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Course Syllabi


This page contains syllabi and course descriptions for semester-, half-semester- and quarter-long communication classes for graduate students, including international students (and occasionally domestic students). They have been contributed by CGC members and are curated by Jin Kim ( Please consider submitting your course by completing the form at the end of this page; we will contact you to request a Word doc or PDF. In cases where one person has shared more than one course syllabus on this page, different alphabetical item IDs are used for different courses. You may also check out Overview of Major Assignments used in the syllabi below.

1. Combined Writing and Speaking Courses

  • Katya Fairbanks, Claremont Graduate University: Foundations in Graduate Writing and Presenting
    • For pre-matriculated international students with a TOEFL iBT score under 100.
    • Semester-long, non-credit-bearing course. A grade appears on their transcript but is not factored into their GPA.
    • Claremont also offers a more advanced course open to the entire graduate student population. Both courses are offered each semester and also in a 5-week intensive (4 days/week) format in the summer.
  • Steve Simpson, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology: Communication in the Sciences
    • For matriculated students from science and engineering disciplines; open to all students. (Usually enrolls an even mix of native- and non-native-English speakers.)
    • Semester-long, three-credit course. Capped at 12.
  • Kim Sydow Campbell, University of Alabama, Culverhouse College of Commerce: Management 692: Scholarly Communication
    • For any matriculated doctoral student in a business program
    • Semester-long, three-credit course. Capped at 10.
  • Karyn Mallett and Anna Habib, George Mason University: EAP 508: Graduate Communication Across the Disciplines
    • For international ESL graduate students enrolled in GMU’s Graduate International Pathway Program
    • Year-long, four-credit course. Depending on their scores on an entrance language test, students will enroll in the year-long course or take it just in the second semester.
    • Additional materials provided besides syllabus, which is also linked above: assignment sheet for project 1, graduate classroom language portfolio; assignment sheet for project 2, multidisciplinary colloquium project; CFP for international graduate student multidisciplinary colloquium)
    • Karyn Mallett and Anna Habib discuss their course and pedagogical approaches in a three-part interview here, here, and here for GMU’s blog for Writing Across the Curriculum faculty
    • Anna Habib, Jennifer Haan, and Karyn Mallett describe their genre-based approach in this spring 2015 article for Composition Forum
  • Jin Kim, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Nancy Barr, Michigan Technological University, College of Engineering: MEEM 6010: Engineering Research Communication
    • For matriculated graduate students (project or thesis master’s students and PhD students) in the College of Engineering; open to all students.
    • A 14-week, two-credit elective course
  • David Skolnick, California College of the Arts: GELCT 620: English Communication for International Graduate Students
    • A 15-week, 3-unit course open only to international grad students who had been identified by the chair of the grad design program and program manager as needing additional language instruction

2. Reading/Writing Courses

  • Adrian Wurr, University of Tulsa: English 6033: Academic Writing for Graduate Students
    • For matriculated students. Originally just for international ESL students; now enrolls all students.
    • Semester-long, three-credit course. Departments may, at their discretion, apply the three graduate credit hours to research credits on doctoral students’ balance sheets. Regardless, though, the credits count towards graduation.
  • Nigel Caplan, University of Delaware English Language Institute 
    • a. Reading/Writing for Graduate Programs is for pre-matriculated international ESL students. It is 7-8 weeks (1 hr 40 min-2 hr/day, 5 days/week); non-credit-bearing, but required for students who have been conditionally admitted. Students receive a grade and must meet certain requirements to qualify for admission to graduate programs. Click here for more detailed information on major assignments.
  • Anne Zanzucchi & Belinda Braunstein, University of California, Merced, School of Natural Sciences: CHEM/MATH/QSB/PHY 270: Academic Writing in Graduate Studies
    • For matriculated international ESL graduate students, but open to any graduate student in the School of Natural Sciences
    • Semester-long (spring only), two-credit course (although the course may be increased to three)
  • Heather Blain Vorhies, University of Maryland, College Park, The Graduate School: Graduate Writing
    • For any matriculated student; students must apply with a letter of interest and a letter of recommendation from their advisors
    • Semester-long (fall and spring) or four-week (summer) non-credit course. Students receive an evaluation instead of a grade, and a copy of the evaluation is sent to their advisors.
  • Lisa Russell-Pinson, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, The Graduate School: GRAD 6010/8010: Graduate-Level Writing for International Students
    • For matriculated international ESL graduate students
    • Semester-long, three-credit course. By the policy of the Graduate School, doctoral students receive a P/F grade, while master’s students receive a letter grade. (However, master’s students can petition to take the course P/F.)
  • Katherine Daily O’Meara, Arizona State University: ENG 594: Academic Writing for International Graduate Students
    • For matriculated international ESL graduate students
    • Semester-long, three-credit course
  • Jin Kim, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Susan Faivre & Cassanra Rosado, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • a. ESL 502: Advanced Academic Writing I is for matriculated international ESL graduate students, postdoctoral students, or visiting scholars; students and visiting scholars are in different sections. It’s an 8-week-long, 0-credit course (4 contact hours)
  • Nicole Khoury, American University of Beirut: English 300: Writing in the Disciplines
    • For graduate students who score low on the TOEFL exam. Students are required to take this course before or during their graduate program.
    • Semester-long, three-credit class; students take it pass-fail.
  • Mary Jane Curry, University of Rochester, Warner Graduate School of Education: Courses below are all for matriculated students:
  • Emily Purser, University of Wollongong: RESH 900/901: Fundamentals for HDR Writing
    • For international students in PhD-Integrated program
    • Semester-long (13 weeks), 6 credit required course (3 hours in class per week and additional activity online)
  • Michelle Cox, Nathan Lindberg and Melissa Myers, Cornell University: Courses below are for matriculated international multilingual graduate and professional students, and are 7-week, 2-credit, pass-fail. Students do not pay an extra fee to enroll, as the program is funded through the students’ tuition.
    • a. WRIT 6500: Writing, Revising and Editing focuses on second language writing development, writing processes for invention, revising, and editing, and aspects of academic style.
    • b. WRIT 6500: Learning to Write for Your Field  introduces students to strategies for learning discipline-specific writing processes, genres, and discourses.
    • cWRIT 6500: Writing with Sources focuses on strategies for note-taking, summarizing, paraphrasing, and synthesizing information from multiple sources, and organizing a literature review, as well as negotiating the rhetorical challenges of adding one’s voice to the conversation in the field.
    • d. WRIT 6500: Strategies for Self-editing introduces students to strategies for editing their own writing at a variety of levels, leading to greater control over and confidence in writing 

Oral Communication Courses

  • Susan Faivre & Cassanra Rosado, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
    • b. ESL 503: Advanced Academic Presentation Skills is for matriculated international ESL graduate students, postdoctoral students, or visiting scholars; graduate students and visiting scholars are placed in different sections with slightly different course content; eight-week-long, 0-credit course (4 contact hours)


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