Endorsement Information for Graduate Advisors

What is the CESL Endorsement?

The CESL Endorsement is a process whereby CESL certifies that a student has achieved sufficient English proficiency for undergraduate or graduate study. CESL offers two types of endorsements: the CESL Undergraduate Endorsement and the CESL Graduate Endorsement. The CESL Undergraduate Endorsement is accepted for all undergraduate majors as a way to meet the undergraduate English proficiency. Click here to access that information. Some graduate programs accept the CESL Graduate Endorsement, and this page is dedicated to include a list of those programs and relevant information.

Who can apply to get the CESL Endorsement?

It is offered to currently enrolled, full-time CESL students, in good standing, who have completed at least one full, 8-week session with us. CESL Endorsement is accepted to meet the UA English language admission requirement for conditional admission. The CESL Endorsement replaces the need for TOEFL or IELTS.

Graduate criteria for CESL Endorsement

  • CESL Graduate Endorsement: Students must be in the Graduate University Track Pathway Program to apply for Graduate School Endorsement
  • High spoken and written language proficiency based on CESL's field-specific proficiency exams (minimum B2 on the Common European Framework Scale)
  • A high GPA for consideration (e.g.:  3.0 or higher)
  • Positive feedback forms from instructors
  • It is strongly recommended that students obtain a completed Graduate Approval Form from an authorized advisor in the department where they are seeking enrollment to ensure Endorsement will be accepted to fulfill the English requirement BEFORE they apply.

Endorsement Costs:

  • $25 Undergraduate Application (no charge in level 9)
  • $50 Graduate Application (no charge in level 9)

The CESL Endorsement process

  1. Student meets Endorsement criteria to apply
  2. Student applies for Endorsement (click here for the online application) by end of week 5 of current session
  3. Student meets the criteria outlined above
  4. A committee of CESL faculty reviews the Endorsement application at the end of the 8-week session
  5. If granted, CESL sends the letter of Endorsement to Graduate College for qualifying students

Why accept the CESL Endorsement?

  • Rigorous English study
  • Over 20 hours of intensive English instruction per week
  • Skills developed: speaking, writing, reading, vocabulary, listening, and grammar
  • CESL is CEA accredited for quality teaching and quality curriculum

Matriculation process into UA credit classes

  • Student’s admission status changes from conditional to regular status
  • A new I-20 or DS2019 immigration documentation is issued to study in degree program at the UA
  • Student matriculates fully into credit classes

University of Arizona graduate programs that have verified acceptance of the CESL Graduate Endorsement*

College Program
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Soil, Water, and Environmental Science Department
College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture Landscape Architecture
College of Education Language, Reading & Culture
Educational Psychology
College of Engineering  Systems & Industrial Engineering
College of Optical Sciences Optical Sciences
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences Journalism
Eller College of Management Finance 
Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health MPH

*Most graduate programs accept endorsement.  This list shows departments that have taken the step of verifying acceptance.

What is Conditional Admission (CA)?

Conditional Admission is an offer of delayed admission to a qualified candidate, provided that all conditions for full admission are met. A CA offer is a promise of future admission, good for one year. If English proficiency is not achieved within one year, students can reapply to the graduate program or apply for the undergraduate program.

Conditional Admission is not…

  • Not concurrent admission
  • The student does not start credit classes until all admission requirements-including English proficiency-are met
  • CA is academic admissibility-full admission given only after conditions are met (English, GRE, LSAT, etc.)

Why is it a good idea for graduate programs?

  • Access to a wider pool of academically competitive students
  • Students are typically fully sponsored by their own governments
  • UA reputation abroad is strengthened worldwide
  • Promotes international research collaborations
  • Increase graduate program enrollment
  • No cost in recruitment to the department

Why is it good for international students?

  • Students arrive and acclimate to campus prior to degree program start date
  • Improved English proficiency, in an authentic environment
  • Upon return home, these students will occupy positions of influence: supports continuing growth of students from that country

Sample agencies that sponsor students

  • Fulbright (IIE / LASPAU)
  • Government of Thailand
  • Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission
  • Ministries of Higher Education
  • CONICYT Chile
  • CONACYT Mexico
  • Various universities abroad

Existing UA infrastructure to support CA

  • Graduate College has staff specifically to expedite sponsored students
  • Both the ISS and CESL have dedicated staff to support recruiting and advising sponsored students
  • Strong collaborations and close follow-up with sponsoring agencies

The general application process…

  1. Student (or sponsor) submits application to the department and/or graduate college
  2. Departmental Admissions Committee reviews application for academic admissibility
  3. Department recommends CA to Graduate College
  4. Candidate deemed to meet all admission requirements except English is offered Conditional Admission Letter
  5. Students submits CA letter to sponsor for financial guarantee
  6. Student applies to CESL's Graduate University Track Pathway Program
  7. Student obtains visa using CESL I-20 immigration document to study at CESL
  8. Within one year, student meets English proficiency goal. Minimum:
    1. TOEFL 550 / iBT 79 or
    2. IELTS 7 (no band less than 6) or
    3. CESL Endorsement
  9. Upon completion of English language proficiency, the student transfers to a UA I-20


Ryan Shleby