Intensive English Program

Learn the English language and advance your studies at an American university with Wilkes University’s Intensive English Program.

Our Intensive English Program immerses international students in the study of the English language and American culture. Courses are designed to improve listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, preparing you to enroll at Wilkes University or another American university in as little as one semester of coursework.

Apply to Our Program  View Curriculum  Admissions Requirements

Why Wilkes?

Our Intensive English Program immerses international students in the study of the English language and American culture. Classes are small and provide personalized attention for all students. Content is taught using communicative and project based approaches, requiring students to work together to build the language and cultural skills needed for academic success.

Our IEP program has been recognized among the best in the United States. In addition to various accreditations, Wilkes is a member of UCIEP, the highest standards organization of intensive English programs. Of nearly 800 programs nationwide, Wilkes is among just 80 schools to receive such recognition.

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Accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation

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95%

of students successfully complete an undergraduate or graduate degree after our program.

12:1

student-faculty ratio

23

hours per week students spend immersed in the English language

Upcoming Semester Schedules

The Wilkes University Intensive English Program follows the university calendar. Students should plan to arrive on campus no more than three days before classes begin.

Fall and Spring sessions are structured as 15-week programs. Summer sessions are structured as 10-week programs.

  • Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 | Computer placement test
  • Monday, Aug. 30, 2021 | Writing and Speaking test
  • Thursday. Oct. 14 & Friday October 15, 2021 | Fall break
  • Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021 | Thanksgiving break begins
  • Monday, Nov. 29, 2021 | Classes resume
  • Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 | Last day of classes, Graduation
  • Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 | IEP computer placement test (administered remotely)
  • Monday, Jan, 18, 2022 | Writing and Speaking Test (administered remotely)
  • Saturday, March 5, 2022 Spring Break begins
  • Monday, March 14, 2022 Classes resume
    • Monday, March 14, 2022 | Mid-semester start date
  • Thursday, April 14, 2022 | Easter Break begins
  • Monday, April 18, 2022 | Classes resume
  • Wednesday, May 4, 2022 | Classes end, Graduation
  • Friday, June 10, 2022 | IEP Computer placement test
  • Monday, June 13, 2022 | Classes begin
  • Monday, July 18, 2022 | Mid-semester start date
  • Friday, Aug. 19, 2022 | Classes end, Graduation
  • Friday, Aug. 26, 2022 | Computer placement test
  • Monday, Aug. 29, 2022 | Writing and Speaking test\
  • Monday, Sep. 5, 2022 | Labor Day, no classes
  • Thursday, Oct. 13 & Friday. Oct. 14, 2022 | Fall break
  • Monday, Oct. 17, 2022 | Mid-semester start date
  • Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022 | Thanksgiving break begins
  • Monday, Nov. 28, 2022 | Classes resume
  • Friday, Dec. 9, 2022 | Last day of classes, Graduation
  • Friday, Jan. 14, 2023 | IEP computer placement test (administered remotely)
  • Monday, Jan., 17, 2023 | Writing and Speaking Test (administered remotely)
  • Saturday, March 4, 2023 | Spring Break begins
  • Monday, March 13, 2023 | Classes resume
  • Monday, March 13, 2023 | Mid semester start date
  • Thursday, April 6, 2023 |Easter Break begins
  • Monday, April 10, 2023 | Classes resume
  • Friday, May 3, 2023 | Classes end, Graduation

What I appreciate most about this program has been our teachers. Since the first day we arrived, they were always interested and willing to help us improve our English. All of our teachers have helped each one of us and we carry in our hearts a great memory of each one of you.

Hector Lange Aparicio | Biochemistry '25, IEP Program '21

The teachers are wonderful. When I came here, I wondered if I would miss my family. But when I see the teachers and meet with them during office hours, they help me with any difficulties. They are like my second family.

Raad Alosaimi | IEP Program Student

The English Language Center will always have a place in my heart...You will find a top-quality academic program taught by expert instructors who are passionate about helping students learn English.

Khadija Albardweel | Nursing '26, IEP Program '21

What Sets Us Apart

Wilkes University gateway on campus

Personalized Approach

Personalized Approach

We will assess your English proficiency and develop a learning plan personalized to your needs. Small classes allow you to fully participate in the program while receiving the mentoring and personal attention that Wilkes is known for. Coursework is combined with collaborative projects and experiential activities that develop in-depth cultural awareness while you advance your knowledge of the English language.

International Wilkes students on whitewater rafting trip

Immersive Experiences

Immersive Experiences

You will live and study among American students on a campus that is small, safe and filled with exceptional opportunity. Students work closely together to enjoy learning activities held inside and outside of the classroom. Experiential trips include white water rafting excursions, hiking adventures, or day trips to Philadelphia or New York City, located just two hours away.

Students on campus

A Program at Your Pace

A Program at Your Pace

Based on proficiency, the program can be completed anywhere from one semester (about 13 weeks) to one year. We offer start dates in the spring, summer or fall, allowing you to take classes year-round.

Program Roadmap

IEP Classes are divided into six levels:

  • Level 1: Beginner
  • Level 2: Low Beginner
  • Level 3: Intermediate
  • Level 4: High Intermediate
  • Level 5: Advanced
  • Level 6: High Advanced

Students advance one level each semester.

All students are required to take reading, writing, listening/speaking, grammar and computer lab.

Other courses offered at certain levels include conversation skills, vocabulary and IELTS or TOEFL test prep. Students enjoy small classes and individual attention from certified ESL instructors.

Required Courses

Reading

The intensive reading curriculum is divided into six levels: beginner, high beginner, intermediate, high intermediate, advanced, and high advanced. At the beginning levels, students develop their ability to read and write words, phrases, and sentences. They also learn basic skills and strategies designed to improve decoding, vocabulary acquisition, and reading comprehension. The intermediate levels build upon these skills and focus more on developing literal comprehension, fluency, vocabulary development, and critical thinking skills. At the advanced levels, students become proficient in the skills required for academic studies with a continued emphasis on vocabulary development and analytical comprehension. Literature and critical analysis of readings also serve as sources for refining and expanding students’ critical and academic reading skills.

Writing

Students undergo intensive courses in writing. Throughout the six levels, the focus remains on the academic language skills needed for entrance into English 101 and for university studies. The courses focus on academic writing, beginning at the sentence level in level one and expanding to the writing of expository and argumentative essays, summaries of academic readings and current events, critical analysis of readings in literature, research and documentation in the advanced levels.

Listening and Speaking

The intensive reading curriculum is divided into six levels: beginner, high beginner, intermediate, high intermediate, advanced, and high advanced. At the beginning levels, students develop their ability to read and write words, phrases, and sentences. They also learn basic skills and strategies designed to improve decoding, vocabulary acquisition, and reading comprehension. The intermediate levels build upon these skills and focus more on developing literal comprehension, fluency, vocabulary development, and critical thinking skills. At the advanced levels, students become proficient in the skills required for academic studies with a continued emphasis on vocabulary development and analytical comprehension. Literature and critical analysis of readings also serve as sources for refining and expanding students’ critical and academic reading skills.

Grammar

These courses provide students with a thorough and systematic review of grammatical structures and their use in authentic language situations. The emphasis in the beginning and intermediate levels is on the basic mechanics of the language and the correct formation of complete sentences. This is taught primarily via a communicative approach. The beginner level uses a multimedia program and a variety of interactive tools to engage students in learning. Intermediate levels use a variety of pair and group work, media clips, and exercises to learn and reinforce grammar rules through oral and written language production. Advanced levels focus more on the structures necessary for academic English writing and speaking, including more complex sentence and verb structures. The objectives for these classes are needs-based and are driven by the grammar errors common among our student population.

Computer Lab

Level 1-3 Students

An instructor will work with students in the language lab, using language learning software to improve skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Level 4-6 Students

Students will use TOEFL iBT or IELTS test preparation software independently, though externally monitored by the course instructor, to help improve skill areas and success on the exams.

Additional Courses

Vocabulary (Level 1-5 Students)

Students will take academic vocabulary courses. All classes focus on the University Word List (UWL) and utilize tasks to assist students in acquisition of these words. A skills based approach is utilized to learn vocabulary while reading, writing, listening and speaking.

IELTS/TOEFL Prep (Level 3+ Students)

We offer IELTS and TOEFL iBT preparation depending on student needs. These classes are offered in Monday-Wednesday and Tuesday-Thursday blocks.

A student will successfully graduate from the program after meeting all of the following requirements.

Completion Requirements

  1. All full-time students in the IEP must take the official TOEFL iBT or IELTS test in order to obtain a certificate of completion and graduate. Undergraduate students must achieve a 60 on the TOEFL iBT or a 5.5 on the IELTS in order to exit the intensive English language program. Graduate students can exit the IEP when they achieve a 6.0 on the IELTS or a 79 on the iBT.
  2. Undergraduate students must complete Level 5 with a combined GPA and level test score of 75% to graduate. Graduate students must complete Level 6 with a combined GPA and level test score of 75% to graduate.
  3. Students must receive final approval from the director stating that these requirements have been successfully met.
    Please note: If a student’s official IELTS/TOEFL score cannot be verified, the program director cannot issue a certificate of completion to the student or allow him/her to walk in the graduation ceremony.

Graduation

All eligible level five students will participate in the IEP Graduation ceremony. However, official completion certificates will be available to students only after TOEFL iBT or IELTS scores have been received. Students must bring their official score reports to the Assistant Director’s office to receive their official graduation certificate. Students will not be admitted to Wilkes University without this Certificate.

Additional English Language Center Program

CEA Information

Standards & Policies

CEA Standards & Policies can be reviewed below.

Review CEA Standards & Policies (.pdf)

Complaints

A program or institution that is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation must continue to meet the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions throughout its period of accreditation. To ensure such compliance, CEA provides the public the opportunity to report any evidence that the standards are not being met.

CEA Complaint Policy