International students follow the same policies and procedures as any other new freshman or transfer student. The only difference concerns your English language ability. See below for information about the English Placement Test.
Placement testing for 2019-2020 is now open.
ESL Placement Testing
for Non-Native Speakers of English
If English is not your native language, you had to meet certain MINIMUM requirements to demonstrate your competence in English in order to be admitted to Illinois. For those international students who would benefit from additional study, there is the English Placement Test ("the EPT").
Some ESL courses focus on academic writing, other ESL courses focus on pronunciation, while still others address both oral and written communication. The results of the EPT will indicate which "English as a Second Language" course(s) you should enroll in, if any. Your score report will recommend a particular course for you.
- If your “Notice of Admission” does not state that you must take the EPT, you may choose to take it if you wish to enroll in ESL courses, or you may choose not to take it.
- If your “Notice of Admission” states that you must take the EPT, then you are required to take the test. The ACT or SAT scores that you submitted will not be used to place you into an academic writing course. The only exception is if you already fulfilled the University's 'Composition I' General Education requirement with transferred coursework from another post-secondary institution or with test-based credit for RHET 105 (which is our introductory course on academic research and writing) from the ACT, SAT, AP, or IB exams.
For some non-native speakers of English, it is possible that your Notice of Admission states that you are required to take the EPT and yet you know that your ACT or SAT score is high enough to earn you credit for RHET 105. In this situation, make sure that Illinois has received and processed that ACT or SAT score. You may ignore the requirement to take the EPT only if the General Education 'Composition I' requirement is marked as "completed" on your official academic record.
Please discuss your course enrollment options carefully with your academic advisor. If you earned RHET 105 credit based on an ACT, SAT, AP or IB test score, and yet your TOEFL or IELTS scores indicate that you would benefit from additional instruction in the academic communication that will be expected of you in your classes, whether it be written communication or oral communication, you might want to take an ESL class even though it is not required. It can help you prepare for success in future classes.
Learn more about the EPT.
If you are ready to take your math placement test, go to the Math Department’s ALEKS PPL page.
If you are ready to take a science or language placement test, go to the Learn@Illinois page.
The General Education Language Requirement
for Non-Native Speakers of English
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign requires that all undergraduate students study a "language other than English" (LOTE) through either the third or the fourth level, depending on the program and College. This is a General Education requirement. For non-native speakers of English, it means the following:
- All programs in the Gies College of Business, most programs in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and some programs in the College of Fine & Applied Arts require that you successfully complete four years of studying your native language at the upper secondary level (senior high school). Otherwise, you will need to demonstrate fourth-level proficiency once you come to campus.
- For other Colleges and programs, you are required to successfully complete three years of studying your native language at the upper secondary level (senior high school). Otherwise, you will need to demonstrate third-level proficiency once you come to campus.
- If you are entering the Division of General Studies, you should follow the requirements of the College that you intend to transfer to.
If you begin your studies at Illinois without having fulfilled the General Education language requirement, either you must take a LOTE placement exam and enroll in the appropriate course(s), or you must take a LOTE proficiency exam to demonstrate your command of the language.
The language proficiency exam that you take must assess at least reading and writing abilities. If you pass a proficiency exam at the appropriate level in your native language, you will fulfill your General Education LOTE requirement, but you will not necessarily earn academic credit. You should consult with your academic advisor if you have questions about earning credit towards graduation or about fulfilling any of the Gen Ed requirements.
On-campus (not online) placement exams are offered for Japanese and Korean at the beginning of each fall and spring semester and are open to both new students and continuing students. The next opportunity will be Friday morning, August 23, 2019. Although demonstrating language proficiency in Japanese or Korean with high scores on these exams can fulfill the Gen Ed LOTE requirement, it DOES NOT earn you course proficiency credit. All students must register in advance.
Scores from the online Chinese Placement Test serve only to place students into the appropriate Chinese course. They cannot be used to fulfill the Gen Ed language requirement. Only passing results from the online Chinese Proficiency Exam will fulfill the language requirement. Contact the Testing Center if you wish to take the Chinese Proficiency Exam. Academic credit is not awarded.