Questions about taking the CWP and ELPE


Both the CWP and the ELPE are writing placement exercises administered to undergraduate students. Normally, international students do not take the CWP. If you are an international student entering UCSB as a freshman, you should take the ELPE unless otherwise notified.

Questions about your ELPE result


If you recently completed the ELPE, your results will be emailed to you within 14 days.

Students cannot re-take the ELPE. However, we do want to make sure the results of your placement are accurate. For that reason, you will be given the opportunity to write a brief essay on the first day of your writing class. The placement process is very accurate, and it is rare for a student’s placement to be changed.  But if your instructor sees that the writing of your first-day writing sample significantly differs from your ELPE placement, s/he will recommend that your placement be reviewed by the EMS Program Director.

Note: It is very important to attend the first class meeting. If you miss the first day of class, you may miss this opportunity to have your placement confirmed.

If English is the only language that you have used at home and at school, then you should consult with the Director of the EMS Program.

LING courses 3-14 are academic English courses meant for students who speak a language other than English as their primary home language. This includes some US-educated students as well as international students. If you attended a US high school, for example, you may have been told that you are ready for mainstream courses and you no longer need specialized instruction for nonnative English speakers; however, UCSB holds its students to a very high standard, and has found that many multilingual writers who are US-educated continue to need specialized instruction in academic reading and writing. Your oral English level may be different from your reading or writing level, and because a student’s success at UCSB depends on competent reading and writing skills at the university level, UCSB's ELPE placement is based on a written response to a reading.


Questions about which courses to take


The answer depends on your course placement. Based on the result of your ELPE, you may be placed in LING 3A, 3B, 3C, or 12. Wherever in this course sequence you are placed, you will also take all the higher-numbered courses in the sequence. For example, if you are placed in LING, then that is the only LING course that you will take; if you are placed in LING 3A, then you will take LING 3A, 3B, 3C, and 12.

First, see the EMS home page for news about the date, time, and location of the next regular ELPE. If the date has passed, contact the EMS ELPE Committee to find out if you are eligible to take a makeup ELPE.

No, the courses in the undergraduate sequence are LING 3A, 3B, 3C, and 12.  LING 4 is a graduate level course, and courses numbered 8-14 are undergraduate elective courses.

No. If the EMS Program has notified you that your placement is LING 3A, 3B, 3C, or 12, then you should take the LING course into which you have been placed. See below.

These two courses have some similarities and some differences. Like Writing 1, LING 12 satisfies the UC’s Entry-Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). Both courses qualify you to take Writing 2. However, they are different. LING 12 provides specialized instruction for multilingual students, whereas Writing 1 is designed for students who were born in the U.S. and have spoken English at home and at school.

Yes. If you have a LING course placement, you need to enroll in that course and drop WRIT 1.

No. If you have been placed into a LING course, you may not take WRIT 1. Other courses in the Writing Program, like WRIT 2 and above, require that you first satisfy the UC’s Entry-Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) by completing LING 12.

Possibly. However, you should consult with the Director of the EMS Program first. We’d like to help make sure you take the course that is best suited to your needs and goals.


Questions about enrolling in a course


If all the sections are full, your first step should be to try to get on the class’s waiting list. Please consult the EMS Wait List Policy.

In some cases you may have to wait until next quarter to take your required class. However, you should contact the EMS ELPE Committee if this is your plan. Please note that not every class is offered every quarter; in some cases, if you do not enroll in your required class, you may have to wait two quarters or longer.

Students may not enroll in courses that are a higher level than the one into which they have been placed. It is sometimes possible to enroll in a lower level class, but you should first speak with the Director of the EMS Program, before you sign up for a class whose level is lower than your placement.

As noted above, not every class is offered every quarter; in some cases, if you do not enroll in your required LING course, you may have to wait two quarters or longer to take it. For that reason, students are usually advised to enroll in their LING course and drop or postpone taking other courses whose schedules overlap. If you have any questions about course conflicts, you can discuss them with the EMS ELPE Committee.

You should e-mail your instructor immediately. Missing the first class meeting could have several consequences. First, students who miss the first day of class may be dropped so that space can be given away to those on the waiting list. If you contact your instructor, this is less likely. Also, EMS courses have a mandatory attendance policy, and this kind of absence may affect your grade. Finally, as noted above, you may miss the chance to give a writing sample to have your placement confirmed. We understand that these travel situations are sometimes unavoidable, but we do ask that you make every effort to attend all classes.


For non-degree-bound and transfer students


No. Students in the EAP reciprocity program are not required to take EMS writing courses. However, those who are interested in doing so must take UCSB’s Entry Level Placement in English (ELPE) and receive a course placement. Currently, EAP students should not take the regular fall administration of the ELPE, but may take a makeup ELPE. You should check this page for news about the date, time, and how it will be offered.

EMS also offers non-writing courses for multilingual undergraduate students. LING 8, LING 10, and LING 14 do not require the ELPE or other prerequisites. Please see our undergraduate courses page for course descriptions.

Please note that space in EMS courses is limited, and degree-bound students must be given priority. For that reason, we cannot guarantee that there will be space available for EAP students.

UIP students may enroll at the instructor’s discretion if there is space in the class. Contact the instructor of the course you wish to take. As explained in the previous section, you must take the ELPE and take the course that is appropriate to your level. Degree-bound students take priority; we cannot guarantee space in our courses.

Transfer students who have satisfied the requirements for the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) are exempt from LING course requirements. However, if you wish to enroll in a LING course, you should first consult with the instructor of the course you wish to take. You should also be aware the LING courses do not offer credit toward degree for students who have already satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR).

In general, undergraduate EMS courses are only available to UCSB students.  Therefore, visiting scholars and others not enrolled at the university are not allowed to audit or take undergraduate EMS courses. Please see our FAQs for graduate courses for more information.


Problems seeing your grade


LING 3A is graded Pass/No Pass. Such courses are recorded differently by the registrar and show up differently on GOLD. However, the EMS Program faculty will know which students have passed LING 3A. So if you passed the course, you’ll be eligible to take LING 3B.