English Language Institute

Summer 2020: Remote Intensive English Program

Important Notices

All ELI courses offered in Summer 2020 will be real-time, interactive courses taught remotely using video conferencing technology. In-person classes on the University of Pittsburgh campus are not available at this time. For more information about applying for future in-person classes, please visit our Intensive English Program webpage.

Visit the University of Pittsburgh’s COVID-19 Response website for the most updated information at the University.

General Overview

For Summer 2020, the ELI will offer the Intensive English Program as a remote learning opportunity at a discounted tuition rate. All students in the Summer 2020 program will participate in real-time, interactive classes taught via video-conferencing; face-to-face classes on the University of Pittsburgh campus are not available at this time. During this period of remote instruction, the ELI will offer the same courses and cover the same curriculum usually offered through in-person teaching.

Teachers will present learning material, answer questions, lead discussions, provide feedback, and encourage students to actively participate in the class as well as in pair and/or group work. For this reason, students must have access to audio- and video-capable technology (preferably a computer or laptop), and a basic (1.5 Mbps) DSL internet/wifi connection or a cellular/satellite connection. A cable or fiber internet service will further enhance your learning experience, but it is not required.

Full-time and part-time classes are available. Students may study from their homes in Pittsburgh or from anywhere in the world, but they must attend classes via video between 9 am and 3 pm EST (UTC -5). All course materials are shared with registered students via Canvas, the University’s online learning management system, but video recordings of the classes are not available for independent study. In addition, students must have access to a stable Internet connection, as well as audio and video-capable technology to enroll at the ELI in Summer 2020.

The CEA-accredited Intensive English Program offers classes at five proficiency levels, but for summer 2020, there are no classes for students who place below the intermediate level.

  • High Beginning (not available for Summer 2020)
  • Low Intermediate (not available for Summer 2020)
  • Intermediate
  • High intermediate
  • Low advanced 

* All students must take a placement test before beginning the program. Transfer students on F-1 visas who place below the intermediate level must transfer to another program within 60 days of their last day of study at their previous institutions in order to maintain visa status. Complete information about studying in the ELI's Intensive Program can be found in the ELI Student Handbook.

Placement Test

All conditionally accepted students must take a Placement Test on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. The Placement Test will be given remotely and will include a video interview portion. Conditionally accepted students will be contacted with additional information about testing and instructed how to set-up a virtual interview.

Dates and Deadlines

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

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:


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 18 hours of intensive English instruction each week per academic term. Classes meet on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Each class lasts 45 minutes to allow students a sufficient break between classes.

University Resources

ELI students in the Intensive English Program are part of the University of Pittsburgh community and receive a University of Pittsburgh student user name to access University resources online card. With their Pitt user name, ELI students have access to all resources made available online, including

When in person events become possible, students may also have access to free and discounted cultural activities, as well as university fitness centers, university computing labs, libraries and other physical campus locations and resources. 

Visa and Part-time Study

For Summer 2020, new students who remain outside of the U.S. do not need an F-1 student visa to study full-time in the ELI’s remote Intensive English Program.  All courses will be taught remotely and no visa or travel to the US is required. Therefore, any new student who remains outside of the U.S. can be full-time or part-time. 

Please note: If you are a continuing ELI student on an F-1 visa, and you intend to study outside of the U.S., you must study full-time in order to maintain your F-1 visa. 

If you are applying for an F-1 visa for full-time study at the ELI Intensive English Program for Fall 2020, or for any term after Fall 2020, the ELI will issue a form I-20 for your F-1 student visa application and interview. If the University has returned to in-person instruction for your beginning term, you will need to obtain an F-1 visa and travel to the U.S. If the University is still required to offer remote instruction during future terms, the ELI will follow the governmental and University requirements at that time. F-1 students must study full-time during both remote and in-person instruction. Students who are not on F-1 visas may choose part-time study.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for full-time study for Summer 2020 is discounted to $3888 ($816/course for part-time study), plus the required University fees. Tuition for the 2019-2020 school year was $4860, so this discount reflects a 20% savings on tuition! The ELI is also waiving tuition deposits and application fees for for Summer 2020; no application fee or tuition is deposit is required at this time. Express mailing is not available at this time either. Detailed information about tuition and fees can be found on the Tuition and Fees page.

Application Process and Deadlines

To apply for admission to the ELI, applicants should submit a completed application 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. For a complete list of important dates and deadlines, see the Academic Calendar.

Please note that admission to the ELI does not include admission to a degree program at the University of Pittsburgh. For information about conditional admission and TOEFL/IELTS proficiency waivers that are available to ELI students, visit our Application page.

Contact us for more information about the Intensive English Program.