English Proficiency for International Teaching Assistants

Unless they are exempt for the reasons described below, all non-native English-speaking TAs who will be assigned classroom duties as part of a graduate teaching assistantship are required to take the UWM International Teaching Assistant Assessment (MITAA) before or during orientation. Information on this test is available from the ELA office and from the Center for International Education. A Department representative must be available to participate in the assessment. There is no charge for the MITAA.

Note: There are two primary exceptions to the MITAA requirement for International Teaching Assistants.

  1. The assessment is generally not required for prospective ITAs who have graduated from an American college or university. 
  2. The assessment generally is not required for prospective ITAs with one of the standarized test scores below (taken wihin the last two years):
  • 24 or better on the Speaking section of the internet-Based TOEFL (iBT)
  • 7.0 or better on the Speaking section of the IELTS
  • 185 or better on the Speaking section of the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) or the Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)
  • 125 or better on the Conversation and Production sections of the Duolingo English Test 

Some UWM Schools or Departments may have higher requirements. 

If the MITAA reveals that the prosepective ITA’s language proficiency is inadequate, the y will be required to take a course in oral English skills (EAP 435) at their own expense.

For more information visit this website of the English Language Academy (ELA): or email: el-academy@uwm.edu.