English Language Institute

Professional and Academic English Program (PAEP)

General Overview

The English Language Institute's Professional and Academic English program immerses students in culture and language experienced in academic and professional environments. This is an intensive, 6-week program developed by the ELI for international students who will attend graduate programs in the US or require English in a professional capacity. The program uses a variety of professional and academic content as the basis for English language classes. Content includes texts from journals and textbooks, lectures, research paper and report requirements, and work with librarians. PAEP is designed for students who have a high level of English proficiency.  


  • Summer 2022: June 13 - July 22, 2022
    • The first two weeks of classes may be remote depending on COVID-19 restrictions at the time. In the event of remote classes, you will be required, and by your application verify, that you have the technology and resources to complete the course remotely.
    • No classes July 4-5 (Independence Day observed)
  • This program is offered only in the Summer Term.

Classes and Skills Developed

Classes are non-credit and meet for five hours a day, four days a week during the six-week program.  In this program, students will develop in the following skill areas:

Language Skills

Academic and Professional Skills
  • Giving professional oral presentations
  • Expanding reading strategies
  • Expanding listening comprehension
  • Strengthening speaking skills and fluency
  • Strengthening writing skills and fluency
  • Exploring the interaction of language and culture
  • Enhancing academic communication skills
  • Small group interaction for project work
  • Educational styles in US graduate schools
  • Communication styles
  • Research using library databases and resources

Program size is usually limited to 16 students.

Student Visas 

The ELI issues I-20s for student visas for study in this program. If an applicant has also been accepted to a graduate program, the I-20 will be transferred from the ELI to the relevant university at the end of the PAEP.  After completion of the program, the ELI will transfer the I-20 to the student's next University. Please note that part-time study is not possible in this program.

Tuition and Fees

Detailed information about tuition and fees can be found on the Tuition and Fees page. Please note that there is a $500 nonrefundable deposit for the Professional and Academic English Program.  

Campus Life

Students in the PAEP are part of the University of Pittsburgh community and can use all librariesrecreational/sports facilities and computer labs on campus. Students also have access to discounted cultural activities throughout the city.


Housing options for students in the PAEP include homestays, apartments near the university, student residence halls in downtown Pittsburgh, and university dorms.   It is possible for graduate students to live in the University of Pittsburgh dormitories in the Fall and Spring Terms, but space is limited.

Application Process and Deadline

To apply for admission to the Professional and Academic English Program, applicants must show proof of:

  • acceptance by a graduate program at a university in the United States OR
  • a TOEFL iBT score of 80 (IELTS 6.5) or higher

Students should submit a completed application and the necessary fees by the deadline of May 1, 2022.  Please apply as early as possible to avoid delays and to ensure a place in the program.   

Contact us for more information about the Professional and Academic English Program.