English Language Program (ESL)

At a glance

What: Courses in English as a second language (ESL)

Who: Adult learners who want to know and use English better

Why: Improved English usage leads to better job opportunities, academic performance, and quality of life in the U.S.

Where: UW-Madison campus locations

Cost: Courses vary in length and cost between $95 and $380 each. Some courses also have a required textbook. Links to course details below.

Questions? Contact Becky Tarver-Chase at languages@dcs.wisc.edu or 608‑890‑3253.

English Language Program courses

View all current course offerings here»

Find the English course that's right for you

(Click course title for details and to register)

General English — improve all English language skills

Professional and Academic English — for graduate students, researchers, and working professionals

Test Preparation — prepare for university admissions

Enrichment English — go beyond the basics

Summer Programs for International Visitors — visit UW-Madison during the summer months

Who can take English courses?

English Language Program courses in Continuing Studies are open to the public. Any adult who lives, works, or studies in the Madison area can register and attend, and anyone in the world may sign up for online courses. Learners may include:

  • Permanent U.S. residents
  • UW international students and their spouses
  • Visiting scholars and their spouses
  • Working professionals
  • Residents of University Apartments

What kinds of English courses are offered?

Our learners take part-time non-credit courses in topics ranging from communication and presentation skills to grammar review and TOEFL test preparation. Courses are offered at different language levels: beginning, intermediate, advanced. Our aim is to help English-language learners reach their personal and professional goals.

How do I choose an English course?

Learners may take an online placement test to determine their level. In addition, please read the course descriptions to learn about course topics.

What if the course I need isn't offered?

We add new courses as need arises. If there is a course you would like to see, please let us know by filling out this form.

Does UW-Madison Continuing Studies provide the I-20 form?

No, we do not provide the I-20 form because the English courses in Continuing Studies are part-time. Students with an F-1 student visa must enroll in a full-time language program such as the Intensive English Program at UW-Madison.

Does the Continuing Studies English Language Program offer classes for children?

No, the English courses at UW-Madison Continuing Studies are for adults.

Links to Related Sites and Resources

About UW-Madison Continuing Studies

The Division of Continuing Studies supports the mission of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea by providing access to educational resources to nontraditional students, lifelong learners, and the community. The division's primary role comprises leadership, administrative oversight, and marketing responsibility for UW-Madison's noncredit offerings, credit outreach, and summer session. The division also advises and admits adults seeking to enroll as University Special or Guest Students.