To ensure broad communication competence is addressed and developed at the beginning of a student’s university career, it is a university requirement that all students are required to earn six credits in the ISUComm Foundation Courses: English 150, normally taken in the first year and English 250, normally taken in the second year.
NOTE: When possible, students should take English 250 after their freshman year, as it is a sophomore-level course.
English 150: Critical Thinking and Communication
(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.
Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in LIB 160 is recommended
Application of critical reading and thinking abilities to topics of civic and cultural importance. Introduction of basic oral, visual, and electronic communication principles to support writing development. Initiation of communication portfolio.
English 250: Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition
(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.
Prereq: ENGL 150 or exemption from ENGL 150; sophomore classification or exemption from ENGL 150; credit for or concurrent enrollment in LIB 160
Analyzing, composing, and reflecting on written, oral, visual, and electronic (WOVE) discourse within academic, civic, and cultural contexts. Emphasis on supporting a claim and using primary and secondary sources. Continued development of communication portfolio. The University requires a minimum grade of C in ENGL 250 to meet the Communication Proficiency graduation requirement; some majors/degree programs may set higher standards.
English 250H: Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition: Honors
(3-0) Cr. 3. F.
Prereq: Exemption from ENGL 150 and admission to Freshman Honors Program; credit for or concurrent enrollment in LIB 160
In-depth analysis, composition, and reflection on written, oral, visual, and electronic (WOVE) discourse within academic, civic, and cultural contexts. Emphasis on argumentation: developing claims, generating reasons, providing evidence. Individual sections organized by special topics. Development of communication portfolio. The University requires a minimum grade of C in ENGL 250 to meet the Communication Proficiency graduation requirement; some majors/degree programs may set higher standards.
Placement for Students Whose First Language is English
Students whose first language is English and who demonstrate certain levels of proficiency may be placed directly into English 250 or 250H. In order to meet the six-credit hour graduation requirement, students placed in English 250 or 250H earn an additional 3 hours of English 150 “T” (test-out) credit if they meet the placement criteria below and receive a “C” or better in English 250/250H taken at Iowa State University.
If you do not have transfer credit in English composition, placement in English will be based on the guidelines below.
SUMMER 2021 AND BEYOND – English 250 Placement for Undergraduate Students Entering Iowa State University
Placement based on official ACT-E or SAT-ERW or University Honors Program acceptance.
NOTE: High school rank no longer considered for English placement.
- score of 24 or higher
SAT-ERW SCORES (SAT testing date of March 2016 or later)
- score of 600 or higher
UNIVERSITY HONORS PROGRAM
- Students accepted to the University Honors Program will be placed in English 250H unless they would otherwise be required to take the English Placement Test for Non-Native Speakers of English (see more information below).
If you do not meet the above placement criteria for English 250, you will be placed in English 150.
Note for Guided Self Placement Process
Students who do not have ACT-E or SAT-ERW scores and who meet specific additional criteria will be contacted by email to participate in a Guided Self Placement process. For more information see the Guided Self Placement – Student Guide and Guided Self Placement – Advisor Guide.
Placement for Students Whose First Language is Not English
If you are a student whose first language is not English:
- and you graduated from a U.S. high school (including Puerto Rico high schools), your English placement will be determined according to the criteria above for students whose first language is English. You may choose to take the English Placement Test for Non-Native Speakers of English (EPT) if you think you might benefit from additional English language support.
- and you do NOT meet the above statement OR meet the criteria for placement in English 250, you are required to register for the English Placement Test for Non-Native Speakers of English (EPT). Additional exemption criteria and instructions for registering as well as dates and locations of the test are available at the EPT website.
What is the English Placement Test?
The English Placement Test (EPT) is administered to students who have been admitted to Iowa State University with English proficiency test scores below the threshold for EPT exemption. The EPT assesses students’ ability to communicate effectively in a university setting both in speaking and in writing. The results of the test are used to determine whether students need additional English language support during their first year of study at Iowa State University.
Note for advisors: To help you determine whether your international/non-native English-speaking advisee (including an exchange student taking English classes) needs to take the EPT, please go to the EPT website and click on the exemptions tab. If the student’s native language is English, there’s no need for the EPT exam.
Advanced Placement (AP) Credit for English 150
- English Language and Composition Exam. Students who earn a score of 3 or better receive credit by examination, “T” (test-out) credit, for English 150.
- English Literature and Composition Exam. Students who earn a score of 4 or better receive credit by examination, “T” (test-out) credit, for English 150. Students who have already placed into English 250 because of an ACT-E or SAT-ERW score, will receive 3 credits of English 100P (English Literature).
Students do not receive credit for English 250 based on Advanced Placement (AP) Exam scores.
Iowa State University’s English composition curriculum is built around an innovative WOVE (Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic) pedagogy, so all students are encouraged to take their English courses, especially English 250, at Iowa State.
Students with transfer credit will be placed in English 150 or 250 depending on the coursework they have taken. For further information on how transfer students fulfill the ISUComm Foundation Courses requirement, please see Transfer Credit Policies.
When does English 150 “T” (test-out) credit appear on a student’s degree audit?
English 150 “T” credit is recorded on a student’s degree audit after the student receives a “C” or better in English 250 taken at Iowa State University. We do not attach English 150 “T” credit to courses taken at other colleges or universities.
If the 3 “T” credits for English 150 do not appear on the student’s degree audit, the student’s advisor must submit an online Degree Audit Adjustment Form (DAAF) filling out the ISUComm Foundation Requirement Changes section to request the English 150 “T” credit.
When do students not earn “T” (test-out) credit for English 150?
Students who do not earn a “C” or better on their first try in English 250 or who drop English 250 on their first try may repeat English 250 to earn a “C” or better and still receive “T” credit for English 150. Students who do not earn a grade of “C” or higher after two tries forfeit their exemption. At that point, they need to enroll in English 150.
We do not attach English 150 “T” credit to courses taken at other colleges or universities. Therefore, students who take English 250 at a college or university other than Iowa State University forfeit their English 150 exemption. Students who come to Iowa State with credit for English 250, but not credit for English 150, will be advised to take an advanced communication course (English 275, 302, 309, 312, 313, or 314) to complete their sequence of composition courses. Before this is done, they must receive permission from their advisor and approval from the ISUComm Foundation Courses office. For approval from the ISUComm Foundation Courses office, the student’s advisor must submit an online Degree Audit Adjustment Form (DAAF) filling out the ISUComm Foundation Requirement Changes section by listing the advanced communication course (English 275, 302, 309, 312, 313, or 314) the student plans to take at Iowa State in place of English 150.
NOTE: We do not allow students to take the English 150 Test-Out when their transfer credits show they are already beyond that course level.
Department of English