UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 09-02-01

CATEGORY:             STUDENT AFFAIRS
SECTION:                  Admissions
SUBJECT:                 Assessment of English Language Proficiency for Admission
EFFECTIVE DATE:   March 25, 2010 Revised
PAGE(S):                   4

I.    PURPOSE

      To define the process for evaluating, as part of the admissions process, the English

      language proficiency of international student applicants, and for certifying to the U.S.

      Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services that the international student

      possesses the required proficiency.

II.   SCOPE

      This procedure applies to all international students applying for undergraduate

      admission or graduate admission.

III.  ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES

      Academic Centers, Departments, or other offices making admission decisions

      regarding international student applicants are responsible for determining that the

      applicant possesses the required level of proficiency in English to succeed

      academically within the specific discipline of the academic center or department,

      and for notifying the Office of International Services (OIS) of the determination.

      The Office of International Services is responsible for certifying to the U.S. Bureau

      of Citizenship and Immigration Services that the above determination has been

      made, as part of the certification of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Visa

      or Exchange-Visitor (J-1) Visa.

IV.  PROCEDURE

      Undergraduate Admission

      Office of International Services (OIS)          1.   Provide information about English

                                                                                 language proficiency requirements

                                                                                 in the application materials for

                                                                                 international undergraduate

                                                                                 admission and withhold the

                                                                                 processing of an applicant until the

                                                                                 required test result is submitted or

                                                                                 the applicant is exempt from that
                                                                                 requirement.  All international

                                                                                 undergraduate applicants apply

                                                                                 through the Office of International

                                                                                 Services using the International

                                                                                 Undergraduate Application,

                                                                                 http://www.oafa.pitt.edu/intladm.aspx

      Graduate Admission

      Academic Center/Department                    1.   Provide information about English

                                                                                 language proficiency requirements

                                                                                 in the application materials and

                                                                                 withhold the processing of an

                                                                                 application until the required test

                                                                                 results are submitted or the applicant

                                                                                 is exempt from that requirement.  The

                                                                                 application material for international

                                                                                 student applicants is to include the

                                                                                 International Graduate Student

                                                                                 Supplemental Application Packet,

                                                                                 updated annually by OIS.

      Assessment of English Language Proficiency for Admission

      Academic Center/Department

      (Admissions Officer)                                    1.   Upon receipt of all relevant application

                                                                                 materials and test scores, assess that

                                                                                 the international student applicant has

                                                                                 English language proficiency based on

                                                                                 one or more of the following:

                                                                                 a.   The applicant is a citizen of a

                                                                                       country whose official language is

                                                                                       English.  (See Exhibit A, Countries

                                                                                       and their Status vis-ŕ-vis English

                                                                                       as the Official Language.)

                                                                                 b.   A minimum score on the Test of

                                                                                       English as Foreign Language

                                                                                       (TOEFL) of 80 on the iBT
                                                                                       (Internet-based test) or 550 on the
                                                                                       PBT (Paper-based test).
 Official

                                                                                       TOEFL results are reported

                                                                                       directly to the academic unit with

                                                                                       institutional codes or the Office of
                                                                                       International Services when the
                                                                                       2927 institutional code is used.
                                                                                       Scores received in OIS are

                                                                                       distributed to the academic units

                                                                                       identified by department codes on

                                                                                       the score reports.

                                                                                 c.   A minimum of Band 6.5 on the
                                                                                       International English Language

                                                                                       Testing System (IELTS).  IELTS
                                                                                       results are sent to students, who

                                                                                       in turn submit the official results

                                                                                       with their applications.  The official

                                                                                       results bear a stamp, a validation

                                                                                       stamp and an original authorized

                                                                                       center representative’s signature.

                                                                                 d.   Completion of a degree at a

                                                                                       regionally accredited institution in

                                                                                       the U.S.

                                                                                 e.   The applicant is not a citizen of a

                                                                                       country whose official language is

                                                                                       English but has completed a

                                                                                       degree program at an institution

                                                                                       outside of the U.S. where the

                                                                                       language of instruction is English

                                                                                       and where the official national

                                                                                       language of the country in which

                                                                                       the institution is located is English.

                                                                                 f.    Exceptions:  Any exceptions must

                                                                                       be approved by the Provost or

                                                                                       Provost’s delegate after review of

                                                                                       the entire record and consultation

                                                                                       with the Office of International

                                                                                       Services.

                                                                           2.   Complete FORM 0131, Assessment of

                                                                                 English Language Proficiency for

                                                                                 Admission (Exhibit B), indicating that

                                                                                 the international student has the level

                                                                                 of English language proficiency

                                                                                 necessary to successfully undertake

                                                                                 the proposed course of study.

                                                                           3.   Forward the original of FORM 0131

                                                                                 together with a copy of the admission

                                                                                 letter, verification that the international

                                                                                 student has accepted the offer of

                                                                                 admission, and a completed

                                                                                 International Graduate Student

                                                                                 Supplemental Application Packet, to

                                                                                 the Office of International Services.

                                                                                 Retain copies on file in the academic

                                                                                 center/department.

                                                                           4.   Inform international students admitted

                                                                                 with TOEFL scores less than 100 on

                                                                                 the iBT, 600 on the PBT, or less than

                                                                                 Band 7.0 on the IELTS that they must

                                                                                 take an additional test of English

                                                                                 language proficiency, administered by

                                                                                 the English Language Institute (ELI) as

                                                                                 part of registration.

      OIS                                                               5.   Upon receipt of a completed and signed

                                                                                 FORM 0131, Assessment of English

                                                                                 Language Proficiency for Admissions,

                                                                                 certify to the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship

                                                                                 and Immigration Services that the

                                                                                 international student possesses the

                                                                                 required level of English language

                                                                                 proficiency.

                                                                           6.   Inform students of the dates and times

                                                                                 of the additional test of English language

                                                                                 proficiency and distribute tickets to

                                                                                 international students for test dates.

      ELI                                                                7.   Forward the score of the additional

                                                                                 proficiency test of admitted international

                                                                                 student to the academic unit and the

                                                                                 student.

      Student/Academic Advisor                          8.   International students should meet with

                                                                                 the academic advisor to discuss the

                                                                                 additional proficiency test results and

                                                                                 the ELI recommendation.  International

                                                                                 students may be required by their

                                                                                 academic department or school to

                                                                                 complete all recommended remedial
                                                                                 work stated on the English Test Score

                                                                                 and Recommendation Form.

V.   EXHIBITS

      Exhibit A, Countries and their Status vis-ŕ-vis English as the Official Language

      Exhibit B, FORM 0131, Assessment of English Language Proficiency for Admission

VI.  REFERENCE

      Policy 09-02-01, Assessment of English Language Proficiency for Admission