Academic Transitions: Placement and duration



AT Placement and program duration

For the Academic Transitions program (AT), students may submit a TOEFL or IELTS score to know their placement before coming to Delaware. Or, they may take a placement test when they arrive.

Students may be placed in Pre-AT, AT1 or AT2. Placement can help determine how long a student will study in the AT program before they can matriculate to the University of Delaware.

Learn more about the requirements to matriculate to UD >

Initial placement

Students who wish to join AT must have advanced English skills in order to be eligible for the program.

To determine placement, we accept official test scores from any of the tests listed below. We strongly recommend that all students submit a recent, official test score to us.

Although these scores are not required for you to be conditionally admitted to UD, giving these scores to the ELI will help you to know your placement level before you come to Delaware.

If you submit an exam score before coming to the ELI, you will be placed according to this chart:

Exam Direct Admission AT2 AT1 Pre-AT
TOEFL 79+ 72-78 65-71 0-64
IELTS 6.5 6.0 5.5 0-5.0
National Gaokao English 125+ 105-124 104 and below
South Korean CSAT 1 2 3
Duolingo English Test (DET) 110+ 95-109 94 and below
EIKEN Grade 1 Pass or Pre-1 Pass (CEFR C1 or CEFR B2) Grade 2 Pass (CEFR B1)
PTE Academic
53 52 or below


  • Only official scores will be accepted.
  • Scores cannot be older than 12 months.
  • You may not change your placement or admissions status by submitting a score after the beginning of your program.

You will still be required to take the ELI entrance assessment when you arrive in Delaware or online before the semester begins.

For students submitting the Gaokao or South Korea CSAT, Duolingo or EIKEN, the entrance assessment will determine your level placement within AT.

For students submitting the TOEFL or IELTS, the entrance assessment will not change your placement; we use this test to determine whether you may need extra support with specific English skills.

Students who do not submit test scores will be placed according to the ELI entrance assessment.


The amount of time that students will spend at the ELI depends on their English level when they arrive.

According to the placement information above, students will begin one of the following programs when they arrive in Delaware: AT or Pre-AT.

The table below shows the amount of time that it takes to study in each of these programs.

Program placement Duration of each program
AT2: Second-semester AT
High-advanced students
Learn more
4 months
AT1: First-semester AT
Advanced students
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Option #1: 8 months
(earn up to 16 credits)
Option #2: 12 months
(earn up to 28 credits)
Beginner to High-intermediate students
Learn more
Add 2 months per level
Pre-AT through AT3 level chart

Important things to know

  • Students are expected to complete AT1 + AT2 in 8 months; however, AT students who begin in AT2 can complete the program in as little as 4 months.
  • Some students need more time in a particular level or program than others. The amount of time that students need in a specific level of program depends on how often they practice, how hard they study and how much they participate in the ELI programming.
  • We offer many free resources to help students to succeed. Please contact the AT academic advisor at for more information.

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