Skip to content

English Language Support for International Students

students sitting side by side reviewing some work on a lawn

Pratt Institute offers support for students who are English Language Learners. The term English language learners (ELL), or English learners (EL), refers to students whose first language is not English but who are learning English. This support is offered for both undergraduate and graduate students as outlined below. 

Undergraduate Students

Students with TOEFL scores less than 100 will be enrolled in HMS101C, a 3-credit, language-supported Literary and Critical Studies course section.  Following this course, students will be taking HMS201C. HMS101C and HMS201C are specially designed to support students who are English language learners (ELL). These courses are the equivalent of HMS101A(B) and HMS201A(B) that are required courses for all undergraduate students at Pratt as part of the first-year program. 

Graduate Students

Graduate students who have TOEFL scores less than 100 will be enrolled in the intensive English program levels 6 or 7 depending on their TOEFL score. 

Graduate Student Placement

  • TOEFL less than 92: will be enrolled in IEP 6 
  • TOEFL less than 100 but higher or equal to 92: will be enrolled in IEP 7. Successful completion of IEP level 7 exempts students from further language course requirements.

Course Descriptions for the Graduate Intensive English Program

IEP courses are intended for matriculated students at Pratt. The content  of all IEP courses has an art and design focus or centers on topics of interest to artists and designers. For graduate students, IEP tuition is equivalent to the tuition of a two-credit course. Continuous enrollment in the Intensive English Program is required until exemption criteria has been met. 

English Language Support for International Students

ELL Portfolio Certificate

ELL Portfolio Certificate

Students with TOEFL scores less than 100 are strongly encouraged to take ELL Portfolio over the summer or winter terms. ELL Portfolio features two required online courses, Written Communication and Oral Communication. Prepare for a graduate or undergraduate program, or simply improve your language skills by learning English while creating an English language portfolio that connects to art, design, and architecture. Winter sessions start in October, and summer sessions start in May. Learn more and register online today! 

Upon successful completion of ELL Portfolio, students will receive a certificate of completion, which will advance them through the English language requirements for matriculation. Graduate students with a TOEFL score of less than 92 who complete ELL Portfolio will enroll in IEP 7 in the following term. Similarly, students with a TOFEL score of less than 100 who complete ELL Portfolio will be exempted from further intensive English program requirements.


An integrated skills intermediate-level course that aims to develop all skills in order to build toward academic readiness in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students read authentic materials such as essays, novels, magazine and newspaper articles, and textbooks, and work on reading skills such as faster reading, inference, and vocabulary development. They also listen to authentic materials such as films, websites, and lectures (live or recorded) and work on giving effective presentations using PowerPoint, visual aids, or handouts.


An integrated-skills advanced-level course in which students develop their ability to do university-level work in English in writing, research, and citation skills. They focus on working with appropriate academic and professional sources, paraphrasing, summarizing, and using appropriate style sheets. They also develop their skills in delivering academic and professional presentations and giving, receiving and managing feedback on their and others’ work.


The end-term assessment consists of three parts: a portfolio that includes samples of the student’s best work from the semester in reading, writing, speaking and listening; a presentation of the portfolio; and a writing exam. Based on the evaluation of these—as well as on attendance and classroom participation throughout the semester—students will be assigned one of the following grades:

  • P: Students who are assessed exempt at term end are assigned a grade of P. Exempted students drop the pre-registered IEP course in lieu of adding another Institute course to their schedules.
  • IP: Students who are assessed as continuing at term end are assigned a grade of IP. These students will be required to progress through another IEP course and will either remain at their former IEP level or change to a higher level, as determined by the course instructor. Registration changes can be requested in 420 DeKalb Hall once a Level of Proficiency Sheet has been submitted to the Intensive English Program’s offices by the instructor.
  • Fail: Students who (1) disappear from the attendance rolls of a section, (2) fail to take the final writing examination, and/or (3) fail to complete and present an acceptable portfolio receive an F grade for the course. Without acceptable medical or other documentation, there are no exceptions to this policy.


Students in the following categories are exempted from IEP courses (including the SCP) regardless of their TOEFL scores

  • Native English speakers who are citizens of countries where English is a national language.
  • Have submitted a TOEFL score equal to or higher than 100iBT, or the equivalent
  • Have submitted a combined IELTS score of 7.5 or higher
  • Have graduated from a four-year college or university degree program in the US or another English-speaking country within the last 12 months
  • Have a score of 4 or above on the AP English exam
  • Have completed high school education in the US within the last 12 months
  • Have submitted a score of 620 or higher on the SAT Verbal section
  • Are participants in the Fullbright or Humphries Scholars program
  • Have an International Baccalaureate diploma and have received a 4 or better on the HL English Language A: Language and Literature Exam. 
  • Are a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. 

IEP course appeals

Students who want to appeal their placement in IEP courses, i.e. seeking exemption from IEP courses, must schedule an appointment with the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences during the first two weeks of each semester.  To schedule an appointment email to