by Anna Hunko

English for Speakers of Other Languages

The program previously known as English for Foreign Students (EFS) is now English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). This more accurately represents the student population that we serve.

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English for Speakers of Other Languages

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program in the Stanford Language Center offers courses to currently enrolled, international graduate students in English as a Second Language (ESL).

English Placement Test

Incoming graduate students who have been notified via Axess that they are required to take the exam by the Graduate Admissions Office will have the exam on the "To Do" list.

TA Screening

International graduate students who wish to be appointed as teaching assistants or course assistants must first be screened by ESOL for readiness to use English in a teaching role.

ESOL Courses

See which one is for you

ESOL Testing

English Placement Test, TA Screening and Waiver

Program Objectives and Policies

Can I study English as a second/foreign language at Stanford?

If you are a current Stanford student, you can take classes with us! During the academic year (September-June) participation in ESL classes is strictly limited to matriculated Stanford students taking the courses for credit, with courses aimed specifically toward improving English language proficiency for graduate study and professional development. Stanford undergraduates may take certain of our courses for credit with permission: contact kgeda [at] (kgeda[at]stanford[dot]edu) to make the request.

If I am not a current Stanford student, how can I study English at Stanford?

In short, if you want to study English at Stanford, you must first apply to earn a degree at Stanford. It is not possible to take only English classes at Stanford.

We cannot admit students to study English during Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters (September - June). All of our students are enrolled in degree-seeking programs at Stanford. This means that if you are not currently admitted to earn a Masters or doctoral degree, we regret that we cannot accommodate you (with few exceptions), and auditing is not allowed. We do not offer independent English courses, online or otherwise, to visiting students. Refer to ESOL policies for full details

Historically in the summer--July and August--we have offered a variety of ESL courses for summer visitors, incoming graduate students, and visiting scholars in addition to continuing graduate students.  More information about our past programs is available here: ESOL Summer Programs