ESL Class Guide

Each semester, international graduate students at UVA with CAELC recommendations are placed in available ESL class sections. If you were placed in an ESL class, we recommend reviewing the information below.

Important Reminders

Teaching Assistants:

If you are a potential TA, it is extremely important to attend your oral ESL course (ESL 905 or higher).  You may experience a delay in your TA position funding if you do not attend it.

SIS Registration

CAELC will register you in SIS. Please rely on direct communication with CAELC for the most accurate and up-to-date class information. SIS may differ from the actual course information.

Course Fees:

There are no fees for these courses. They are non-credit and can be taken for free by all UVA international graduate students or UVA affiliates.

One Course Per Semester:

You are only expected to take one ESL course per semester, but you are very welcome to take more than one if you have the time and would like to do so. Please contact us if you would like to take an additional class.

Grades on Transcript:

You will be expected to attend your class unless CAELC receives a waiver or deferral request from your program director. Otherwise, you will receive a grade of “Unsatisfactory” on your transcript for these courses.

Make a Change to Your ESL Class

It is important to note that all students need to request any changes to their ESL class, and those changes might involve receiving permission from their department. We encourage you to read the information below if you were placed in an ESL class! If you do not take any action, we will enroll you in the class and they will appear on your transcript.

Note: If you are a prospective international teaching assistant for your graduate department, we recommend that you prioritize your oral ESL course (ESL 905 and above) to fulfill your eligibility requirement for teaching.

Transfer to Another Section

Depending on availability, you may be able to transfer to another ESL class section offered at a different day/time. Transferring to another ESL class section does not require department approval. To request a transfer, click on the link below. If none of the available class offerings fit into your schedule, please reference the Defer a Class section below.

How Do I Transfer To Another Section?

Choose Your ESL Class

Students that receive both oral and writing ESL course recommendations may be able to choose the class they wish to take, depending on the requirements of their school. Students that wish to explore this option should reference the link below for more information.

How Do I Choose My ESL Class?

Defer a Class

Students are expected to attend their ESL class unless the recommendation is deferred or waived (see below). This might require approval from your department, so plan accordingly! Once our enrollment period is over, all students on our rosters will be enrolled into SIS and ESL grades will appear on student transcripts. To find out what you need to do in order to defer your class recommendation(s), please click on the link below.

How Do I Defer an ESL Class?

Waive a Class

In some cases, students are able to waive (cancel) their CAELC ESL class recommendation. However, this depends on your school and what policies they have in place. To find out what you need to do in order to waive your class recommendation(s), please click on the link below.

How Do I Waive an ESL Class?


Note: If your request requires approval from your department, we are not able to remove you from your current ESL class until your department contacts us. We recommend promptly starting your request so that it is completed before the deadline.


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