University Preparatory Program

The University Preparatory Program teaches you English and so much more. You’ll develop the skills that will equip you to succeed in U.S. university study—and in life.

The one-semester University Preparatory Program provides international students with the necessary skills and strategies needed to effectively transition and succeed in college. Earn up to 15 credits towards an undergraduate degree and refine your language and academic skills, all while fostering the appreciation of educational growth and diversity necessary to succeed at an American university.

Apply to the University Preparatory Program

Program Snapshot

Credit Hours Length Format
12-15 10 or 15 weeks Online or On Campus

Why Wilkes?

The University Preparatory Program will teach you more than just English. We will inspire and empower you as you adjust to the American academic environment. You will be taught by professors who bring valuable, real-world knowledge to learning. Small classes allow you ample opportunities to practice your skills and build your confidence.

You may join this program on campus as part of the traditional academic path or choose the online option to save money on living expenses while still having access to our excellent faculty, resources and coursework.

Program Roadmap

  • Attend the 15-week fall and spring or 10 week summer program.
  • Earn 12 credits toward your bachelor’s degree.
  • Learn the English language and advance your written and oral communication skills.
  • Prepare for American university study, including critical thinking, writing and study skills.
  • Immerse yourself in the culture of an American university.

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Admissions and Program Structure

The English proficiency scores for admission to the University Preparatory Program require one of the following:

In addition to the above, international students must meet all relevant criteria outline in our admissions requirements.

Review the International Admissions Requirements

The coursework is comprised of 3 ESL courses:

  • ESL 100, Reading and Writing, focuses on the connection between critical thinking and academic reading and writing skills necessary to analyze academic texts and produce collegiate level compositions.
  • ESL 102, Listening and Speaking, is a cohesive, integrated, and structured approach, to developing and expanding upon key listening and speaking skills.
  • ESL 103 | Test Prep, serves as an integrated and structured approach to providing and expanding upon critical test preparation strategies and study skills

In addition to the above, students in the on campus program will take FYF 101, First-Year Foundations, a rigorous learning experiences that challenge first-year students to develop the strategies essential for a successful transition into the Wilkes campus community.

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Upon completion of the University Preparatory Program, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking and analysis in written and oral communication.
  • Demonstrate understanding of academic vocabulary and content.
  • Produce advanced grammatical structures in spoken and written academic discourse.
  • Demonstrate ability to properly format academic writing.
  • Effectively analyze, paraphrase and synthesize information.
  • Formulate ideas, proposals, solutions or arguments, independently and collaboratively.

Please visit our international tuition and scholarships page for on program tuition and potential scholarship opportunities.

International Tuition and Scholarships

A Holistic Approach

Our program's unique curriculum addresses five key dimensions to meet your needs.


Participate in our accredited and nationally-recognized Intensive English Program at Wilkes, reinforced by weekly tutorial sessions.


Take courses for credit based on your field of study.


Experiences such as seminars, workshops and trips will prepare you for everyday life in the United States, including personal finance, etiquette, leadership and diversity.


Develop social skills by engaging with conversational student partners and engaging in campus events, community service and activities based in athletics, faith, art and other personal interests.

Health Support

Wilkes University’s Health and Wellness Program will offer you aid in stress management, psychological support and other areas concerned with your wellbeing

The University Preparatory Program helped me to be an outstanding student in all subjects, and prepared me for the challenges of university work. The University Preparatory Program also helped me to take steps to tackle difficult subjects, learn study skills and become a better student before my university classes began.

Maria Valasquez Nunez, Panama

I am very happy that I had the chance to take University Preparatory Program classes with the consideration and helpfulness of the wonderful professors who supported me. They gave me a lot of good advice to prepare for going to university. They were always available to spend time to listen and help me, as well as my friends, if we had difficulties.

Tram Thi Thao Vo, Vietnam

Instead of going to university with five or six subjects for the first time, in the University Preparatory Program I took two college subjects that helped me adapt to the new transition. Moreover, professors are very supportive, and they teach the content of their classes but also help you in other subjects and explain in detail things that you could misunderstand or not get.

Arlyn Rivera Rios, Panama