Applied English Center

The mission of the Applied English Center is to help students whose first language is not English to make a smooth transition to regular, full-time coursework at the University of Kansas. All incoming students whose native language is not English are required to take the AEC Proficiency Test upon arrival on campus. Based upon the results of your exam, you may be required to take coursework at the Applied English Center to help improve your command of English.

The length of time you study at the AEC depends upon your level of English when you arrive, the speed at which you learn, and your willingness to study hard. Some students take only one or two AEC courses and move into regular KU classes after one semester. Other students spend one or two semesters as full-time AEC students (three English classes a day), and then two or more semesters as a part-time AEC students (one or two English classes a day). Your completion of work in the AEC is based upon achieving a certain level of proficiency in English, not in completing a certain number of courses.

Repeating Levels

Successful students should make good progress every semester. Most students will move from one level to the next higher level in each skill area after each semester of study. Students whose end-of-semester grades, instructor recommendations, and proficiency exam scores do not place them in the next higher level may repeat a level once. After a second term in the same level, a student must pass to the next level in order to continue to study at the Applied English Center.

Final Proficiency Examination

At the end of each semester, you must take the Final Proficiency Examination. You will receive a grade of satisfactory or unsatisfactory for this exam, which will appear on your transcript. Your score on the Final Proficiency Exam, along with your instructors' recommendations (which include your classwork and attendance), determine your placement in AEC classes. We also use this exam to certify to the university when your English is proficient enough for full-time KU coursework, provided you have been admitted to the university. See the Proficiency Scale and Description.


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).