English as a Second Language (ESL)

The ESL program prepares students to successfully engage and learn with native speakers of English in college classrooms.  The program provides language instruction in a multi-level, multi-skill language program and cooperates closely with the UMC academic and student support offices.  The ESL program increases campus diversity and cultural experiences for all students.

Key Features

Key Features

  • The ESL program is designed for the intermediate to high-intermediate ESL learners who wish to read, speak, hear, and write English for academic, professional, or personal purposes. The program offers semester sessions with a minimum of 20 or more hours of instruction each week.
  • Two consecutive four week summer ESL sessions will be offered at UMN Crookston.  The sessions focus on enhancing classroom communication skills as well as learning American teaching styles and study techniques. It is a perfect lead in for students beginning studies at a USA school in Fall semester.
  • The University of Minnesota Crookston offers conditional admission to academically qualified candidates who join the ESL program.  UMC’s English requirement for admission as a degree seeking student may be fulfilled upon successful completion of UMC's high-intermediate ESL courses.  Students are classified as non-degree seeking while studying ESL, and upon successful completion are automatically eligible to join the Bachelor programs.
  • Students who successfully complete the ESL Program will receive a certificate of participation.

Program Requirements & Curriculum

Program Requirements & Curriculum

ESL 0301: High-Intermediate English Grammar (4 credits) 
This course reviews and practices: dependent clauses and their reductions, quantification of noun phrases, unreal tenses and subjunctives, causative and sensory verbs, and clausal and phrasal connections. Does not count toward graduation.

ESL 0311: High-Intermediate ESL Speaking & Listening (4 credits)
This course focuses on both note-taking skills and comprehension of long lectures and the practice of the communicative skills necessary for debates, group discussions, and public presentations. Does not count toward graduation.

ESL 0321: High-Intermediate ESL Writing (4 credits)
This course focuses on full essay writing. Topics include: coherence and unity, process essays, comparison and contrast essays, cause and effect essays, opinion and argumentative essays, classification essays, and reactions essays. Does not count toward graduation.

ESL 0331: High-Intermediate ESL Reading & Vocabulary (4 credits)
This course emphasizes critical reading skills, speed reading, and vocabulary building for academic disciplines, as well as the continued practice of strategic reading comprehension skills. Does not count toward graduation.

Associated Clubs & Organizations

Associated Clubs & Organizations

Summer 2020 Programs

Summer 2020 Programs

American Culture Camp

  • Dates: July 7 - 21, 2020
    • Deadline to register: April 1, 2020
    • Minimum 10 participants


In addition to authentic listening and speaking opportunities, the objectives of this camp include an appreciation of nature and giving international students an American college experience. Students will have ample access to the natural beauty and environment of Crookston and surrounding area; activities are planned to take advantage of the beautiful natural resources of the state of Minnesota. Students will also be able to connect with and provide service to the community during their stay here. This is an especially important component to a student's personal development, as we want all our young students to become responsible and caring global citizens

COST: $3,250 (U.S. Currency)

All inclusive- instruction, lodging, meals, excursions, in state transportation. 

*Spending money and flight not included


  • Outlet Mall Shopping
  • Indoor Water park
  • Itasca State Park
  • Canoe/Pontoon
  • Horseback Riding
  • Fire Department Tours
  • County Fair
  • Trampoline Park/Laser Tag
  • Go-Karting
  • Baking/Cooking
  • Movie Theatre Experience


"This trip was very fun and educational. My favorite part was hiking to the headwaters and boating on the Mississippi River. I really felt like I received an American culture experience during my time there. My favorite food was the sweet corn. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. The staff was warm-hearted, kind, and excellent. I will miss them. I can't wait to return to the United States some day!"  -  Zixian Zeng, July 2018

Language, Technology, & American Teacher Training

The University of Minnesota Crookston is offering a program to Chinese instructors, faculty and staff who want to improve their English language teaching, engage in technology and further explore American Culture.

Dates: July 7 - July 21, 2020

Cost: choose between two options

  • $3,250 for two weeks
  • $4,875 for three weeks

The cost includes instruction, housing, food, training transportation and excursions along with pick up and drop of at the airport. Dates are fluid pending arrival. There must be a minimum of 10 participants for the program. An instructor who understands and speaks Chinese will be on staff.


Contact the Office of Outreach & Engagement - Michelle Christopherson at (218) 281-8369 or mchristo@umn.edu

English Proficiency Requirements

English Proficiency Requirements

UMC English Proficiency Requirement for Degree-Seeking Students

The University of Minnesota Crookston requires all non-native English speaking students to demonstrate sufficient command of the English language necessary to succeed in college level classes taught in English. This proficiency must be demonstrated either by results of the Test for English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) or by successful completion of the high-intermediate ESL courses and recommendation of the UMC ESL Faculty.

Minimum Score
TOEFL Internet-based (iBT)
(Paper 520 equivalent)

An official report of The TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB should be sent to the Office of Admissions.

ESL Admission (Admission as Non-Degree Student)

For applicants who do not have the required English proficiency given above, the University of Minnesota Crookston offers non-degree admission to the ESL Program. A minimum IELTS overall band score of 4.0 or TOEFL iBT score of 45 is required for ESL admission.

Minimum TOEFL iBT Score for Admission
Admission Status
68 (Paper 520 equivalent)
45  (Paper 450 equivalent)


Upon successful completion of the high-intermediate ESL courses and recommendation of the ESL faculty, academically qualified ESL students may be referred by the ESL Coordinator their academic advisor to the Office of Admissions to change from non-degree to degree seeking program status.

Only ESL students in the high-intermediate level who have no other ESL classes left to take may take a credit-bearing course approved by the ESL Coordinator or their academic advisor. ESL students in the intermediate level may take a credit-bearing class only as auditor without earning any academic credit. ESL students at any level may not take an online course.

Student and Teacher canoeing

Admission Application, Tuition and Fees

Admission Application, Tuition and Fees

Application for Admission

To be admitted, international students must have completed studies equivalent to those required to graduate from high school in the United States. To apply for admission, prospective international students must submit the following:

  1. An application for admission - online application
  2. A finances form PDF File Icon
  3. A $35 non-refundable application fee in U.S. currency
  4. Official transcripts of high school or equivalent education in the original language and in English translation unless transferring from a college or university
  5. Official college transcripts in the original language and in English translation 
  6. English proficiency test scores if you are from a non-English speaking nation. The University of Minnesota Crookston requires all non-native English-speaking students to demonstrate sufficient command of the English language necessary to succeed in college level classes taught in English. This proficiency must be demonstrated by results of the Test for English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB).
  7. ACT, SAT, or other standardized college entrance admission test scores (www.ets.org) if the international student is a native English language speaker. International students whose first language is English are not required to submit TOEFL scores.

Tuition and Fees

For current tuition rates and fees, please visit our Estimated Cost of Attendance section.

Laptop Computer Program

All UMC students, including ESL students, are provided college laptop computers as part of their tuition and fees. Nearly every classroom has Internet and electric power at each student seat. Wireless Internet is available throughout the campus. There is a Computer Help Desk and printers are widely available. All students are expected to write letters and papers using computers and to access the Internet for information searches as part of the learning environment. Students are required to use UMC email as the official means of communication during their enrollment at UMC. All dormitory rooms are wired for computers.

Health Insurance & Immunization Requirements

Please see Health Services website for more information.

Immigration Policies

ESL Students at the University of Minnesota Crookston with an F-1 visa must maintain full-time student status by carrying a minimum of 20 instructional contact hours (i.e., four ESL courses) per semester.



The UMC Advantage

The UMC Advantage

Small Campus. Big Degree.

Did you know a degree from the University of Minnesota is recognized all over the world? True story. As a system campus of the University of Minnesota system, the U of M Crookston offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources—all in a smaller, more personal campus setting that’s very much like a private school. The University of Minnesota is internationally recognized and respected by not only intellectuals and academic movers and shakers, but major employers who want to hire the best and brightest—namely, you.

Learning and Doing

At the U of M Crookston, you won’t spend all your time behind a desk. Our curriculum is designed around experiential learning, which means we want you to have as much hands-on learning as possible. Depending on your major, you’ll find opportunities to be in the field, the lab, the classroom, or engaging in simulated scenarios that give you a competitive edge when you enter the workforce or head to grad school. You’ll learn the concepts and then actively apply them through projects, field trips, site visits, internships, and interactions with professionals in the field.

Caring Faculty and Staff

Our faculty and staff members are respected not only for their knowledge and skills, but also because they care about you as an individual. They serve as true mentors, offering personalized attention through small class sizes, a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, and by working closely with you as advisors. They take the time to welcome you to the UMC community, watch you grow as a leader and scholar, and help you connect with alumni and other experts.

A Technology-Rich Environment

At the U of M Crookston, we offer every student a laptop computer from day one. Everyone is tech-savvy, wi-fi is everywhere and learning happens in many ways, including simulations, applications and video presentations. It’s a virtual tech-topia! So, when you graduate, you’ll have all the latest technology skills, giving you a competitive edge. Employers consistently report the UMC graduates they hire are their “go to” people for technology and are well prepared for the demands of today’s technological workplace.

Internships, Job Placement and Grad School

More than 87% of U of M Crookston graduates gain full-time employment in their field or enroll in graduate or professional school within one year of graduation. That’s a fact. We’ll sure miss you when you graduate, but we know as a proud Golden Eagle alum, you’ll want to come back to cheer us on at homecoming or catch up with your favorite professors.

Internships. They’re a great way to earn college credit, add to your resume and help answer the question, “is this really what I want to do?” You can find internship opportunities with everyone from the business down the street to Fortune 500 companies. Or maybe grad school is in your future. U of M Crookston students get the educational requirements and resources they need to apply to an array of graduate programs from veterinary science to med school to an MBA program. Many go on for more education in a variety of other fields.

Opportunities for undergraduate research also add real value to your educational experience by allowing you to design and conduct research while working alongside faculty mentors. Research experience is especially helpful if you plan to attend graduate school.

One-Rate Tuition and Scholarship Options

Whether you live in Minnesota, just across the border, across the country, or on the other side of the ocean, you pay the same tuition rate, and the U of M Crookston’s tuition rate is a real value because it’s the lowest of the five campuses that make up the U of M system. Additionally, with merit-based scholarships guaranteed based on GPA and ACT scores and more than 300 specialty scholarships, we really do help make college affordable.

Leadership, Clubs and Athletics

Sure, college is about classes, studying, and research, but another important part of the experience involves professional development, creativity, leadership, and service. And let’s not forget about fun! With more than 40 student clubs and organizations, there’s something for every interest. Best of all, if you can’t find something from the existing list, grab a few friends and start a new club. It’s really just that easy…

In athletics, Golden Eagles shake things up on the court, the field, and on the sidelines. The U of M Crookston competes at the NCAA Division II level in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) as well as the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and offers a full range of men’s and women’s athletic programs.

A Diverse, Global Experience

The world really is a small place, and at U of M Crookston we value diversity. Our students bring rich experiences spanning six continents, and more than 20 countries and 40 states! We value diversity because it not only helps you better understand the world, it helps you understand yourself and how your piece fits into the puzzle of global society. Get involved in the many multicultural and international programs on campus, and you’ll see how easy it is to make friends from across the world.

Or choose one of our international programs. Study, intern, volunteer, play, explore – here or anywhere. Take your pick from more than 300 options in 67 countries. Don’t just learn it, live it.

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Related Majors, Minors & Programs...

Interested in a double major or minor to complement your Degree? Check out these other programs at UMC: