Intensive English Program

The University of Mississippi – Office of Global Engagement

Semester Program

During the Fall and Spring semesters, the Intensive English Program (IEP) offers four levels of intensive English language instruction:

  1. Beginning
  2. Intermediate
  3. Advanced
  4. Advanced Plus

Each level of instruction is designed to be completed in one semester and consists of courses in four core skill areas as well as content-based courses that have been designed to meet student needs. Students at each level of instruction (except for Advanced Plus) are required to take courses in Speaking & Listening, Reading, Writing, and Grammar, as well as two to three content courses. Content-based courses include, for example, courses in American Culture, Conversation, and Pronunciation. Students at the Advanced Plus level take six courses designed to introduce them to academic work in American universities, including English for Academic Purposes, English in the Sciences, Business English, and Literature Written in English. All courses incorporate modern technologies that assist in language learning, and students have opportunities to work in a dedicated computer lab for ESL students.

Progression from one level to the next level is accomplished by fulfilling all curricular requirements and earning a minimum letter grade of C (average of all courses at that level). Students may attempt a level no more than three times.

For each course taken, students receive a letter grade determined by the UM standard grading system.

Depending on their course schedules, IEP students receive between 12 and 21 hours of UM credit for the successful completion of courses.


English Placement Test

During orientation, all IEP students will complete a series of assessments that will evaluate their English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar. Assessments include an oral interview, a multiple-choice test, and a written essay. Results from these assessments will determine a student’s placement in the most appropriate level of instruction.


Length of Program

The IEP follows the UM Academic Calendar for the regular Fall (August to December) and Spring (January to May) semesters. Each regular semester includes 15 weeks of instruction. Classes begin on the same day as regular academic classes for the University. Final exams are held during the University’s “Finals Week” at the end of the semester. Students’ daily class schedules are determined after registration and are based on the creation of courses that best accommodate our students’ levels.


Course Descriptions

Speaking & Listening (3 hours/week)
Courses in this area provide students with opportunities to improve their communicative competence in English and gain confidence with using their speaking and listening skills. Students learn vocabulary, practice appropriate conversation management, and receive pronunciation instruction.

Reading (3 hours/week)
Courses in this area provide students with skills and practice necessary to develop reading skills in English that eventually will allow them to successfully function in US university courses where extensive academic reading is required. Students learn new vocabulary and develop strategies for reading texts in multiple disciplines.

Writing (3 hours/week)
Courses in this area provide students with the skills and practice necessary to write in a variety of different genres in different contexts, including but not limited to academic contexts. Students are guided through thinking, drafting, and revising their own ideas by working through this writing process with their instructors and peers.

Grammar (3 hours/week)
In these courses, students learn the grammatical structures necessary to speak, read, and write with both fluency and accuracy.

Content–based Courses (6-9 hours/week)
Students take between two and three content courses each semester. The schedule of courses offered is determined by student need. Courses that may be offered include but are not limited to: Topics in American Culture, Conversation, and Pronunciation.