International Scholars Program

International Scholars Program

The Pitzer International Scholars Program (ISP) helps speakers of other languages develop the sophisticated level of English needed to actively participate in the challenging liberal arts education at Pitzer and The Claremont Colleges. The program also provides ongoing support to students as they move into increasingly demanding courses across the college curriculum.

ISP classes are specifically designed for international students who are at an advanced academic level, and are not remedial courses. They address the expectations of U.S. college professors, and build confidence and skills in analytical and critical thinking, oral participation, knowledge of U.S. history and culture, and sophisticated levels of writing and speaking.

ISP also provides time and support for students transitioning to an American college system through small class sizes and extensive feedback on assignments. The program also features intensive academic advising to enhance student success. IScholars participate fully in the residential college experience, enjoying campus activities, sports teams, field trips and clubs.

“The International Scholars Program is one of the best programs at Pitzer. It helped me improve my communication skills in both speaking and writing. I am able to freely express myself in front of a big audience and logically organize my arguments during a debate, and I write better essays and longer papers in my advanced courses. I would not hesitate to recommend this program to all international students.”

-Justin (Democratic Republic of Congo) ’20
Pitzer IGLAS Fellow promoting intercultural
understanding and social responsibility


International Scholars come from all over the world, including the following countries and territories:

  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • China
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Nepal
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay
  • Vietnam

International Scholars

  • Receive full admission to Pitzer, with no additional English tests or courses required prior to beginning credit bearing courses.
  • Can graduate in 4 years and study abroad without having to take additional or summer school courses.
  • Receive full-credit for all ISP courses and fulfill Pitzer graduation requirements.
  • Enroll in additional Pitzer courses outside the ISP course sequence.
  • Can complete majors and minors, double-major and/or graduate early, and have graduated with honors and been admitted to graduate and medical schools.

IScholar Yijie Wang '18

“I really appreciate all of the assistance and support that the International Scholars Program gave me from the moment I committed to Pitzer. ISP really paved the way and built my confidence for the rest of my academic experiences at Pitzer.”

Yijie Wang ’18 (China)
Graduated cum laude in Political Studies in 3 years

ISP Admission Requirements

International students who demonstrate advanced proficiency in English (6.5-7 IELTS or 70-100 TOEFL IBT) are eligible for full admission to Pitzer College through the International Scholars Program.

Graduation from Pitzer

To graduate from Pitzer, IScholars must complete 32 course credits (128 semester units), including four International Scholars Program specific courses.

Course Sequence

International Scholars Program courses are offered through the Modern Languages, Literature and Culture (MLLC) field group (department).

Fall Semester

  • MLLC 111: Public Speaking (1 course credit) Through readings, lectures, films and field study in the social sciences, students will explore contemporary global issues as the content base for developing proficiency in American academic speech behavior. Skills emphasized will include making formal presentations, leading and participating in discussions and sustaining narration on a range of topics.
  • MLLC 122: Critical Analysis Through Literature (1 course credit) Short stories, essays and novels exploring a range of American experiences will provide a basis for students to develop an understanding of the social, political, historical and philosophical thought that informs this literature and the language needed to express an analysis of these works.
  • First Year Seminar: Written Analysis (1 course credit) This course serves as the writing-intensive First-Year Seminar for International Scholars students. Discussions, readings and writing assignments are focused on the seminar theme. Students will write frequent essays and a research paper that demonstrate control of the most important conventions of American academic discourse.
  • Student Choice from Pitzer Course Listing (1 course credit)

Spring Semester

  • MLLC 144: Advanced Speech and Rhetoric: Argument and Debate (1 course credit) Students will critique and present arguments in formal spoken English through debates, discussions and extemporaneous talks centered around contemporary issues. Models of argumentation will be analyzed.
  • MLLC 155: Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum: Integrated Analysis (1 course credit) Further development in expository writing and oral expression of critical thinking through projects related to the content of a Pitzer companion course. Students must enroll concurrently in the companion course designated by the program.
  • Companion Course to MLLC 155 (1 course credit)
  • Student Choice from Pitzer Course Listing (1 course credit)

“The International Scholars Program supported me through all the challenges of my first academic year in an American college. The program created a friendly and safe space that encouraged me to explore and adapt to a new and different culture. Small class sizes give students the opportunity to articulate their thoughts freely, and my classmates and I created some deep connections after going through the year together. Lots of assistance is given by kind and welcoming professors and staff members. I feel supported, and lucky to be in this program.”

-Simon Liaowongphuthorn (Thailand), ’21
Intern with Keck Science Center doing biology research in Costa Rica

Read more International Scholar Profiles

Leah Herman
Leah Herman, Academic Director

[email protected]

Todd SasakiTodd Sasaki
Director of International Programs

[email protected]

The Pitzer International Scholars Program
Pitzer College
1050 North Mills Avenue
Claremont, California 91711
Telephone: 909.621.8308
Email: [email protected]