Global Foundations Program

Global Foundations Program

Beginning in Fall 2020, the English Language and Culture Institute (ELCI) will offer students a special Global Foundations Program that allows students to gain additional experience with Academic English while earning credit toward their desire undergraduate or graduate degree program.

All students in the program will take Integrated Skills in Academic English (ISAE), a class designed to bring all language skill areas together and simulate the academic experience in a typical American classroom. This class will be paired with a course in the SDSU curriculum – likely a general education course for undergraduate students and a research methods class for graduate students – that will provide pathway students the chance to apply their experiences in the ISAE class to assignments in a class that will earn them academic credit toward their degree program.

Program Admission Requirements

  • Students with a TOEFL score of 52 or an IELTS score of 5.0 (or equivalents in other testing programs) may be considered for admission to the Global Foundations Program. 
  • Students will also need to meet all additional requirements for undergraduate admission to SDSU to participate in the Global Foundations Program.
  • Upon completion of the program, students will be guaranteed admission into one of our undergraduate admission programs.
  • Students who do not meet the minimum English Proficiency Requirements are eligible for the Intensive English Program through the English Language and Culture Institute (ELCI).

Sample Global Foundations Program Schedule

  • ISAE – Integrated Skills in Academic English (180 hours)
  • MUS 100 Music Appreciation (3 credits)
  • First-class in student’s major field of study (3-4 credits)
  • Freshman Seminar in student’s major field of study (2 credits)

Successful Completion Qualifies as Proficiency

  • Students who earn a B grade or higher in the Global foundations ISAE class and academic course work will gain full admission to SDSU for degree students. Students will not need to re-take a standardized test of English language proficiency to progress to degree study.
  • By enrolling in the Global Foundations Program, students will set themselves up for academic success on the SDSU campus and in the university at large!
  • The Global Foundations Program will be available in August, January and May each academic year. Students who complete ELCI Level 2 programming will be eligible to join the program, and ELCI will review each applicant’s materials holistically (including an online interview) to determine acceptance into the program.

For more information, please contact the ELCI via email or 605-688-4122.


Online Option for Fall 2020 Students

International students who are not able to obtain a visa in time for an August 2020 start on campus will be able to participate in the Global Foundations Program online! Students completing the program online will be able to proceed to the student’s chosen degree program, provided that the student earns a grade of B or higher in ISAE and each of the global foundation programs. We are able to customize the program to each student’s needs and help advance their progress toward an SDSU degree! For more information, please contact the ELCI via email or 605-688-4122.

Fall 2020

  • International Student Orientation on campus: more information to come
  • The semester begins on August 19, 2020.

Spring 2021

  • International Student Orientation on campus: more information to come. 
  • The semester begins on January 11, 2021.