Information for Departments and Students
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Please note that requirements regarding English proficiency for teaching are different from requirements for admission to the Graduate College.
The University requires a high level of English proficiency for everyone involved in teaching. To ensure that graduate Teaching Assistants and their students have a successful teaching and learning experience, Illinois policy requires the following:
Graduate students who wish to be considered for teaching assistantships – which include TA appointments for face-to-face classes, blended and online instruction, accompanying/coaching, and office hours -- must provide evidence of spoken English language proficiency.
This campus policy applies to all prospective graduate teaching assistants regardless of country of origin, nationality, the language of instruction in any high school, undergraduate, or graduate degree program they may have previously completed, or previous professional or teaching experience.
Graduate students are exempt from demonstrating oral English proficiency if
If I am not exempt, how do I fulfill the oral English proficiency requirement for Teaching Assistants?Students who do not meet the above criteria must obtain a qualifying score on the TOEFL iBT, IELTS, or the English Proficiency Interview (EPI) to be considered for teaching assistantships. The following are score requirements. PLEASE NOTE: Individual academic programs may require a higher score; contact your proposed program of study office for the minimum TOEFL iBT, IELTS, or EPI requirement.
Scores must be less than two years old from the first day of class at the proposed term of entry into an Illinois graduate program in order to be valid. Scores must be officially reported to the university. Scores remain valid as long as the student is continuously enrolled as a graduate student at Illinois.
Scores must be less than two years old from the first day of class at
the proposed term of entry into an Illinois graduate program in order to
be valid. Scores must be officially reported to the university. Scores remain valid as long as the student is continuously enrolled as a graduate student at Illinois.
Administered at Illinois to students who have completed an undergraduate degree and have been admitted to a graduate program at Illinois. No fee is charged for this exam. Scores remain valid as long as the student is continuously enrolled as a graduate student at Illinois.
Note: Starting March 23, 2020, the EPI will be administered online only. This will continue for the time period during which all University of Illinois courses are delivered online.
New Illinois graduate students are encouraged to fulfill the oral English proficiency requirement for teaching prior to arriving on campus for the first time by obtaining a qualifying speaking score on the TOEFL or IELTS. Graduate students may also take the TOEFL or IELTS after arriving on campus, focusing only on the speaking subsection.
As a service to the campus community, the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning (CITL) offers the campus-based English Proficiency Interview (EPI) as another means by which prospective graduate TAs can demonstrate oral proficiency in English and fulfill campus policy and Illinois state law. To be eligible to take the EPI, students must have obtained a bachelor's degree and also must be admitted to an Illinois graduate program.
Use the links to the left to learn more about the English Proficiency Interview (EPI) for TAs.