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. The assessment generally is not required if the student has one of the following recent standardized test scores:

  • 23 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 or the Cambridge English: Proficiency.

If the MITAA reveals that the employee’s language proficiency is inadequate, the employee will be required to take a course in oral English skills for international teaching assistants at their own expense.

Some UWM Schools or Departments may have higher requirements.

The assessment also might not be required for students who are graduates of an American university or college. For more information visit the website of the English Language Academy (ELA): or email: el-academy@uwm.edu.