Jump to main content

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.

Download the IEP brochure in Arabic or Chinese

Learn more about our Intensive English Program here!

Learn more about Program Costs

Program Requirements

Students who have completed high school 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.

Apply Now

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 2

  • Recognize basic vocabulary
  • Understand spoken messages delivered slowly
  • Spell letters of the alphabet
  • Read simple words and short sentences


Level 2

  • Pronounce basic vocabulary
  • Communicate ideas in simple sentences
  • Fill out forms 
  • Explain something that happened in the past 
  • Explain something that is happening now


Level 3

  • Communicate through simple social exchanges
  • Write short paragraphs on familiar topics
  • Use complete sentences to tell a story 
  • Read a complete paragraph and outline key parts


Level 4

  • Join a conversation and deduct meaning from contextual clues
  • Observe the standard structure in writing
  • Use basic transition words to preserve flow of ideas
  • Navigate texts to understand ideas


Level 5

  • Grasp point and details of conversations, lectures etc. 
  • Provide details to support personal statement in essays
  • Use appropriate grammatical forms to have a conversation 
  • Location key information from academic readings


Level 6

  • Understand and use high-level academic vocabulary
  • Write short academic paper defending your position on a certain topic
  • Present ideas completely using all 12 of english tenses 
  • Use reading strategies to isolate and incorporate key information in presentations and compositions. 


Level 7

  • Be fluent, logical and exact in oral responses
  • Understand and use puns
  • Write a research proposal 
  • Critique academic research

Additional Support

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