About the Program

Our Mission

The Intensive English Program complements the St. Mary’s University mission by creating opportunities for improved communications between peoples from different societies and cultures. Communication is the cornerstone of understanding, and understanding is essential for leadership. The Intensive English Program supports international students by honing their oral and literate communication skills so that they will be successful in future academic and professional endeavors.

Program Description

The Intensive English Program at St. Mary’s has five levels: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, and University Preparation. Each level has 14 to 20 hours of coursework. Our instructors offer three types of courses:

  • listening and speaking
  • reading and writing
  • grammar

In addition, University Preparation courses may also offer the following: IELTS/TOEFL/GRE classes, academic presentation skills, and advanced academic writing. The program is rigorous. All students are expected to spend at least one hour per week doing homework for each class. Full-time students (F1 visa) are expected to attend all courses within their level. Part-time students (F2 visa) may select the courses that best meet their needs and interests.

Before classes begin, the IEP staff will assess students to determine which level best fits their needs. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to participants who successfully complete Level 4 and/or University Preparation.

Classes are small and personalized. Individual tutoring help is also available. For prospective students, the IEP curriculum prepares students for college-level programs; hence, the IEP is an option for those international students who do not have the required TOEFL/IELTS scores necessary for admission to St. Mary’s or other institutions of higher education where English is the primary language of instruction. Learn more about the Pathways Program for these students.