Any non-native English speaker admitted to the university may take ESL courses. Special students and exchange students may be allowed to take ESL courses when space is available. Most new and transfer undergraduate students must take the Madison ESL Assessment Test (MSN-ESLAT) to evaluate their English language proficiency in an academic context. Depending on the results of the MSN-ESLAT, students may be required to enroll in ESL courses until they have completed ESL 118: ESL: Academic Writing II or earned an exempt score on the test.
ESL 118 satisfies the General Education Communication Part A requirement. Because students’ language proficiency is re-tested at the beginning and end of each ESL course, it is possible to move ahead or earn an exempt score at any time.
UW-Madison offers a certificate in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The program provides extensive training for prospective ESL teachers, especially for positions abroad.