1.2 Academic Information

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1.2.1 Graduate College English Language Requirements

The Graduate College requires students who are nonnative speakers of English to take or be exempted from specific testing upon their arrival at Iowa State University.

English Placement Test (EPT)

If you are a nonnative speaker of English, you must take or be exempted from the English Placement Test (EPT) as a graduate student before your first semester unless you qualify for one of the EPT exemptions. New students who are exempt according to EPT policies will have their record updated automatically after the 10th day of classes each semester.

For more information on the English Placement Test, consult the website or contact the EPT Office (ept@iastate.edu).

Oral English Certification Test (OECT)

If you are a nonnative speaker of English and will be a teaching assistant, you must take and receive a Level 1 or 2 pass on the Oral English Certification Test (OECT) before beginning any teaching responsibilities unless you qualify for exemption from one or both parts of the exam. Students are permitted to begin teaching if a Level 2 pass is achieved and are required to take and successfully pass GR ST 540 during the first semester of teaching after which the student is then certified at a Level 1. If this is not achieved, you will not be able to continue as a teaching assistant in the English Department.

Students who believe they are exempt according to OECT policies should send a copy of their TOEFL/IELTS record for verification to the program office (itas@iastate.edu) to have exemption verified and a certificate of completion issued.

For more information, consult the OECT website or contact the program office (itas@iastate.edu).

NOTE: All graduate students in the TESL/Applied Linguistics MA and the Applied Linguistics and Technology PhD programs whose first language is not English are required to pass the OECT as part of their program requirements. To pass, students must achieve a Level 1 certification or may be exempted from taking one or both of the OECT components.

1.2.2 Academic standing/probation

To stay in good academic standing, you must maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in all courses taken (creative component 599 or research 699 credits are not used in computing a student’s overall GPA). If your GPA drops below 3.0, you will be placed on academic probation and will not be allowed to register for future terms while on probation unless the DOGE recommends to the Graduate College that further registration be permitted. After you attain a 3.0 GPA, you will be removed from academic probation.

While on academic probation, you are not eligible to hold an assistantship or receive tuition scholarships. However, if you are placed on academic probation, you should contact the DOGE immediately for a waiver that would allow you to keep your assistantship for one semester giving you a chance to remedy this situation.

1.2.3 Academic leave/re-entry

If you must stop taking courses for a year or more, you must request to be put on academic leave by the English Department. You can do this by submitting a memo (or an email) explaining your circumstances to your assigned program advisor or major professor who will then forward their support (signing the memo or forwarding email indicating their support) to the Graduate Program Staff Administrative Assistant for final approval by the Director of Graduate Education. If an academic leave is approved, you will not have to be formally readmitted in order to resume your studies.

Cases in which the student leaves ISU during his or her graduate career without DOGE approval and later wishes to return are dealt with individually by the DOGE, the student’s POS committee, and the Graduate College. Two consecutive calendar years of non-registration puts students on “inactive” status and requires submission of a Reinstatement to Active Status form with the approval of the graduate program and the Graduate College to obtain “active” status and resume coursework.

It is not possible to take a leave of absence from your graduate assistantship appointment without extenuating circumstances. If you discontinue your enrollment, you must resign your graduate assistantship position unless a leave has been approved by the DOGE. Reinstatements with graduate assistantship support upon return to enrollment are dealt with individually.