High Tech with a Human Touch
Admission Information for International Students
English Language Proficiency
English language proficiency is required of all students whose home language is not English and who are taking academic courses at Florida Tech. Evidence of English proficiency in the form of results from an Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (iBT), International English Language Testing System test (IELTS), or Pearson's Academic English Language Test (PTE Academic) must be submitted to the university before arrival on campus. Please note that PTE Academic is only for College of Business applicants.
English proficiency is not required for admission; however submission of a TOEFL score is required for the issuance of immigration documents.
For all academic students (both international and domestic) whose home language is not English and whose command of the English language does not meet the requirements of their academic programs, English language courses at two levels of proficiency are available each semester. These courses are listed in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog under “English as a Second Language (ESL).”
The division of languages and linguistics determines the incoming student’s competence in English and establishes the most beneficial program of study. Both undergraduate and graduate students whose home language is not English with scores below 79 on the iBT, 6.5 on IELTS, 58 on PTE Academic are required to take ESL courses as specified by the program chair. Students who score below 61 on the iBT, 6.0 on the IELTS, 50 on PTE Academic (CoB applicants only) are referred to the ELS Language Center on campus where lower-level ESL courses are taught.
Students whose home language is not English are considered to have demonstrated English language proficiency if they have done any of the following:
- Taken an Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) with an earned score of at least a 79, an IELTS with an earned score of at least 6.5, a PTE Academic (CoB applicants only) with an earned score of at least 58; or
- Successfully completed the ELS 112 Certificate at the Melbourne, Florida ELS Language Center within two months of their report date at Florida Tech, or
- Successfully completed a total of 20 semester hours at an accredited, mainland U.S. university or college where English is the language of instruction, including three semester hours of English that qualify as transfer credit for Florida Tech’s Composition and Rhetoric (COM 1101) course; or
- Earned a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited, mainland U.S. university or college where English is the language of instruction; or
- Attended for three consecutive years, and graduated from, an accredited, U.S.-style high school where English is the language of instruction; or
- Obtained an official score of four or higher on either the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Language examination in English, or the College Board Advanced Placement Program (AP) examination in English Language and Composition.
Students who score 79 or above on the iBT, 6.5 or above on the IELTS, 58 or above on the PTE Academic (CoB applicants only) may still need to complete certain ESL courses if it is so deemed by their academic adviser. The program chair of languages and linguistics makes the final determination. For more information about the policies and requirements for English language proficiency at Florida Tech, contact the program chair of languages and linguistics in the department of humanities and communication.
In the very rare instance when students, whose home language is not English, are issued immigration documents and enroll at Florida Tech without establishing proof of English proficiency with an iBT, IELTS or PTE Academic (CoB applicants only) result, then and only then will they will be allowed to take an official Florida Tech TOEFL (paper-based) before the start of classes. The latter will be on a case-by-case basis and must be pre-approved by the Admissions office. In this instance, students should register with the division of languages and linguistics at check-in for the TOEFL exam and report to the division of languages and linguistics for the examination results before meeting with their academic adviser.
Registering for Academic and ESL Courses
Students are permitted to begin their academic coursework in conjunction with ESL courses. However, ESL courses take precedence over academic courses. Although these courses are credit bearing (three credit hours per course, three to five days per week), they cannot be applied toward completion of a degree, and are not included in GPA calculations. Any student who is taking an ESL course cannot take humanities (HUM), chemistry (CHM), flight (AVF) or introduction to engineering courses.
The program chair of languages and linguistics makes the final determination of what and when ESL courses are to be taken and enforces all English proficiency policies. Any student who accumulates four Fs in ESL courses may be academically dismissed at the direction of the program chair.
International students and students whose home language is not English must have documented proficiency in English (either through submitted writing samples, or TOEFL or placement examinations, or a combination of these) before making the transition from English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to Basic Writing for ESL Students (COM 0100), Basic Writing Skills (COM 0110) or Composition and Rhetoric (COM 1101).
Applying for Graduate Assistantships
International students are eligible for graduate assistantships in some academic units. In addition to specific academic unit requirements, any student whose home language is not English, whether or not the student has graduated from an English speaking, postsecondary institution, must submit a score of at least 100 on the iBT, 7 on the IELTS, 68 on the PTE Academic or 600 on the Florida Tech TOEFL, as well as a score of at least 45 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) to be considered for a teaching assistantship. An iBT score of at least 79, an IELTS score of at least 6.5, a PTE Academic score of at least 58 or a Florida Tech TOEFL score of at least 550 must be submitted for a research assistantship.