English as a Second Language Department

The MSOE Intensive Academic ESL program prepares conditionally admitted international students whose native language is not English for academic success in the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Course work provides a framework to accelerate and support student’s mastery of academic content and language skills in all four-language areas. The integrated program’s strategic based approach develops effective academic listening, fluent and accurate academic reading and writing, note taking, critical thinking, and test-taking skills with solid academic vocabulary integration throughout all content areas. Emphasis is given to the use of higher level thinking skills within cross-curricular units based on authentic college level academic textbooks.

Students enrolled in this program will study academic reading and writing, academic listening and speaking, contextualized intensive grammar, intensive composition, academic and professional conversational strategies, and professional vocabulary targeting main academic disciplines offered in MSOE such as engineering, business and nursing.  Among other skills students will also learn how to write college level academic research papers and how to deliver effective academic and professional presentations. Attention is paid to the student’s cultural awareness in the academic environment.

MSOE’s English-as-a-Second-Language Bridge Program provides non-native English speaking international students whose TOEFL scores range between 173-213 (computer-based), 500-550 (paper-based), or 61-78 (Internet-based), or whose IELTS scores range between 5.0 and 6.0, an opportunity to improve their communication skills that are required for study at MSOE. These students will be dually admitted for up to a year to MSOE’s ESL program which provides language training, and their undergraduate degree program. During their time in the Bridge Program, each quarter they will take 4 ESL courses and 2 undergraduate credit courses that count toward their degree program and graduation.Students are required to complete all ESL course work with a score of 77% or higher, and pass all final ESL exams at the end of a term. The courses these students are enrolled in will be assigned to them, and once registered, no changes may be made. Within that year of study, once the students are able to achieve the proof of proficiency required by MSOE to be a full-time undergraduate student (complete ESL course work with a score of 77% or higher and pass all final ESL exams/TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (Internet-based)/IELTS score of 6.5), they will be able to enroll in their degree program full-time. Please note that by beginning in the ESL Bridge Program, it can take up to five years for students to complete their degree program.
The ESL Department offers assistance to all international and other ESL students at MSOE. Students can receive help with grammar, writing, pronunciation, and listening and conversational skills by making an appointment for individual assistance.
To make an appointment, please contact: Mark Fischer.
To be admitted into the MSOE- ESL program, applicants must be conditionally accepted into MSOE and have a minimum of 4.0 IELTS/35 TOEFL. A placement test determines initial student placement within the program. Students are required to complete an oral and written assessment that measures the student’s proficiency in oral/conversational competence, grammar/listening knowledge and application, and a writing competence sample.
RW – Academic Reading and Writing
LS – Academic Listening and Speaking
IG – Intensive Grammar
RP – Academic Research Paper (Advanced Levels)
ELECTIVES: Academic Conversation Strategies, Professional Presentations, Academic Vocabulary: Engineering, Nursing & Business, Idioms
The core program offers six skills at three proficiency levels aligned to the Common European Framework. A number of special topic classes- electives- are offered based on different proficiency bands. These classes have a specific academic approach with integrated practical skills in English.Program Details:

  • The EAP ESL Program has 3 proficiency bands: Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate and Advanced.
  • Each proficiency band is comprised of 2 levels labeled as Low and High for a total of 6 different levels.
  • Core Program of Studies include listening, speaking, reading, writing, intensive, grammar, academic research papers, and an integrated interactive language laboratory class
  • Elective courses by level include Intensive Writing, Conversation, Idioms, Academic Discussions, Professional Vocabulary and Professional Academic Presentations.
  • EAP ESL class sizes can range from 10 to 12 students per class.
The academic year is divided into 4 quarters of 12 weeks each. Each quarter has been divided into two -5 week sessions with 4 start dates. Students enter the program at different levels of proficiency and are initially placed based on the results of their placement exam. Typical completion of a Low-intermediate student, placed at the lowest level offered, is three quarters with an additional summer quarter to remediate any deficiencies prior to full admission to their MSOE program of studies. Upon completion and satisfaction of all education and administrative requirements, the student will be graduated and receive a certificate.
Students enrolled in the MSOE-ESL program must meet the following requirements for graduation/program completion purposes.

  • An overall GPA of 77% or higher
  • Passing scores of 77% or more in all core- classes final examinations
  • Completion of an academic college level research paper with the corresponding oral presentation of major and significant findings
  • Minimum completion of the Advanced Level program at MSOE-ESL
Get Started
International Admissions

Liang Shen

International Admissions Counselor

CC 302

ESL Admissions

Kayla Maule

ESL Enrollment Counselor



Josiebel Sambolin

Director of ESL Department


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