ESL Advanced Elective Courses

Now offering Summer 2023 ESL 592 Advanced Academic Writing; Session II, Part-of-Term A, 6/12 – 7/7/23. Register now!

This is a great opportunity for graduate students who are busy during the academic year to learn about writing journal articles, theses, and dissertations in their field and get started on their own writing.



The ESL Program offers 8-week, graduate-level, advanced elective courses designed to give international students field-specific, individualized feedback: ESL 592 and 593. Classes and individual conferences with the instructor serve to support students’ work in their other coursework and professional pursuits. All international graduate students, postdocs, faculty, staff, and visiting scholars are eligible.


ESL 592 Advanced Academic Writing (Dissertation and Research Article Writing)

ESL 592 Part-of-Term A (POT A) provides advanced international students with lessons in genre analysis to enable them to derive field-specific models for research articles, theses, and dissertations. During this course, students will develop a guide for academic writing conventions specific to their own discipline. Sessions are held in two synchronous meetings per week.

After completing POT A, students who wish to work on individualized writing goals will qualify to enroll in ESL 592 Part-of-Term B (POT B), our independent study section. In this course, students design their own assignments, such as writing for other courses or working on journal articles or dissertation sections. Students meet regularly with peers and instructors for sessions and individual conferences.

ESL 592 is typically offered in the Fall and Spring semesters, and each section is 8 weeks long. POT A courses are offered in August - October and January - March; POT B Independent Study sections are offered in October - December and March - May.

Link to ESL 592 in Course Catalog


ESL 593 Academic Presentation Skills

This course will improve students’ skills in speaking and presenting research in academic settings. With the aim of creating and delivering compelling and professional presentations, students will practice orally explaining their research, adapting to different audiences, and giving and receiving feedback.

ESL 593 is typically offered twice each semester in the Fall and Spring semesters, and each section is 8 weeks long.

Link to ESL 593 in Course Catalog

Note: ESL 592 and ESL 593 are not sequential (i.e. you can take 593 first or take just one of the two courses).



  ESL 592: Advanced Academic Writing ESL 593: Academic Presentation Skills
International Undergraduate Students Undergraduate junior and senior international students who have completed their composition requirements and are working on an advanced writing project should contact the course instructor for consideration before enrolling. Do not qualify.
International Graduate Students

Graduate students must fulfill one of two categories based on English proficiency:

  1. If you were admitted as a "limited status" student, you must first take the Illinois English Placement Test and pass ESL 511-512 or 515 before taking this course.

  2. If you were admitted as a "full status" student, you were exempted from any ESL course requirements, and you qualify to take this course.

See the Graduate College website on the English Proficiency Requirement for Admission.

All international graduate students are eligible to take this course at any time, no matter their English proficiency status. ESL 593 can be taken alone or even simultaneously to other ESL courses.
International Postdocs, Faculty, Staff, and Visiting Scholars All are eligible. You may be interested in taking these courses to support your participation in the academic contexts of teaching, research, writing, and conferences. See ESL Courses for International Visiting Scholars, Faculty, and Staff for more information.



Check the Course Explorer for our current and upcoming course offerings. Contact with questions.

Graduate Students

You can self-enroll using the Enterprise Self-Service system. If seats are full, we encourage you to keep checking enrollments regularly during the first week of the course. There is a “Notify Me” option in Course Explorer, which lets students to select “Favorites” and opt to receive an email if a seat becomes available in the section. To set up a notification, follow these steps:

  1. Go to and log in. The login button is on the top right hand side.
  2. Then navigate to the course that you’re interested in. 
  3. Then in the 3rd column, click on the star (between “Status” and “CRN Number”). This will add it to your favorites. 
  4. Click on “my.Courses” on the upper right side of the page.
  5. The second column on this screen “Notify Me” has a checkbox you can click to be notified via email if someone drops the course and a seat becomes available. 

Faculty, Staff, and Visiting Scholars

To register for a course, you will need to register through CITL as a non-degree-seeking student. See ESL Courses for International Visiting Scholars, Faculty, and Staff for more information.