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Global Education

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English as a Second Language Policy

Viterbo University recognizes that English language proficiency is an important component of academic success for international students whose native language is not English. Accepted students who receive TOEFL scores above 500 on the paper test, or above 61 on the Internet-based test, or an IELTS score above 5.5, may enroll in regular undergraduate programs. Accepted students who receive TOEFL score above 550 on paper test, or above 79 on the Internet-based test, or an IELTS score above 6.0 may enroll in regular graduate programs.  

Students who do not achieve the scores listed above, or who do not have English proficiency test scores, will be placed in the English as a Second Language (ESL.) Program according to these policies:

  • Upon arrival ESL. students will take the placement test and enroll in ESL courses. The course level will be determined by the students’ performance on the placement test used by Viterbo University. If possible, students should take the courses during the Summer ES. Institute, which takes place prior to the beginning of fall semester classes. If this is not possible, they must be taken during their first regular semester.
  • While in the ESL program scheduling and advising of students will be done by the Global Education Office.
  • ESL course credits may be applied toward open elective credits in the student’s degree program, if allowed by program requirements.
  • Students must achieve at least a B grade in the highest level of ESL classes to complete the ESL program. ESL classes may be repeated one time. Students who do not achieve this grade after their second attempt will be dismissed from the program.
  • After successfully completing the ESL program students may register for regular courses in their major.