Graduate School

English Language Training

English language training is available to new international students during the academic year, through a collaborative effort of the Center for Language Studies (CLS) and the Graduate School.

The Graduate School works with departments to identify incoming international students whose first language is not English, who may be eligible to participate in the program. Typically, these students will likely serve as teaching assistants (TAs) during the first year.


Before the start of each semester, all new international teaching assistants (ITAs) whose first language is not English are evaluated and certified as proficient in English before they are allowed to serve in this capacity. Any unevaluated or uncertified international graduate student who has been assigned a teaching assistantship for the fall semester must be evaluated in one of the August/September testing sessions.

CLS also strongly recommends that any first-year international graduate students who might be appointed to teaching assistantships in the near future be tested in the fall so that those who need to improve their English may do so. Upon completion of each evaluation, CLS sends copies of the results to the Graduate School and to the student’s department. 

Request for Evaluation

Departments may submit a "Request for Evaluation" form for each international student who needs to be evaluated immediately. CLS must receive requests by late August and for the test, each student gives a 10-minute presentation on a prearranged, discipline-specific topic to an evaluation panel. 

Placement Interviews

If departments have other international graduate students, postdocs, or visiting scholars who would like to improve their spoken English skills, they may attend ITA courses as space allows. Placement interviews to determine the appropriate class for interested students and visiting scholars are scheduled for late August.