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English Language Proficiency Procedure for Graduate Teaching Assistants

  1. All students awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) involving any type of teaching responsibility, including lectures, labs, or tutoring shall be evaluated with respect to overall communication proficiency during the 3rd week of the first semester of his or her teaching duties. While the format may be determined by individual units, the evaluation must be documented and it must address the comprehensive English proficiency of the teaching assistant, including speaking and listening ability, commensurate with his or her assigned duties. A copy of the evaluation instrument and the results for each teaching assistant shall be made available to the Graduate Dean upon request. In addition to the above evaluation, the following requirements must be met:

  2. Domestic GTAs and international GTAs possessing a US bachelor's degree or higher are not required to present a TOEFL score, provided that the degree included a minimum of two years in residence. In all other cases, the requirements in the bullet below apply.
  3. International GTAs whose first language is not English and who do not meet the criteria in the bullet above must meet minimal requirements on measures of general English language proficiency, spoken English language proficiency, and written English language proficiency. At the present time, the accepted measure of language proficiency will be the TOEFL ibT, IELTS or the PTE Academic.

    There will be two recognized categories:
  • Graduate Teaching Assistants (who have direct contact with students) must have a minimum TOEFL ibT score of 81 (IELTS of 7; PTE Academic equivalent of 54), a TOEFL ibT Speaking subscale score of 23 or above and a TOEFL ibT Writing subscale score of 21 or above. The IELTS equivalent scores are 6.0 for both, and the PTE Academic equivalent scores are 62 and 56, respectively.
  • Graders (who have no direct contact with students) must have a minimum TOEFL ibT score of 79 (IELTS of 6.5; PTE Academic of 53) and must score at or above the 40th percentile on the TOEFL ibT Speaking and Writing subscales (19 and 21, respectively). The IELTS equivalent scores are 5.5 and 6.0 respectively, and the PTE Academic equivalent scores are 51 and 56. Individuals may serve in this capacity for no more than one (1) calendar year. To continue as a GTA, students must meet the GTA requirements listed in the bullet point above OR successfully complete LANG 701 English Language and Classroom Skills for International GTAs and LANG 702 English Language Tutorial for International GTAs.

Test Score Requirements

Total Score

  Grader Teaching Assistant
ibT 7981
PTE Academic5354


  Grader Teaching Assistant
PTE Academic5162


  Grader Teaching Assistant
IELTS 6.06.0
PTE Academic5656