Policy for English Competency Assessment and Rectifying Deficiencies.

A candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy is required to demonstrate high-level competence in the use of the English language, including reading, writing, and speaking, as part of the language and communications requirements for the Ph.D. (International students should note that passage of the minimal TOEFL requirement does not necessarily demonstrate the minimal level of competence expected of a Ph.D. candidate at Penn State).

Assessment of English Competency

Students with English deficiencies must schedule remedial undergraduate courses as soon as possible after the candidacy examination.  Advanced (400- and 500-level) courses may be taken when convenient but must be completed before the comprehensive examination is scheduled.  The choice of appropriate remedial and advanced courses will be made by the student’s advisor and Ph.D. advisory committee.