All international graduate students must satisfy the ESL Requirement during their first year of study and are notified of this requirement in the checklist they received when they were admitted to UCLA.  This requirement can be met in the following ways:

  1. An “exempt” score on the English as a Second Language Placement Examination (ESLPE)
  2. If you do not receive an “exempt” on the ESLPE, you will need to take up to two ESL graduate writing courses (ESL 300, 301) as indicated in your ESLPE exam results. These courses must be completed during the first year and may not be taken concurrently.  For course descriptions, see the UCLA General Catalog.
  3. If you enter UCLA with a score of 100 or above on the TOEFL iBT or at least a 7.5 on the IELTS exam, you do not need to take the ESLPE.
  4. If you have a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university in the U.S or another country in which English is the primary language, you do not need to take the ESLPE. Please see UCLA’s Graduate Division site for further details:

Test of Oral Proficiency (TOP) Requirement

The Test of Oral Proficiency (TOP) is NOT a requirement for all international graduate students–only those who plan to be employed as teaching assistants. The TOP is administered through the Office of Instructional Development (OID). For more about the TOP exam, click here.

Writing Programs offers four courses which address the needs of international teaching assistants (ITAs). Students who receive a provisional pass are not eligible to teach until they are enrolled in or have completed one of these oral skills courses.

If you have questions about these courses, please contact Janet Goodwin

For current ESL course offerings, see the Schedule of Classes.