 graduate credits across six topic areas in addition to demonstrating language proficiency in the language of instruction, either by providing transcripts of university study in that language or by passing the ACTFL oral and written proficiency tests.

See the list of UConn Neag School bilingual and multicultural education courses.

Apply by October 15 for Spring admission or January 15 for Fall admission to either the master's or sixth-degree programs in bilingual and multicultural education.

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The Ph.D. degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in bilingual and multicultural education is designed for individuals who are interested in developing research skills to enable them to investigate areas of interest related to the equitable education of multilingual learners. Most entering doctoral students have a master’s degree and prior experience in K-12 settings with multilingual learners. The doctoral students in the bilingual and multicultural education concentration at UConn’s Neag School follow the same guidelines as all doctoral students in Curriculum and Instruction. In general, the doctoral program consists of two years of coursework followed by a progression of independent activities leading to the degree – comprehensive exams, the writing and defense of the dissertation proposal, and the writing and defense of the dissertation.

Apply by December 1 for Fall admission to the Ph.D. program.

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Joelle Budznsky.
Joelle Budzinsky earned 12 credits from the Educating Bilingual Learners Online Graduate Certificate program at UConn. She will apply the credits to a second master’s degree, which will allow her to become TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)-certified.

Online Graduate Certificate in Educating Bilingual Learners

In June 2020, UConn launched a 12-credit online Graduate Certificate in Educating Bilingual Learners. This graduate certificate is geared towards practicing educators (teachers, administrators, school psychologists, etc.) in general education settings who would like to be better prepared to work with students classified as English learners. The four courses in the graduate certificate are all on the approved course lists for both the bilingual and TESOL cross-endorsements, meaning that someone who develops a strong interest in this area could continue working towards the endorsement if desired. The four courses can also be rolled into a master’s degree or sixth-year certificate program. The four courses include:

  • EDCI 5890 Educational Linguistics
  • EDCI 5875 Multicultural Education
  • EDCI 5750 Language Diversity and Literacy
  • EDCI 5742 Sheltered Instruction

Read this testimonial from a recent graduate.

Applications to the online graduate certificate are accepted on a rolling admissions basis. Please submit application materials no later than:

  • November 10: Spring admission
  • March 24: Summer admission
  • June 16: Fall admission

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Bilingual Education Opportunities for Current UConn Students

Bilingual Pre-Service Teacher Education Pathway

Students enrolled in the Neag School Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s (IB/M) teacher education program who have proficiency in another language and an interest in working as a bilingual teacher have the option of completing the 18 credits for the bilingual education cross-endorsement along with their coursework for initial certification (e.g., elementary education, secondary math, etc.). This option is not available to students in the special education or music education programs, as the state does not allow the bilingual cross-endorsement to be attached to those initial licenses.

Two-Way Immersion Education in Costa Rica

Kiana stands outside La Paz School with her young students.
As a student at UConn, Kiana Foster-Mauro ’20 (ED), ’21 MA spent six weeks volunteering in a third-grade classroom at La Paz Community School in Costa Rica. (Photo courtesy of Kiana Foster-Mauro)

Enrolled UConn students with an interest in dual language education, international baccalaureate (IB) programs, or international education may enjoy participating in this six-week education abroad program that takes place from mid-May through late June. Participating students are paired with practicing teachers at La Paz Community School, a dual language IB program in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, and gain considerable classroom experience during their time at the school. The program also includes site visits to other schools in the area.

Read about a former participant’s experience.


Contact UConn Neag School Associate Professor Elizabeth Howard.