CESL Visiting Scholars

Welcome! Thank you for your interest in being a Visiting Scholar!

As a top research university, the University of Arizona is an academically rich environment in which to study. We have state-of-the-art facilities and faculty with a wide range of expertise. And we are located in beautiful Tucson, Arizona! CESL and SLAT are ideal units in which to study language teaching. CESL has been teaching ESL at UA for over 40 years. It is a dynamic and growing center with many different programs. The SLAT doctoral program is an interdisciplinary program with 79 faculty members located in 17 collaborating departments. The program is designed to provide rigorous advanced training for researchers, teachers, and administrators concerned with second language learning and teaching.

If you have a Ph.D. and meet the English proficiency requirements (below), please apply directly to SLAT or CESL to be a Visiting Scholar (see below). The SLAT Visiting Scholar application can be found here.

If you do not meet the English proficiency requirements (below), we will not be able to accept your Visiting Scholar application at this time, but we strongly encourage you to consider attending CESL as a student at this time. For more information about becoming a CESL student, please click here.

If you meet the English proficiency requirements (below) and have an MA, but you do not have a Ph.D. or have limited teaching/research experience, please look at the SLAT-CESL Visiting Scholars Certificate Program.

Visiting Scholars

Visiting scholars at CESL must be self-funded and may stay for a maximum of six months. While conducting their research, they will be asked to participate in some aspect of program development or departmental outreach as well as share their research and results with the CESL faculty and UA community. We offer opportunities for class observations in both intensive and traditional English language courses, interaction with faculty, access to CESL & UA libraries, and chances to explore other possibilities related to their research at the University of Arizona.

Visiting Scholars are also expected to make a presentation to the CESL faculty regarding the status of English langauge education in their home countries.


Unfortunately, we are currently unable to offer any funding, housing, or office support for the scholars. The scholar (or scholar's sponsor) is responsible for paying all associated costs including passport, visa, travel, insurance, living and research expenses, CatCard, and any other incidentals. Please see the CESL costs page for information about Tucson costs. Visiting Scholars may apply, pay tution and fees and enroll in a CESL or UA class with approval of the instructor.


To be considered for a visiting scholar at CESL, applicants must have completed at least a Masters or Doctorate in TESOL or a related field and meet the language requirements outlined by the Office of International Faculty and Scholars. International applicants must have a current passport valid for at least 6 months after the intended arrival date.

  • Fall applicants must have the application package to CESL by March 15.
  • Spring applicants must have their application package to CESL by September 15.
  • Maximum stay is six months.

English requirements

English Score Range Recommended Program
IELTS <6, TOEFL iBT < 60, TOEIC <550, OPI CEFR A1-B1 CESL's Intensive English Program
IELTS 6, TOEFL iBT 60, TOEIC 550, OPI CEFR B2 CESL's Teacher Training Program
IELTS 6.5, TOEFL iBT 80, TOEIC 785, OPI CEFR B2 Visiting Scholar


A score sheet from one of the following four tests indicating that the prospective exchange visitor has taken the test within the past two years and obtained at least the minimum score indicated. This list is exhaustive and each test was chosen specifically because it includes both a speaking and listening component.

Program Recommendations based on English Proficiency


A signed letter from an internationally recognized English language school affirming that they have assessed the prospective exchange visitor’s English language proficiency within the past two years at the equivalent of level B2 or higher on the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR). Further, the letter must indicate: (1) any and all accreditations possessed by the school; (2) the method of English language proficiency assessment; (3) the date of assessment; and (4) the dates the prospective exchange visitor attended courses at the school.


A score sheet completed by a UA CESL assessment specialist, dated within the past two years, indicating that the prospective exchange visitor possesses English language proficiency at the equivalent of level B2 or higher on the CEFR. For more information regarding UA CESL’s Skype assessment, please visit https://ceslapp.arizona.edu/admissions/vscholars/ or email Dr. Eddy White at ewhite3@email.arizona.edu.

IFS has adopted CESL’s Skype assessment as our only accepted form of documented interview because it meets each of the DOS requirements regarding measurement of English language proficiency. Namely, it is standardized, which negates any appearance of impropriety in the event of a DOS audit of our institutional policy, and it is documented via score sheet based on the CEFR – a recognized set of guidelines measuring language proficiency.


A diploma (bachelor’s degree or higher) issued within the past two years by an academic institution in an English-speaking country that utilizes English language instruction. In addition to submitting the diploma, verification that the institution utilizes English language instruction must also be submitted. Verification of English language instruction could take on many forms, including but not limited to a printout of the institution’s website or signed documentation from an official at the institution, but personal attestations from prospective exchange visitors and parties not affiliated with the institution will not be accepted as verification. Please note that we do not accept graduation from an English-speaking institution alone

Initial Inquiry Form

Before completing a full application, please complete this initial inquiry form available here.


After completing the initial inquiry form (above) and receiving a response from CESL, please follow these steps. To apply to be a visiting scholar at CESL, please submit the following documents by the deadline above to cesl@email.arizona.edu. Your application will be reviewed upon receipt of all documentation.

  • Application
  • an updated CV
  • a proposal for research, (please follow our research protocol in creating your proposal)
  • 2 professional letters of recommendation
  • an original letter of financial support from the home institution or sponsor for all expenses during your stay in Tucson
  • documentation supporting English proficiency as outlined by the Office of International Faculty and Scholars (no more than 2 years old)
  • a letter of guarantee of employment upon return to the home institution, and
  • a cover letter explaining why CESL seems to be the best location for conducting research

More information about J-1 Exchange Visitor requirements

Please see the most current information on the website of the Office of International Faculty and Scholars

  • Conditions of Visitor Program
  • Fees associated with DS-2019 request
  • DS-2019 Request Form
  • Health Insurance information for J-1 Exchange Visitors
  • UA Scholars information
  • UA Health Insurance Information
  • MMR Vaccination (required to enroll in any CESL programs) - Click here for more information.

Oral Proficiency Interview

Effective January 5, 2015, the Department of State (DOS) now mandates that J-­1 exchange visitors possess sufficient English language proficiency, as determined by an objective measurement.

Please click here for more information

Previous Visiting Scholars

Jongmin Jeon, Korea Air Force Academy, Fall, 2012

Dr. Jeon came to CESL to research options for the continuing development of the English-language curriculum at the Korea Air Force Academy. As a result of his research Dr. Jeon came to the following conclusions. First, all students should be required to reach at least a B1 level of English (according to the Common European Framework). In addition, students should follow a curriculum of 2 written communication classes and 4 oral communication classes. The teaching should be based on student proficiency levels and their performance should be assessed relative to learning outcomes. Finally, CESL’s Independent Reading Program served as a model for a reading program that will give students exposure to language outside the classroom.

"All in all, studying at CESL is really fun."