Register for a Required English Class

Strong language skills are important for any student to be successful at the University of Minnesota. We value multilingualism at the University and are committed to supporting students as they develop their skills throughout their time at UMN. 

Students who do not have an English proficiency test score that exempts them from taking an ESL course will have an AZ: ESL (English/Second Language) hold placed by the Office of Admissions and managed by the Minnesota English Language Program (MELP). Students with an AZ hold will be required to take a supportive English class during their first semester, in addition to their other academic courses.

If you have an AZ hold, you should follow these steps:

  1. You will receive an email from MELP with instructions on how to set up an online meeting with an advisor to discuss your AZ hold. It is very important that you meet with a MELP advisor before your college/program orientation; otherwise, the AZ hold will prevent your registration.
  2. Meet with a MELP advisor to learn about which required English class you need to take. The advisor will temporarily release your AZ hold so you can register.
  3. Register for the required English class and your other academic courses during orientation.
  4. Pass the required English class with a grade of C- or higher. At the end of the semester, a MELP advisor will permanently release your AZ hold if you pass the class.

Students also have the option of taking an English test called the MN Battery Test when they arrive on campus to meet the exempt English proficiency requirement. If you plan to take the MN Battery Test, you should arrive by the mandatory arrival date.

For information about minimum test scores and how to send your scores to UMN, visit Undergraduate Admissions or the Graduate School. For questions about your AZ hold, please contact [email protected].

Want to Enhance Your English?

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If you are interested in improving your English skills before beginning your academic classes, the Minnesota English Language Program offers an Intensive English Language Program during the summer.

MELP also offers American English courses during the school year for credit, including courses focused on grammar, pronunciation, reading & writing, and listening & speaking.

You can also go to to review self-study materials, practice quizzes, tips, videos, and links to provide English language practice with speaking, vocabulary, reading, American culture, and more!

To learn more, visit the MELP website or email [email protected].

Last updated: November 10, 2023