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Intensive English Program

The Intensive English Program (IEP) at UNC offers instruction in English for Academic Purposes.  We use an assessment to place students at appropriate levels so we can best prepare them for academics at an American University.  

We also aim to provide on-going language support in the form of English Language Tutors working to increase international students' understanding of intercultural communication and American university culture.

Learn more about Program Costs

Program Requirements

Students who have completed high school may qualify for the Intensive English Program. Degree seeking students who have provisional admission with an English language requirement must complete all required courses (based on placement exam) at 80% or higher to meet the language provision.  Learn more about Program Dates and Deadlines.

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Undergraduate students may begin taking academic classes with intensive english classes when they reach Level 6. 

Graduate students may begin taking academic classes with intensive english classes when they reach Level 7.

Program Levels 


Level 1

Review the English alphabet to sound connections and begin writing simple sentence structures.  Begin to identify key words and phrases in communications and written text. 


Level 2

Begin using strategies to identify main ideas and retell details. Move from writing simple sentences to compound sentences, and increase vocabulary. 


Level 3

Move from learning basics to using English consistently (and accurately) by increasing vocabulary and comprehension skills. Begin writing full paragraphs and focus on reading strategies.


Level 4

Transition from skill reinforcement to academic skills such as: formal presentations and lectures, note-taking, essay writing, grammar usage and reading comprehension. 


Level 5

Begin academic writing based on sources, participate in evidence-based class debates, analyze themes, and read and write summaries. Cite evidence to support analysis and use strategies to determine central ideas.


Level 6

Demonstrate university-level proficiency through critical thinking tasks via presentations, discussions and debates. Develop skills in both research and documentation and focus on critical analysis of readings.


Level 7

Learn discourse strategies and academic research writing styles expected of graduate students. Analyze research articles, interact with classmates  and increase high-level academic vocabulary. Write a research proposal and give a presentation from it.

Additional Language Support

The Intensive English Program also offers additional language support to students who want to continue to develop their understanding of the english language. 

English Conversation Groups

In addition to regular classes, we offer an opportunity for you to practice your English language skills, make friends, and learn about different cultures.  Conversation groups provide a friendly, relaxed space where you can just be you.

Every Monday and Wednesday from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. at the University Center, Zachariah Dining Room Tables on the first floor.

Want to learn more? Contact Alan Hendrickson

English Language Tutors

Our English Language Tutors are students, like you! They can help you with: 

  • Writing 
  • Understanding academic assignments
  • Reading Comprehension 
  • Conversations 

Make an Appointment with a Tutor

Need help with APA, MLA or other format styles? Visit the Writing Center.