English as a Second Language for Degree Students

ESLG Program Overview

English as a Second Language (ESL) courses for University of Colorado Boulder degree students and other interested persons are offered through the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies' International English Center with formal oversight from the Department of Linguistics.

ESLG courses, English as a Second Language for Degree Students, are non-intensive and can be taken concurrently with regular undergraduate and graduate degree courses.  The ESLG courses constitute a valuable and needed support service for international students, as well as for foreign-born students who have graduated from American schools. Learning to use a language at the level of proficiency required for successful academic work is an ongoing process which does not necessarily conclude with attainment of a minimally acceptable TOEFL score. This is especially the case for those linguistic skills that are primarily productive, and it is for this reason that the curricular content of the courses targets specifically academic speaking and writing skills.

These credit courses are offered for a grade, which will appear on a student’s official university transcript.  Pass/Fail may be formally requested.  Each ESLG class is worth 2 credit hours, meets 3 hours per week and lasts 10 weeks.  Credit counts toward a student’s GPA but does not count toward graduation.  Credit can also fulfill immigration or financial-aid requirements. 

See ESLG course information for current tuition prices and detailed descriptions of ESLG courses.

CU-Boulder English Placement Test

The English as a second language placement test is available to international students enrolled at the University of Colorado at Boulder. All international College of Music students must take the placement test. All others, both graduates and undergraduates, should check with their college or department about the necessity of taking the placement test. The purpose of the test is to assess the student’s proficiency in English for academic work.

Testing is scheduled two to three days prior to the new student orientation provided by International Students and Scholar Services (ISSS).

A make-up test for late arrivals is also scheduled.  Students who do not show up for testing should contact the ESLG Coordinator, Charl Norloff, as soon as possible for information on late testing and placement.

Students receive their test results on the day of the ISSS orientation. Test results will indicate which, if any, courses are recommended.  Advisors with specific concerns about a student’s assessment should contact the ESLG Coordinator.  See contact information below.


Registration for ESLG courses must be done in person at the International English Center, 1030 13th Street, Boulder, CO, 80302. In order to register, students must present the recommendation form received from the ESLG Coordinator. Tuition is due in full at the time of registration.

CU Faculty and Staff are exempt from the Approval to Register process; they should contact the Bursar’s Office.


Class attendance is critically important both for academic reasons and, in the case of F-1 visa students, for maintaining immigration status.

Non-attendance DOES NOT constitute withdrawal from a course. Students must contact the ESLG Coordinator and officially withdraw from the course through the International English Center; otherwise, a grade of Fail will be recorded on the transcript.  See the ESLG calendar for add/drop dates.

ESLG Contact

Charl Norloff, ESLG Coordinator
International English Center
University of Colorado at Boulder
63 UCB
Boulder, CO  80309-0063

Phone: 303-735-0477