Possible ESL Writing Requirement For Incoming Multilingual Transfer Students

ESL Writing Requirement

Most transfer students have typically satisfied UCLA’s Writing I and II requirements at their transfer institution (and have therefore also satisfied the Entry-Level Writing Requirement). However, some multilingual transfer students may be held for an additional ESL Writing Requirement and are required to sit for the English as a Second Language Placement Exam (ESLPE) during their first quarter at UCLA. Transfer students who are held for the ESLPE include:

  • Those who have not satisfied IGETC and
  • Those held at the discretion of Transfer Admissions.

Depending on the results of the ESLPE, a multilingual transfer student may be held for as many as 3 English Composition courses in order to satisfy the requirement. See the “How To Satisfy the ESL Writing Requirement if You are Held For It” section below for more information on which classes multilingual transfer students may need to complete.

Placement Exam – ESLPE

The ESL Placement Exam is a one-hour written exam in response to a prompt. It is scheduled once per quarter and no individual exams are administered. You may take the exam only once. Learn more about the ESLPE, including when it will take place and how to register for it here.

How To Satisfy the ESL Writing Requirement if You are Held For It

ESL Requirement: The only way for UG transfers to satisfy the ESL Writing Requirement—if held for it—is to take the ESLPE and successfully complete any required coursework as early as possible during your first year at UCLA. NOTE: You cannot substitute any other courses (either at UCLA or elsewhere) for the ones you are required to take. Since some courses are not offered every quarter, you may delay your graduation if you do not complete the coursework right away.

The chart below outlines the courses a transfer student may be required to take to satisfy an ESL requirement (up to three depending on the ESLPE results). None of these courses can be taken concurrently with any other; each must be passed with a ‘C’ before taking the following one.  

Possible ESL Writing Requirement for Multilingual Transfer Students

If you placed into:

then you need to take:

English Composition 1A* 

EC 1A → EC 1B → EC 2i

English Composition 1B* 

EC 1B → EC 2i

English Composition 2i* 

EC 2i

*Courses designed for multilingual writers. These courses cannot be taken concurrently nor can they be completed in summer nor at another institution. They must be taken consecutively after successfully completing each one with a C or better.

Course Availability


EC 1A is only offered in fall; EC 1B is only offered in fall and winter; EC 2i is usually offered all 3 quarters. None of these courses are currently offered in summer and there are no substitutions. To ensure your graduation is not delayed, you are encouraged to meet this requirement as soon as possible!

Academic Year Availability of Courses

Course Number

Fall Quarter

Winter Quarter

Spring Quarter

Summer Sessions



EC 2i