We offer three courses for multilingual undergraduate students to fulfill the Campus General Education requirement for Composition I/Written Communication:
Two-course sequence placement:
- ESL 111: Intro to Academic Writing I (3 credit hours)
- ESL 112: Intro to Academic Writing II (3 credit hours)
Note that ESL 111 and ESL 112 are sequential and may not be taken concurrently. ESL 111 must be completed successfully before starting ESL 112.
- ESL 115: Principles of Academic Writing (4 credit hours)
These courses are designed to increase proficiency in written communication for English language learners and address the fundamentals of the multi-paragraph essay, introduction to research writing, instruction on basics of library research, synthesizing sources, and elements of style, as required for all undergraduate degrees awarded by the University of Illinois Urbana -Champaign. Proficiency is certified by the satisfactory completion of applicable courses that fulfill the Composition I general education requirement.
Caption: Undergraduate ESL courses to fulfill the Written Composition Requirement
See ESL - English as a Second Language in the Course Catalog for full course descriptions.
We strongly encourage students to take their ESL course(s) during their first year of study because the courses are designed to help students participate successfully in the U.S. academic environment. Moreover, ESL classes often fill up, so students may not be able to get a seat if they wait until their last year of study. If you wait to fulfill an ESL course requirement and cannot fit it in your schedule or fail a course, you risk postponing your graduation.
Based on Undergraduate Admissions criteria for competence in English, international undergraduate students may be required to take the English Placement Test (EPT).
The results of the EPT will determine which ESL course(s), if any, a student must take to fulfill their Composition I requirement:
- Students who receive a Level 1 or 2 on the EPT must take the two-semester course sequence of ESL 111 and ESL 112.
- Students who receive a Level 3 on the EPT must take ESL 115.
- Students who receive a Level 4 on the EPT may choose between ESL 115 or RHET 105.
- Students who receive a Level 5 on the EPT must take RHET 105 (see more information on the Rhetoric Program in the English Department).
Students are encouraged to take the EPT as soon as possible after accepting admission (online testing may be available). Testing seats may become limited as the semester approaches, and students may not register for an ESL course until they receive their EPT score. See EPT Registration & Information for more information on upcoming registration dates and process.
Multilingual transfer students
Based on Undergraduate Admissions criteria for competence in English, transfer students may be subject to the same admissions criteria as a first-year student and may or may not be required to take the English Placement Test (EPT).
Multilingual students who are not required to take the EPT
Based on admissions criteria, many international students are not required to take the EPT. However, sometimes students are interested in taking ESL courses anyway because they are designed for and taught by instructors trained for the needs of multilingual writers.
Multilingual students who are exempted from taking the EPT but wish to take an ESL course must take the EPT to determine correct course placement. EPT-exempted students are not required to take ESL courses no matter their EPT results, but students who wish to take ESL courses must adhere to EPT placement results.
Students must take the EPT and receive a score before registering for an ESL course. If a student is registered without an EPT score or for the incorrect course, they will be notified to drop the course.
Special note for ESL 115 registration
Students registering for ESL 115 whose UIN ends in an even number must take the course during the Fall semester. Students registering for ESL 115 whose UIN ends in an odd number must take the course during the Spring semester. The registration system will only allow students to register for ESL 115 during the assigned term dictated by UIN.
If seats are full
- Check back regularly. Sometimes we add seats to sections throughout the registration period and sometimes students drop during the first ten days of classes. You can also Mark Sections as Favorites in Course Explorer to receive an automatic email when a seat becomes available—when the status changes from Closed to Open.
- You can take it next semester! We encourage students to take their ESL courses as early as possible because courses are designed to help students to be successful in their other courses. However, scheduling can sometimes prevent this the first semester.
If you receive an error when registering
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In your email, please provide your UIN, the course and section that you are trying to register for, the error message, and a screenshot.