Program FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

for M.A. & Certificates

DLE M.A. in Education

Master of Arts Degree Program in Dual Language and English Learner Education (with option to specialize in Critical Literacy & Social Justice)

The DLE M.A. Program provides teachers and those in the education profession with skills to transform current school programs from a social equity and social justice perspective. The program is designed to . . . .

  1. Develop school-wide curriculum change focused on critical literacy, aligned with current standards (e.g., Common Core) and accessible to all students. 
  2. Integrate language, culture, and codes of power as part of the development of school programs.
  3. Examine curriculum from a constructivist perspective that recognizes the voices of students, community and teachers as one learning community who inform curriculum and program design.
  4. Introduce participants to the concepts and the authors of critical pedagogy; a theory of education that gives professionals the opportunity to reflect on their own educational beliefs, practices, and processes in the context of standard curriculum, high stakes testing, and curriculum reform.
  5. Gives teachers the voice and tools to reflect upon their teaching methodology vis-a-vis their students’ language development and critical thinking;
  6. Promote equality and social justice through action research within the school and community.

* Attention to and strategies for working with English Learners and other emergent bilinguals are embedded throughout the courses.

The M.A. program is 30 units and can be completed in about 5 semesters. The last year will involve completing a research project.

The courses you take depend on which option you select and the current class schedule. The course sequence for the two options are available at Master of Arts in Dual Language and English Learner Education.

The M.A. program is available entirely online but there are options for in person courses and meet-ups as well. Our on-line courses typically involve modules that may be completed anytime within the week plus live online meetings  once or twice a month. Alternatives are available to live online meetings in case of time or schedule conflict.

For information about the cost of graduate programs and Financial Aid, check out the SDSU Admissions website. 

The estimates provided there are for full time tuition across an entire year.  Certificate and M.A. students taking 6 units or less (the standard load in our program) pay Part Time Graduate Tuition. Your part time costs per semester will be significantly less. For the tuition and fees break-down for part time students, visit Money Matters.

We are looking for candidates who are passionate about Dual Language and English Learner Education. Our students will be required to reflect on their current practice and conduct action research to benefit their students and school community. Educators and administrators who apply should have an attitude of continuous improvement and excel at working collaboratively with their colleagues.

Students enter our program from a variety of contexts. A teaching credential is not required as long as you have a BA, experience in education and an interest in Social Justice.

Dual Language or ELD Certificate Program

English Language Development for Academic Literacy Advanced Certificate: This certificate program provides K-12 teachers and other education professionals with specialized preparation for developing academic literacy assessment, curriculum, and teaching methods specifically designed to meet the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs). 

Dual Language Advanced Certificate: The purpose of this certificate program is to provide, K-12 teachers and other education professionals with specialized course work in Dual Language programming. This construct provides instruction in two languages and is aimed for preK-12 students to develop competencies in bilingualism, biliteracy and biculturalism/ multiculturalism. 

No, these are advanced certificates for practicing teachers. Applicants are expected to already have their EL or Bilingual authorizations. 

The certificate program is 12 units and can be completed in two semesters or spread out over four semesters.

Yes! We are very excited to offer the Certificate courses online or as an embedded all-online option within a hybrid class.

If you took your certificate classes stateside, all certificate courses can be counted toward the DLE Master's Degree Program. If you took them via College of Extended Studies, only three of the courses can apply as there is a 9-unit transfer limit. To find out if the certificate coursework would apply in another school or department, please communicate directly with that department. 

Application and Admission

New cohorts start every fall. Applications for the following year open October 1 and close May 1. Submit two applications, one to the CSU and one to DLE. 


  • Cal State Apply 
    Fall applications open: October 1-May 1 (Credential deadline may be earlier)
  • Program Application
    Fall Deadline: May 2 (but Cal State Apply application must be submitted by May 1)  

* For current info visit the program admissions page.

For the most current admissions information visit College of Education Graduate Admissions and select your program.

If applying to the M.A., the Program of Study is listed either as: Education: Dual Lang and Eng Learner (MA) or Education: Dual Lang & EL Educ. (Critical Literacy and Social Justice) (MA).

If applying for a DL or ELD Certificate, choose: Post Baccalaureate Certificate, then select Main Campus (not online or hybrid even through the program offers those options) and choose Dual Language for Academic Literacy or English Language Development for Academic Literacy. Be aware that your program options won't show up until applications open October 1st.

Yes. Apply to M.A. first. If you are also interested in the Dual Language (DL) or English Language Development (ELD) certificate, there is one extra step to follow. Google SDSU graduate forms and follow the links to the online form  “Request for permission to enter an advanced certificate program.” Fill it out, and submit electronically. This makes sure that you are properly recorded as being in both the M.A. and certificate programs.

Please talk to your advisor as soon as possible if you need to defer. You will need to reapply upon your return.

Letters of recommendation should be requested electronically, as part of the supplemental department application process.

Tip: Check back often as not everyone submits on time! If you are having trouble getting a letter from one recommender, switch out to another.

No. Just complete a second Program Application for the DL or ELD advanced certificate. Once you are accepted to the other program, google to SDSU graduate forms and follow the links to the online form  “Request for permission to enter an advanced certificate program.” Fill it out, and submit electronically. This makes sure that you are properly recorded as being in both the M.A. and certificate programs.

You do not need to submit SDSU transcripts. You only need to submit additional transcripts for coursework that was completed after your time at SDSU. The transcripts sent in with your original application and coursework while at SDSU are all on file. Exception: if you graduated more than 5 years ago, your transcripts from outside institutions will have been purged and only the SDSU transcripts will remain. In that case you will need to make sure new transcripts are sent from the outside institutions. 

If you applied to the wrong program, please contact Graduate Admissions at 619-594-6336 [email protected] as soon as possible to amend your application.

Yes. There is no need to write a separate Statement of Purpose. On the CSU application write in "See department application."

Financial Aid

Visit the Financial Aid Office.