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Language Proficiency

Teaching is an essential element of the education and training of PhD students. For this reason TGS and the Mathematics Department require that all students serve as Teaching Assistants during their career at Northwestern. In order to be able to teach, students must be certified as proficient in the English language. If the student is from an English-speaking country or has attended an undergraduate institution where the instruction is in English, this is automatic. Otherwise, TGS offers four ways to demonstrate proficiency detailed at this site.

We hope that all students meet the proficiency requirement by the end of the first year. Northwestern has many resources and classes for learning English. These can be found here. It is up to the student to avail themselves of these resources. Students who have not met the English proficiency requirement by end of the first year will use fellowship quarters for their support beginning in the fall quarter of the second year. Any fellowship quarter used in the second year will be deducted from the student’s total of six allotted fellowship quarters.

Students who do not meet the requirement by the end of the second year will be deemed to be not making satisfactory academic progress as defined in this Handbook and will be placed on probation. As with any probation, the student will be informed in writing the steps needed to meet the requirement and any deadline that must be met. Failure to complete these steps could lead to exclusion from the program.