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 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)

Undergraduate Students

In an ongoing effort to support undergraduate students who speak English as an additional language, the International English Center, in collaboration with the Department of Linguistics, offers two courses designed to help build confidence by enhancing  English communication skills:

  • LING 3200 Communication in English (3 credits)
  • LING 3210 English for Academic Purposes (3 credits)

Both courses satisfy elective credit for degree completion. Students interested in these courses should talk to their advisor or register through the Buff Portal.

Graduate Students

The ESL Credit Program is designed for advanced level international graduate, students at the University of Colorado Boulder or working professionals from the Boulder area. Students build and refine their English communication skills using texts, materials, and activities relevant to their specific area of study or profession. Courses are interactive and challenging. Courses offered include:

  • ESLG 1130 Pronunciation for International Graduate Students
  • ESLG 1140 Public Speaking for International Graduate Students
  • ESLG 1210 Academic Writing for International Graduate Students

The University of Colorado Boulder's Division of Continuing Education offers a limited number of scholarships for ESL Credit Program courses.

More Information

Confident Conversations Workshops

A series of free workshops for international graduate students to build confidence in professional communication.

Confident Conversations Workshops

Pronunciation and Writing Assistance

Language/ESL Labs

  • The ALTEC Lab has ESL tapes and English language movies available in Hellems, Room 152. For more information, call 303-492-3779.

Community Programs

  • Boulder Public Library has conversation classes, reading assistance, and book clubs.
  • Front Range Community College has year-round ESL courses on their Boulder, Westminster, and Larimer campuses.
  • Intercambio offers low-cost/no-cost English classes, which are small and informal, to students at public facilities.