English Language Institute

Intensive English Program

General Overview

The English Language Institute (ELI) at the University of Pittsburgh offers a CEA-accredited Intensive English program with classes at five proficiency levels:

  • High beginning* 
  • Low intermediate
  • Intermediate
  • High intermediate
  • Low advanced 

*High beginning is approximately equivalent to 24 on the Internet-based TOEFL. All students take a placement test upon arrival. There are no classes for students who place below the high beginning level. High beginning level classes will not run if fewer than 10 students register.  Students on F-1 visas who place below the high beginning level, or who place into high beginning level when these classes do not run, must transfer to another program within 30 days of entry into the U.S. to maintain visa status. 

Complete information about studying in the ELI's Intensive Program can be found in the ELI Student Handbook.



The Intensive English Program term lasts 13 weeks.  Programs begin in September, January, and May.  Click here for complete academic calendar.

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

Summer 2019
September 4 - December 6 January 8 - April 11

May 7 - August 1

Classes and Skills Developed

Our Intensive English Program is a 13-week program with classes meeting for five hours per day, four days per week.  The program focuses on developing language skills for academic, professional and personal needs.  Students taking a full-time program will study the following classes:

Class Language Skills
  • developing and giving presentations
  • building speaking fluency
  • improving pronunciation
  • enhancing conversational abilities
  • improving organization and accuracy
  • writing essays and research papers
  • developing comprehension skills for understanding lectures
  • understanding radio and TV programs
  • increasing comprehension of conversational English
  • developing vocabulary
  • increasing reading fluency
  • improving reading comprehension
  • learning to understand and use appropriate grammar in order to communicate effectively in speaking and in writing

Class Schedule

Full-time students receive 20 hours of intensive English instruction each week per academic term.  Classes meet on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Each class lasts 50 minutes.  Students will be assigned one of the following schedules, depending on their level:

Schedule A

Schedule B

9:00 am Grammar    
10:00 am Writing 10:00 am Reading
11:00 am Reading 11:00 am Writing
12:00 pm (break) 12:00 pm Grammar
1:00 pm Speaking 1:00 pm (break)
2:00 pm Listening 2:00 pm Speaking
    3:00 pm Listening

Visa and Part-time Study

Students who study full-time can apply for an F-1 student visa through the ELI.  Part-time study is available for students who are not on an F-1 student visa sponsored by the ELI. 

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for full-time study for one term is $4730 ($990/course for part-time study), plus the application fee and required University fees.  Detailed information about tuition and fees can be found on the Tuition and Fees page.

Campus Life

ELI students in the Intensive English Program are part of the University of Pittsburgh community and receive a University of Pittsburgh student ID card.  With the Pitt ID, students can use all libraries, recreational/sports facilities and computer labs on campus. Students also have access to free and discounted cultural activities throughout the city.


Housing options for students in the Intensive English Program of the ELI include homestays, apartments near the university, and student residence halls in downtown Pittsburgh.  During the summer term, ELI students can also live in the university dorms.   

Application Process and Deadlines

To apply for admission to the ELI, students should submit a completed application and the necessary fees by the appropriate deadline. Applications may be accepted after the deadline if space is available; however, submitting an application after the deadline may not allow enough time to obtain a visa in the applicant's country.  Please see the Admissions page for complete information. 

  Deadline for F-1 visa students Deadline for part-time and non F-1 visa students  Term begins                             


 July 31, 2018

September 1, 2018

September 4, 2018

Spring 2019

November 30, 2018

January 4, 2019

January 8, 2019

Summer 2019 March 31, 2019 May 3, 2019

 May 7, 2019

Admission to the ELI does not include admission to a degree program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Contact us for more information about the Intensive English Program.