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What Is the J-Hold?

Instituted by the Graduate School, the J-hold is placed on certain graduate students’ records and requires them to go through English screening before they can register for classes. It ensures that all graduate students have sufficient English proficiency to be successful at UT.

Note: The J-hold English screening is different from the ITA English certification.

How Do International Students Know if They Have a J-Hold?

Students can check whether they have a J-hold on their Registration Information Sheet or in the "Important Info" section of MyUT.

Why Are Certain Students Given a J-Hold?

There are two reasons for a J-hold to be placed on a student record. The first one is the automatic J-hold. It is placed on anyone with an iBT TOEFL speaking and/or writing score below 22. For students with IELTS scores, the hold is placed on anyone with a speaking and/or writing score below 6.5. Students who do not submit English language test scores at the time of admission are also given a J-hold.

The second reason is if the student’s department requests that the English Language Center place a J-hold on a particular student.

How Is the J-Hold Removed?

In order to clear a J-hold, students must go through an English language skills screening, which is done by English Language Center faculty. This screening is done at Texas Global soon after international student check in.

For Summer 2023, we will offer Zoom screenings by appointment May 25-26. Click to schedule an appointment.

For Fall 2023, we will offer Zoom screenings by appointment July 6-7, August 9-11, and August 16-18.

Click to schedule a July appointment

Click to schedule an August appointment.

The screening consists of a 30-minute essay and a 15-minute oral interview. After the screening is done, the results are discussed with the students and they are informed whether there is a requirement for further coursework in English. If English classes are required, then information on those classes is provided to the students, and a copy of the course requirement is sent to the students' departments.

Once the students have gone through the screening, the J-hold is removed or waived. If requirements for additional English coursework are not fulfilled, the hold appears again for the following semester. Coursework requirements must be fulfilled within the first year of graduate study. There is an $80 fee for re-screenings; students are limited to one re-screening.

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