Placement in Classes and Progression through the Program

Placement in AEC Classes

We work very hard to make sure that every student is correctly placed in AEC courses and levels.  At the beginning of each semester, instructors watch the work from all students very carefully.  We give diagnostic tests that help us know the abilities of all students, and those tests may show if a student should be in a higher level.  Instructors will talk with their course coordinator about change of level, and coordinators will make change of level recommendations to the director.  The director makes all change-of-level decisions based on student performance.

Start of Semester: Arrive Early

  • You should arrive several days before classes begin so that you can test (if necessary), enroll in classes, buy your books, and be ready to start the semester.  Students who start classes late will miss important work in the first days of classes, including diagnostic tests.  Diagnostic tests and other work related to change-of-level cannot be made up.

Progression through the Program

All students in Levels 1-4 must take the ITP (institutional TOEFL) test at the end of each semester.  Your placement for the next semester is determined, in part, by your final grades.  If you earn an A or B in a class, you automatically move up to the next level.  If you earn a D or F in a class, you must repeat that class.  If you earn a C in a class, your placement for the next semester will be determined by your performance on the ITP.  Students who earn an A, B, or C in their classes and score high enough on the ITP may move up more than one level.

Level 5 Courses

  • Students who earn an A or B in a Level 5 class will have completed their proficiency requirements in that skill area.  If you earn a C, D, or F in a Level 5 class, your performance on the ITP will determine if you have passed, or if you will have to repeat the Level 5 class.


  • Students who do not meet the course or attendance requirements for the semester will be placed on academic probation for the following semester.  You can be placed on probation for the following reasons:
  • You missed 15% or more of your combined classes.
  • You earned a D or F in any of your AEC courses (core courses, support courses, or elective courses).
  • Being on AEC academic probation means that you will have to meet certain requirements for your courses for the following semester.  If you do not meet these requirements, you will be dismissed from KU.  See a cross-cultural advisor for more details.

Mid-Semester Grade Reports

During the spring and fall semesters, your instructors will give you a mid-semester grade report around Week 9 of the semester.  This will give you information about how you are doing in the class.  If you are doing well, you know that you should continue doing what you are doing.  If you are not doing well, you will know that you should make some changes.  However, if you are not sure how you are doing, you do not have to wait for your mid-semester grade report.  You can talk to your instructor during office hours to find out how you are doing and get help making any changes.  The AEC cross-cultural advisors are also happy to meet with you to talk about creating a good study plan and to give you tips for making the most possible progress in your English language proficiency.

AEC Final Exam

  • At the end of spring semester, you must take the institutional TOEFL (ITP) at the scheduled day and time.  There are no early or late tests.
  • You will receive a grade of satisfactory or unsatisfactory for this exam, which will appear on your transcript (satisfactory means that you are not required to take further AEC courses, unsatisfactory means that you must still study in a course or courses at the AEC).
  • We also use this exam to certify to the university when your English is proficient enough for full-time KU coursework, provided you have been admitted to the university.

Receiving your End-of-Semester Report

  • It is important for you to receive your End-of-Semester Report before you leave Lawrence for break times, then you will know your courses for the next semester.  Students who are on AEC Academic Probation are required to stay to get their End-of-Semester Report.

Class Grades

  • AEC level 1 - 3 course grades of (A, B, C, D, F) are official university grades and will appear on your KU transcript and may influence your acceptance to other programs at the university or to other colleges or universities. They do not count towards any degree offered by KU and are not included in your KU grade point average.
  • Credit hours for courses at level 4 and 5 do count toward undergraduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Architecture, and the School of Business. AEC instructors assign letter grades for level 4 and level 5 courses, but your official university grades for these courses will be credit or no-credit. To receive a grade of credit for one of these courses you must earn at least a grade of A, B, or C in the class.

One of the first 12 intensive English programs in the United States
Each semester year, the AEC enrolls about 250 students representing more than 35 countries on six continents.
Start working on your degree now! You can take university classes for credit at the same time you are taking English classes.
Earn university credits now! You can use 9 AEC credits as elective credits toward your KU degree in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Business, and Architecture.
Fulfill a university requirement! Completion of your English proficiency requirements means you have finished your foreign language requirement at the University of Kansas.
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