English Language Placement Actions for International Students

All international graduate applicants are required to show either TOEFL or IELTS scores when they apply to our School.

If the scores of these applicants are high enough and the students are otherwise admissable, then they are offered full admission.

If the scores are too low, then the students are denied admission.

Prior to registration, students with TOEFL scores of less than 100 (Internet-based), 600 (Paper-based) or less than Band 7.5 on the IELTS must take this additional test of English language proficiency: English Language Proficiency Test. If remedial courses in English as a foreign language are recommended, the student must complete the remedial course during the first two terms of study.

After the tests are administered, they are given the results by the English Language Institute. The results can be one of three credit-bearing classes which, if taken, will show on a student's transcript and are graded "satisfactory/unsatisfactory":

LING 008
LING 009
LING 0010

The folks at ELI said that these placements are encouraged recommendations, but they are not able to be enforced. Based on this, there are times when the number of spaces in these classes does not meet the demand. There are also advising recommendations prepared by ELI to help you interpret the placement actions, subscores, and their relation to the TOEFL.

Test scores and recommendations are posted in PeopleSoft for reference by academic departments and advisors. The recommendations appear in PeopleSoft as REC1, REC2, and REC3, and the scores indicate which language support class(es) are recommended for the student. If there are no classes recommended for the student, the REC fields will be blank.

If the suggested class is full, the advisor can work with the student on the following options:

1) There are some additional non-credit bearing ESL classes taught on campus for a fee that students may consider.

2) There are free and for pay English assistance classes offered by various sources throughout the Pittsburgh region.

3) There is ELI 5 - a non credit-bearing, somewhat less academically rigorous, content difficulty slightly lower than LING 0008 alternative. The student would need to contact the English Language Institute to enroll in this class, and there is an extra fee involved of several hundred dollars.

4) The student can try to take the LING class into which they placed in the next available semester instead.

5) The student may try to take a different LING class other than the one into which they placed, if it is open and the advisor and student think this would still be useful.

6) The student may forego the LING class and ELI non-credit class altogether, if the advisor and student deem that the student's background is, in fact strong enough.