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-division 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

  • The Student Academic Success Center has an ESL lab and offers writing and pronunciation assistance to international students. For more information contact Dan West, or call 303-492-1416.
  • 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.