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English Programs for Internationals

English for Foreign Students

ENFS is a comprehensive testing, academic advising, and instructional program which assists the university's international students who have language-related difficulties. EPI administers this program for the university. A student visa cannot be issued for only ENFS courses. ENFS courses are not available to EPI students. 

All newly admitted graduate students who are non-native speakers of English are required to take an English language proficiency examination administered by EPI before registration. This examination, consisting of a writing test and an oral interview, is designed to identify those students who need additional work on written and/or spoken English. Shortly after the examination, EPI makes recommendations to the students and their academic advisors regarding appropriate study loads and the need (if warranted) for supplementary English courses. (This examination is administered at the beginning of each Fall and Spring semester.) 

ENFS Exemptions 

Students who wish to fulfill the testing requirements through the submission of evidence qualifying them for exemption must complete the online form and upload relevant documentation. Simply completing the form does not automatically result in exemption from ENFS assessment. Rather, your request and supporting documentation will be reviewed and evaluated to determine if it fulfills the ENFS requirement and qualifies you for exemption from the ENFS Speaking Assessment and/or ENFS Writing Assessment. Partial exemption, i.e., exemption from one test but not another, is possible. Please note that you may not consider yourself to have fulfilled the requirement and qualified for exemption from testing until you have received written notice from EPI informing you of exemption.  

ENFS testing includes writing testing and speaking testing. Students can be exempted from either test depending on IBT scores, IELTS scores, or a degree from a university in the US, UK, Australia, or a Canadian province where English is the first language. We do not offer this to students from other countries, for example in Africa, because the English often deviates from that used in the above listed countries.  To exempt ENFS testing: iBT scores need to be 22 in speaking and 25 in writing. IELTS scores must by 6.5 in speaking and 6.5 in writing. Students can exempt one test and not exempt the other.
(For questions about ITA exemptions, please see ITA Information.

ENFS courses

Course offerings include Spoken Communication in English, Written Communication in English, and Oral English for International Teaching Assistants. USC students may enroll in these courses during normal university registration. The fee for taking an ENFS course is the standard per credit charge for USC students. (Non-USC students may also enroll in these courses. For information on enrolling in these courses as a non-USC student, please contact EPI at For more information on ENFS courses and exemptions, please refer to the course descriptions. -

This course is designed for international students at the University who require additional help with their listening and speaking skills in English as a second language. Special attention is given to English pronunciation, vocabulary, idioms and conversational rules used in academic and professional settings.

As part of the course, the students participate in such activities as guided discussions on aspects of American classroom culture, debates, oral reports and presentations. Students are also taught strategies for overcoming pronunciation and accent barriers

This course is designed to prepare USC international graduate students to teach undergraduate students effectively. The course focuses on effective cross-cultural communication in undergraduate instructional contexts. The course addresses such issues as developing accurate pronunciation and grammar, increasing vocabulary range so as to enhance linguistic repertoire, and understanding and acquiring US rhetorical strategies relevant to instruction. The final grade will be partially based on an exit examination similar to USC's International Teaching Assistant Assessment. 

This course is designed for international students at the university who require additional help with their writing
skills in English as a second language. The focus of the course is on strategies for writing appropriate American academic English at the graduate level, illustrating contrastive rhetorical strategies and cultural differences.

The course includes work on sentence structure and practice in writing organized paragraphs, essays and papers for academic purposes, working on everything from class assignments, articles, critiques, to theses or dissertations.

The scope of the course varies a great deal, depending on the students who enroll in the course. Yet, the two components of the course remain: 1) emphasis on recognizing differences in writing styles across cultures, and 2) individual conferences on the students' writing assignments from their other classes.

ENFS Class Director’s Office Location
Mark Porter, Close-Hipp Building, Suite 403 Tel: 777-3867 


These courses are graded courses with an audit option. Grades in ENFS 072 and 082 are based on classroom participation and attendance. ENFS 075 includes an exit exam. Enrollment is through normal university registration. Students only receive grades and credit if they register through normal university registration. Class size is limited. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.