English as a Second Language (ESL) Course Placement

Updated: September 28, 2015

Placement into ESL courses will be determined by TOEFL test scores. The minimum scores are required for possible placement:

  • Internet based test (iBT) score of 46
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 5.5

Exceptions to the TOEFL or IELT: Students may be exempt from submitting TOEFL test scores if one or more of the following requirements are met:

  • Students who have graduated from a U.S. accredited high school with the university approved SAT scores.
  • Students who have successfully completed ENG 121/122 or equivalent at an accredited U.S. college or university.
  • Students who have earned a 4-year degree from a U.S. accredited college or university, or for citizens of the identified countries whose native language is also English.

Both Undergraduate and Graduate students with a TOEFL score of 79 or higher or an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher will be considered college-ready and will be eligible to enroll in academic courses.

Placement Based on TOEFL Scores

Placement in specific courses as a result of test scores will be determined by an International Admissions advisor**. Upon successful completion of ESL course(s), undergraduate international students will be placed into ENG 121. Students are required to complete the general ACCUPLACER testing for placement into their academic math courses.

If an undergraduate student has been found exempt upon admission, the student will be placed into ENG 121.

**A previous chart for specific course list is currently being updated (as of September 25, 2015).

List of Courses

ESL 101: Intermediate Grammar and Writing

This course will emphasize the fundamentals of essay writing and grammar skills with emphasis on the academic needs of International students. Students will receive instruction and practice in essay writing, decoding text, grammar usage, and spelling. They will learn the process of writing different types of essays and proper usage of grammar. Please note the minimum passing grade is a "B".

ESL 203: Advanced Grammar and Writing

This course is designed to improve essay writing and grammar skills with emphasis on the needs of International students. Students will be required to expand their writing and grammar skills learned in ESL 101 and apply these skills to selected writing assignments. Students will receive instruction and practice in advanced essay writing, decoding text, grammar usage, and spelling. This course will help students to develop skills about how to think more clearly, organize thoughts in logical sequence, and improve writing skills through prewriting, writing, and rewriting processes. Please note the minimum passing grade is a "B".

ESL 6150: Research Writing for Non-Native English Speakers

This course expands the international student’s writing preparation on previous ESL courses to prepare international students for research level writing requirements. It will focus on augmenting research skills, critical reading skills, and advanced writing skills through the preparation of a research paper based upon in-depth analysis of scholarly sources. The course will emphasize the proper use and formatting of sources according to APA style guidelines. It will also identify the most common grammatical and mechanical errors made by ESL students while providing opportunities to correct these errors through in-class exercises, homework, and quizzes.

FYE 170/6170: First Year Experience for International Students: Communication and Culture

This course will assist international students to adapt to cultural and educational differences that they encounter while studying in an American university. The topics addressed are the most relevant for international students, especially in terms of cultural variation. Students will also learn where to seek out assistance for academic concerns and challenges. Students will further develop their productive language skills through presentations, classroom discussions, and group work. They will enhance their receptive language skills through listening to videos, presentations, and class discussions, as well as through assigned readings. Attending campus events will allow students to practice skills and become more integrated into the university community.