English as a Second Language

  • The English as a Second Language Program (ESL) at Gannon University is designed to prepare non-native English speaking students and their spouses, who have been conditionally admitted into a degree program at Gannon, to become proficient in academic English. Upon completion of the ESL program, the students will demonstrate the English proficiency necessary to meet success in their academic course of study. ESL also guides the non-native English speaking students in their cultural adjustment through a professional and respectful environment and assists in developing cultural competence so that the student will be successful in the American university classroom.

  • Do I need to take English As A Second Language courses?

    If you are coming from an English-speaking country (see list below), you will probably not need to take ESL courses. 

    If English is not your native language, you will need to take a test to measure your English language ability.

    You can take the test in your own country or you can take the test at Gannon when you arrive. 

    Depending on the result of your test, you will either be placed into one of the levels of ESL classes or if your results are high enough, you will not have to take ESL classes at all.

  • English-speaking Countries



    British West Indies

    Canada – excluding Quebec







    New Zealand



    South Africa

    United Kingdom

  • What are the tests I may need to take?

    We will accept results from these tests (if your score is less than the number shown you will need to take English As A Second Language courses):

    TOEFL Computer-based 213
    TOEFL Internet-based 79
    TOEFL Paper-based 550
    IELTS Overall Band 6.5
    PTE 53
    EIKEN Grade Pre-1
  • Are there other ways to measure my English language skill?'

    You must show us a transcript that lists the highest level of English you have taken and your grades at that level and a letter of recommendation by the program director. 

  • Additional Measurements Accepted

    • Advanced Level (A-Level): C in English
    • ESL Language Centers: Completion of Level 112
    • Campus-based ESL:Programs at accredited US-based colleges or universities
    • SAT Critical Reading score of 500
    • ACT English score of 21
    • International Baccalaureate (IB): 5 in English
    • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): score of 80
    • Certificate in Advanced English with a C
    • Certificate of Proficiency in English with a C
    • General Certificate of Education (GCE) O-Level: C in English
    • General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE): C in English
    • International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) O-Level: C in English
    • West African Examinations Council (WAEC): C in English
    • Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE): C in English


  • Can I use a scholarship or award to pay for ESL classes? 

    Gannon University offers ESL as a service to students who need such training, and we do this at a cost that is much less than tuition. 

    That is why awards and scholarships intended for your degree work do not apply to ESL training.

  • Where can I get more information about tests?

    For more information on TOEFL, IELTS, or ELS, please visit the following Web sites:

    If you need additional help, the ESL office will be happy to assist you.