English Proficiency Guildelines

English Proficiency Guidelines


UMHB does not offer a full-time English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program.  Some students may require ESOL classes in addition to degree credit classes in order to succeed in university level classes.  Therefore, an English language proficiency test must be submitted as part of international admissions requirements.

Students who have completed high school courses in an English-language program or who complete an interview with the ESOL program director may be exempted from submitting an English language proficiency score report.  Documentation of the high school language of instruction is required.  This exemption does not apply to ESOL class requirements unless specifically granted by the ESOL program director.

Graduate international students must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score as a part of their application.  Students whose scores do not meet the minimum requirements for admission to graduate academic work may be required to enroll in ESOL classes.

If the score is above the requirements for admission to the undergraduate or graduate programs (as described below), the student will be admitted to his/her academic program without further ESOL restrictions.

English Language Proficiency Standards for Admission to Graduate and Undergraduate Programs

All students are required to submit an English language score report as part of the admissions application.  UMHB will not accept students scoring below 40 (iBT) or below 10 on all sections of the TOEFL and/or 3.5 or below on all sections of the IELTS. 

Students who score above the minimum scores of 40 (iBT) or 3.5 (IELTS) will be considered for admission and are required to take ESOL testing at UMHB before enrollment is finalized.  Please see below for score requirements to enter degree credit classes without further evaluation.


 Admission to Undergraduate Programs without ESOL

 The minimum scores required to enter academic

 classes bearing credit toward graduation:    

 TOEFL=At least 80 (iBT) with at least 20 in each band.

 IELTS=At least 6 in each band.



Graduate students must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score as a part of their application.  English language proficiency standards are different for admission to graduate programs due to the rigor of the academic work.  The standards for graduate students to enter the academic program of his/her choice without any ESOL restrictions are below.

If an international student has attended an English-speaking college or preparatory school prior to admission to UMHB, the ESOL requirements may be waived. Please contact the Chair of the MFL Department for information regarding waivers.  


Admission to Graduate Programs without ESOL

The minimum scores required to enter academic

classes bearing credit toward graduation:

TOEFL=At least 100 (iBT) with at least 25 in each band.

IELTS=At least 7 in each band.

Students Who Do Not Meet English Language Placement Standards for Admission to Undergraduate or Graduate Programs without ESOL support

Upon arrival, the student will be given a 3-part English placement test.  Parts 1 & 2 are the Listening and Reading Comprehension components. Part 3 is a writing sample administered and graded by UMHB faculty.  Students are scored on accuracy of grammar, coherence of writing, and skilled use of written English. Based upon the results of placement testing, students will be enrolled in the appropriate combination of ESOL and/or academic courses. 

Several ESOL classes of 3 credit hours are offered:  Grammar, Reading, Writing, and Oral Communication.  In addition, there are basic, intermediate, and advanced levels of each class to meet student needs. ESOL tuition is 50% of the cost of undergraduate tuition.

In order to progress from the ESOL program to other classes, a student must meet ALL of the following exit requirements: 

  1. Score at or above the designated cut-off on the English Proficiency exam.
  2. Score at least 75% in all ESOL classes.
  3. Pass an oral interview with a team of UMHB faculty members.

The interview team will evaluate the communication skills of the student and make the decision as to whether the student can be released to all regular classes or remain in a specified number of ESOL courses. Students must enroll in all ESOL courses recommended by this interview team.

Until a student has completed the ESOL requirements, the Registrar’s Office will maintain a hold on the student’s registration.  While the hold is in effect, registration must be approved by the Chair of the MFL Department or designee.

After an ESOL student has completed these exit requirements, he/she will be released from the ESOL program, the hold will be released and the student will be awarded a certificate indicating completion of the ESOL program.

Standards for Continued Enrollment

Undergraduate Students: If, after completion of the advanced level ESOL classes, a student does not meet the ESOL exit requirements for all language skills (listening, reading, and writing), he/she will be evaluated by an academic committee to maintain enrollment.

Graduate Students:  If, after completion of the advanced level ESOL classes, a student does not meet the ESOL exit requirements for all skills (listening, reading, and writing), he/she will be unenrolled from some or all classes and will be evaluated by an academic committee for continuation in the graduate program.