ESL Information

All international students whose native language is not English must show proof of English proficiency in order to be admitted into the University of Colorado. While some students have met this minimum standard of English proficiency, they may find that they still need some ESL (English as a Second Language) support with their English language skills as they go through their academic program. 

CU Boulder Resources

Classes (credit)

  • Program for Writing and Rhetoric
  • ESL Section of WRTG 1150, 800 Sections: This is a first-year writing and rhetoric class. Credit hours may be applied toward the full-time enrollment requirement for international students. In addition, the course fulfills the A&S core requirement for lower-division written communication.
  • ESL Section of WRTG 1100, Sections 800 and 801: This is an extended version of the lower-divition Writing and Rhetoric class. The four credit hours may be applied toward the full-time enrollment requirement for international students. This class satisfies A&S core of lower-division written communication.
  • ESL Section of WRTG 3020, 3030, 3040; 800 Sections: This is an upper-division Writing and Rhetoric class. The three credit hours may be applied toward the full-time enrollment requirement for international students. This class satisfies the upper-division core requirement in A&S, Leeds School of Business, and School of Engineering.
  • For more information contact the Program for Writing and Rhetoric (Environmental Design Building, Room 1B60, phone 303-492-8188).

Classes (credit and non-credit)

  • The International English Center (IEC)
  • ESLG – Credit and noncredit English for academic purposes classes offered spring and fall semesters for CU-Boulder students (graduate and undergraduate), and other interested people. Courses in accent reduction, presentation skills, and writing are offered. A placement test is given at the beginning of the fall and spring semester. Credit earned from these ESL classes does not count toward graduation.
  • Intensive Program – A full-day, noncredit, intensive multi-leveled eight-week program of English study focusing on university preparation and communicative competence.
  • Evening Classes – Non-intensive, noncredit, six-week classes that integrate skills (speaking, pronunciation, grammar, listening, reading, and writing) at three levels of proficiency.
  • Online Writing Modules – Four noncredit graduate-level writing modules focusing on different writing skills or techniques.
  • Global Business Communication Program – A 16-week, noncredit program that provides executives and managers from companies around the world with practical English language and cross-cultural communication training for business purposes.

Pronunciation and Writing Assistance

Language/ESL Labs

Community Programs

  • Boulder Public Library has conversation classes, reading assistance, and book clubs. For more information, contact Ghada Elturk at 303-441-4941.
  • Front Range Community College has year-round ESL courses on their Boulder, Westminster, and Larimer campuses.
  • Doorways English School for International Women offers conversational English as well as grammar, and some social activities outside of class. Courses are located at 1820 15th Street at the First Presbyterian Church in Boulder and do not have a religious perspective. For more information, call Linda Scott at 303-570-4793, or Elizabeth Boeve at 720-936-5716. You can also visit their website at or check out their Facebook page.
  • Your English School (YES) offers seven levels of English classes. Child care is available for a fee, and classes are held at 1128 Pine Street, at the First Congregational Church in Boulder. For more information, call Tommie Atanasoff at 303-499-2352, or email
  • Intercambio offers low-cost/no-cost English classes, which are small and informal, to students at public facilities. For more information, contact Lesly at 303-996-0275, extension 3.