Howard University
Graduate School
English Proficiency Examination
Gwendolyn S. Bethea, Ph.D.
Director, Communications and
Expository Writing Program
What is the the English Proficiency
Examination (EPE)?
Measures writing skills
General use of grammar, including
topic development, paragraph and
sentence structure, punctuation
Mandated by the Board of Trustees
Is one of the prerequisites for Candidacy for
Master’s and Doctoral Degree
Should be taken in the beginning of the
graduate program
What is EPE? (continued)
Consists of a 500-word essay on a
topic of choice from a list provided by
the Program for Academic Support
Services Office (PASS)
Current events, topics of general interest,
How is EPE Administered?
Taken on Computer
Special arrangements can be made for
exempt students who prefer to write
their exams
Who Must Take EPE?
All students admitted to the Graduate
School, including
Speakers of English as a Second
Special provisions provided for
students with special needs (please
call the PASS office: 806-7277)
Is Registration Required for EPE?
Registration is required online:
Only registered students can take the
How is the Exam Graded?
Graded by at least two External Reviewers
with Writing and Grammar Expertise
A score of 5 or better is a passing score. You
will receive a Certificate of Compliance
A score of 4 up to 4.9 requires a meeting with
the Program Director or Writing Lab
Assistant; if necessary, an online tutorial;
then you will receive your certificate
A score of below 4: You must take the OneCredit Academic Communication Course to
improve writing skills
Who is Exempt?
Scorers of 5 or above on the GRE
Writing Examination are exempt
Documentation is required
A certificate of compliance with the
Writing Requirement will be issued by
PASS office
Academic Communication
If you fail the examination, you must
take the Academic Communication
Focuses on mechanics of writing
Grammar, spelling, and punctuation
Content and development of writing (thesis development,
paragraph structure, and organization
Taken in the School of Education
(Academic Support Building); other locations as necessary
When and Where is EPE
Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters
Howard University Founders Library
Main Campus
Digital Classroom, First Floor, Room
Some Common Writing Errors
Including the following areas:
 Writing Clarity
 Paragraph Development
(Introductory sentences, logical flow,
transitional phrases, summaries,
 Subject/verb agreement
 Punctuation, i.e., commas versus
semicolons, colons, etc.
Can One Prepare for EPE?
Graduate School Study Guide
Purdue Online Writing Lab
Common Errors in English Usage by Paul Brians
The English Chick
Writing an APA Style Paper
For More Information
Visit the Program for Academic Support
Services website:
[email protected]

Howard University Graduate School English Proficiency Examination