Intensive English Program Admission Requirements

We are looking forward to welcoming you into the St. Mary’s University Intensive English Program (IEP). To be considered for acceptance, applicants must:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • Be a high school graduate
  • Have a minimum TOEFLT iBT score of 19-29, or IELTS 2.5
  • Be able to: understand what teachers say, participate actively in class, and talk about yourself

All students take a placement test during Orientation Week. Students are placed in the level correct for their current English language proficiency.

Visa Requirements

All international students and their dependents must obtain the appropriate immigration documents required to enter the U.S. prior to beginning the Intensive English Program.

  • In order for a new international participant to receive a U.S. visa to study in the IEP program, the applicant must:

    • Be accepted into the program
    • Provide the necessary financial documentation
    • Complete the I-20/DS-2019 Request Packet

    Applicants who meet all requirements will be issued either an I-20 (F visa) or a DS-2019 (J visa). This documentation will be used by an international participant to apply for F-1 or J-1 status visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

    Note: If an international participant wants to bring a spouse or dependents, additional financial support must be demonstrated for the issuance of the F2/J2 dependent I-20/DS-2019 form. Add $1,167 for your spouse and $1,000 for each dependent child for each 12-week term of study.

    Contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for help with all visa-related questions and paperwork.

Application Checklist

  • To apply to the IEP, applications must do the following:

    • Keep track of your user name and your password. You will need them to upload important documents to our secure portal.
    • Complete an online application.
    • Once you have been accepted, you will need to request an I-20 or DS-2019 depending on your program. The I-20 or DS-2019 request form will be sent to you in the secure portal after you have received the acceptance letter from the IEP program (for new international participants only). This is done in the portal.
    • Complete the IEP transfer form (transfer participants only).
    • Provide evidence of current health insurance coverage (health insurance must meet specific requirements or students will be automatically enrolled in St. Mary’s University health insurance). You can request the forms by emailing
    • Answer all questions of essay prompt in a word document and upload.
    • Provide evidence of current Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccine and current Tuberculosis (TB) screening.
    • Upload your Financial Guarantee forms.
    • Submit all paperwork before the application deadline.

    Visit the International Student and Scholar Services pages for more helpful information.

Once the application form has been completed, you should receive an acceptance letter within 5 to 7 days. The acceptance letter includes instructions regarding submitting additional information in order to process your I-20 form.

To start the application process, we recommend you begin preparing:

  • A copy of your passport to upload to your profile
  • Any financial documentation you will be uploading to your profile

If you are planning on bringing any dependents (spouse and/or children), please prepare:

  • Copies of their passports
  • Marriage license/family card (spouse) and/or birth certificate (children)

Note: If you are currently living overseas and/or would like your I-20 form sent to an overseas address, we highly recommend using our eShipGlobal service. For students in some countries (e.g. Saudi Arabia), this is the only way we recommend for delivery. For more information about the eShipGlobal service, please refer to your acceptance letter.


For more information on the Intensive English Program, email

Back to top