The Intensive English Program (IEP) at St. Mary’s University is designed to provide international participants and other interested people the English language training necessary to learn English in order to prepare them to communicate in an academic and/or professional setting.

In addition to offering quality general English language instruction, St. Mary’s University’s Pathway Program provides prospective participants who do not meet English language requirements for admission to St. Mary’s University an opportunity to develop the level of proficiency needed to study at the post-secondary or graduate levels. Finally, for family members of our international students, the IEP provides an opportunity to develop English language skills during their time in San Antonio.

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 Overview

The Intensive English Program at St. Mary’s has five levels: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, and Level 5. Each level has 18 to 20 hours of coursework. Our instructors offer four types of courses: Listening and Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Grammar. The program is rigorous. All students are expected to spend at least 8-12 hours studying outside of class per week for homework.

Level 5 instructors offer Advanced English Skills, Academic Writing, and Academic Reading. The program is rigorous. All students are expected to spend at least 8-12 hours per week for homework.

Before classes begin, the IEP staff will test students to determine which level best fits their needs. A Certificate of Completion and a Letter of Completion will be awarded to students who successfully complete Level 5 or the ATP Program. These certificates and letters are awarded to students who have successfully completed Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, and Grammar for Levels 1 – 4, and Academic Writing, Academic Reading, and Advanced English Skills for Level 5. ATP students must  complete all IEP courses as well as their St. Mary’s University Course that they have taken for that semester.

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.

Pathway Program

St. Mary’s University offers students who meet all University admission requirements, except for the English proficiency requirement (TOEFL 79/IELTS 6.0 or higher), a pathway to admission to select graduate programs.

The Pathway Program is not equal to a conditional acceptance to an academic program but waives the language requirement upon completing the Intensive English Program University Preparation Level courses successfully.

For more information regarding our Pathway Program, please contact

Important Dates

SessionApplication DeadlinePlacement Testing and OrientationFirst Day of Class and Tuition DueLast Day of ClassIEP Final / Exit ProgramNo Class
Fall 2020Monday, July 20M-F, Aug. 10-14Monday, Aug. 17Friday, Nov. 20M-F, Nov. 16-20Labor Day (Sept. 7)
Spring 2021Monday, Nov. 2M-F, Jan. 11-15Tuesday, Jan. 19Friday, May 7M-F, May 3-7Spring Break (March 15-19)
Summer 2021Monday, April 5M-F, May 17-21Monday, May 24Friday, July 9M-F, July 5-9TBA
*Dates are subject to change at any time. *Placement testing and orientation is required of all students.* Application deadlines are for students who need an F-1 visa. Students already in the U.S. who have an eligible visa to enroll in the program (e.g., F-1 transfer students, permanent residents, F-2, A-2, L-2) must apply no later than a week ahead of each session’s orientation date.

Program Costs

Tuition and Student Service FeesFall 2020Fall 2020/Spring 2021Summer 2021
4 Courses (continuing students)$5,280$10,560$2,810
3 Courses (continuing students)$4,075$8,150$2,160
2 Courses (continuing students)$2,645$5,290$1,400
1 Course (continuing students)$1,440$2,880$758
4 Courses (new students)$5,290$10,570$2,810
3 Courses (new students)$4,085$8,160$2,170
2 Courses (new students)$2,655$5,300$1,410
1 Course (new students)$1,450$2,890$770
 Mandatory Student Health Insurance 
Fall 2020Fall 2020/Spring 2021Summer 2021


  • Total tuition and fees are for each semester
  • Costs for ROOM and BOARD are not included
  • Health insurance is mandatory
  • Tuition and fees can change without notice

Financial Requirements to Issue an I-20 for F1 VISA for Intensive English Program

Tuition and fees for academic year$10,560
Living expenses for academic year$12,890

Tuition covers:

  • IEP application, orientation, placement test and welcome social
  • 18-20 hours of class per week
  • All textbooks and materials
  • Academic advising
  • Bi-weekly conversation club activities
  • Monthly cultural excursions
  • IEP exit exam

Fees cover:

  • Student ID
  • Information fee
  • Library access
  • Recreation center access
  • Access to campus facilities
Tuition and Fees Breakdown

Payment Information

  • All tuition and fees are due by the first day of class.
  • Payments can be made by credit card, e-check, check, cash or money transfer at the Business Office or via Gateway.
  • A late fee will be added to accounts not paid in full by the deadline.
  • Installment payments may be arranged once requested and approved.

Refund Policy

*If a student is in the United States on an F-1 student visa, they must be enrolled full time to keep their legal status with immigration. Tuition refunds will be prorated from the date an official notice of class withdrawal is submitted by the student via email or in person to the Intensive English Program office.

IEP Refund Schedule for Fall and Spring Terms*
Time of WithdrawalRefund Amount
Before the first day of class100 percent
On or before the end of the first week of class90 percent
On or before the end of the second week of class80 percent
On or before the end of the third week of class70 percent
After the end of the third week of classNo refunds
Refund Schedule
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