Undergraduate English Language Courses

English Language Services offers supplemental Proficiency of English as a Second Language (PESL) courses  for international undergraduate students through its English Language Program. These courses are for students who have been admitted to Illinois Tech but need additional language support to be successful in their major courses. Courses in academic reading, writing, listening, and speaking provide a linguistic bridge and help international students acculturate to academic and social life in Chicago. Qualified and experienced instructors deliver carefully designed lessons to help students learn, think, and express themselves in the English language.

Undergraduate students who are not required to take courses but wish to improve their English fluency, listening and reading comprehension, or academic writing can also opt into the program, allowing them to choose to take an English course based on their individual needs.


English language courses at Illinois Tech help students succeed in their academic work and learn the critical thinking and communication skills needed for internships and the global workforce. Our unique interdisciplinary classroom environments allow students to work across the campus with students from a variety of majors and backgrounds.

PESL courses help students gain:

  • An ability to effectively participate in class discussions
  • A greater understanding of expectations professors have of students
  • An easier adjustment to life in the United States
  • An increased ability to make friends
  • Confidence

Course Registration

Prior to arrival at Illinois Tech, international students who are required to take English language courses must register for an English Language Assessment. These are in-person, computer-based exams that will evaluate your English skill level. Based on the results of the assessments, you will be registered for up to two courses per semester until your English requirements have been met. Registration is automatic and will be completed for you by English Language Services and the Office of Registrar. You should check your schedule on MyIIT daily to find out which courses to attend.

Students who are not required to take courses but would like to opt in should take assessments as well in order to determine their course placement. If you are interested in taking English language courses, please email els@iit.edu.

For more information on Illinois Tech’s English language proficiency requirements, please review our admission requirements for international undergraduate students.

English Language Assessment

We offer the following PESL courses:

  • PESL 021 Listening Enhancement I
  • PESL 022 Listening Enhancement II
  • PESL 061 Effective Communication I
  • PESL 062 Effective Communication II
  • PESL 031 Reading and Vocabulary Development I
  • PESL 032 Reading and Vocabulary Development II
  • PESL 041 Academic Writing I
  • PESL 042 Academic Writing II

In addition to English Language Program (PESL) courses, we also offer other programs, courses, and services. To see what English Language Services offers, please visit the university bulletin.

Note that PESL courses start one week later than other courses at Illinois Tech so that students have time to assess, talk to their adviser, and register for courses. We urge students to move through this process as quickly as possible because specific course sections fill up quickly.

As an undergraduate student, English language courses are covered by Illinois Tech’s tuition and any related policies.