Oral English Proficiency Testing, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Oral English Proficiency Testing

Non-native English-speaking graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are required to demonstrate oral English proficiency prior to being allowed to be classroom instructors (including face-to-face and online instruction and office hours). This campus policy was initiated in response to Illinois state law and applies to all prospective non-native English-speaking teaching assistants regardless of country of origin, nationality, or the language of instruction in any high school, undergraduate, or graduate degree program they may have previously completed. Please note that requirements regarding English proficiency for teaching assistants are different from requirements for admission to the Graduate College.

Non-native English speaking graduate students who are prospective teaching assistants at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are encouraged to demonstrate oral English proficiency prior to arriving on campus. The University will accept current speaking scores from the Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Version. TOEFL and IELTS speaking scores are considered current if earned within two years prior to admission to the University. If current speaking scores are not available from these tests, the University of Illinois administers the English Proficiency Interview (EPI) on campus.

EPI Information

The following chart provides score requirements for all non-native speakers of English to be considered for teaching assistantships:

English Proficiency Test

Required Scores

Additional information


4CP*, 5, or 6

Administered at Illinois


24 or higher (speaking sub-section)


IELTS (academic exam)

8 or higher (speaking sub-section)


*A score of 4CP is a “conditional pass” which allows the student to be a TA provided he or she successfully completes ESL 508 during or before the first semester of teaching.