Academic Programs Catalog

Graduate Education


International Student Admission
Teaching Assignments

All students whose first language is not English and who are admitted to graduate studies at Michigan State University with teaching assistantships involving recitations, discussions, or laboratory sections will be given the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) test by the English Language Center upon arrival on campus. Students may submit a current (within two years) Test of Spoken English (TSE) in lieu of the SPEAK test. Students who do not pass the initial SPEAK test or TSE may not assume teaching responsibilities until they complete English 097, an oral skills course for international teaching assistants, and pass the International Teaching Assistant oral interview or pass a subsequent SPEAK or TSE test. The chairperson of the student's teaching assignment department may request an opportunity for a special review by the International Teaching Assistant Oral Review Board if the student does not pass the initial screening. The Board determines whether the student may be cleared for teaching duties. If the student fails to pass the minimum all–University standard of English proficiency for regular admission status, they may not be assigned to do any classroom teaching,  including laboratory instruction and recitation or discussion sections, without approval of the English Language Center. Units may hold a higher–than–minimum performance criterion if they so choose if the content and/or the teaching models warrant.

See Costs in the General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations section and English Language Center in the College of Arts and Letters section of this catalog for additional information.