Intensive English

Click here to apply.


The Intensive English Program (IEP) at UW-Madison

What we offer:
Our IEP provides quality academic instruction to adults who wish to improve their proficiency in English. We offer full-time, 15-week programs in the Fall and Spring semesters and an 8-week Summer program. Our classes range from lower-intermediate (A2) to advanced level (C1). We do not offer beginning-level instruction (A1).

* Levels A1 - C2 refer to the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR). 

As a student you will learn to...
  • Speak accurately and fluently
  • Express your ideas in writing
  • Understand lectures and informal speech
  • Read efficiently and quickly
  • Become confident in your English
Not just an IEP student
Unlike other programs, when you join our IEP you are a UW-Madison student, with full access to all UW-Madison student facilities. You will experience life as a student at Wisconsin's flagship university, with help and guidance from us.  Please consult the menu on the left for more information about our program, admissions, and life at UW-Madison. 

About the course:
Students in the IEP study English twenty hours a week, taking reading, writing, speaking, grammar, and academic skills classes. Students are placed in courses according to their level, which is determined by a placement test.

Oral Communication
Students work on developing both listening and speaking skills. The listening component helps students improve their ability to understand spoken English in informal conversation as well as in formal academic lectures. The speaking component helps students improve pronunciation, fluency, and accuracy. The goal is to make students more competent in and confident about communicating in English.

This class helps students develop skills to read more efficiently as well as practice strategies to increase vocabulary. The skills taught are applied to pleasure reading as well as academic texts. Students practice the skills of skimming and scanning, previewing, using headings, and identifying topics for a variety of texts. The skills of recognizing key words and transitions, distinguishing main ideas and details, drawing inferences and conclusions and critical reading supports not only reading, but writing development as well.

Students develop general and academic writing skills, including the ability to express ideas clearly and grammatically, to choose appropriate vocabulary, and to edit their own work. Both personal and academic writing assignments provide practice in the process of writing, revising work for content and form, and in producing coherent paragraphs and essays using a variety of modes of organization. Students also learn how to search for outside source materials and integrate such information with their own ideas for a short research paper.

Students build on their knowledge of English grammar for both formal and informal usage. Class time is devoted to communicative and content-based activities that provide practice with specific grammatical structures and features of English. As a result, students improve both their accuracy and fluency in producing and understanding written and spoken English.

Academic Skills
This class is designed to simulate a credit-bearing course in a U.S. university, thereby allowing students to practice the skills they will need in order to succeed in their future coursework and to become more confident and comfortable with the environment and requirements of a typical UW-Madison course. This course requires students to apply their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills to high-level academic activities and situations. Throughout the semester, students watch segments of university lectures on video, as well as have guest lecturers visit our class. Students also attend several actual university lectures this semester at UW-Madison.

Elective Courses
During the summer session and fall semester, students can also choose from special elective classes, including courses on...
  • TOEFL and IELTS test skills
  • Short stories
  • Drama and film
  • Music
  • Ethics and current affairs

Tuition and Living Costs:

Spring 2018 (15-week session) Summer 2018 (8-week session)  Fall 2018 (15-week session)
International Student: $8,971 International Student: $5,632

International Student: $8,971

Estimated living cost: $5000 Estimated living cost: $2,700 Estimated living cost: $5,000

Fees are estimates based on previous years and are subject to change. For current rates, please click here. Choose the correct semester and year. Fall and Spring semesters are 6 credits, Summer session is 4 credits - look in the 'International' column.

Tuition includes:
  • 20 hours of English instruction per week
  • Personalized academic counseling
  • English conversation partners
  • City and campus-wide bus pass
  • Full access to UW-Madison facilities including:
    • over 30 libraries and computer labs
    • sports and exercise facilities
  • A wide range of free cultural and recreational activities including:
    • over 900 student organizations and clubs
    • organized community volunteering opportunities
    • lectures by award-winning professors and Nobel Prize winners
    • face-to-face and online technology training
    • weekly music concerts and movies

 Estimated living costs include:

These totals do NOT include:
  • Flights, airport transfers or visa costs

Application Information:

We welcome applications from students who:
  • are at least 18 years old and high school graduates, and
  • have a minimum of low-intermediate English speaking competency (A1). We do not offer beginning-level instruction (A1).
* Levels A1 - C2 refer to the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).

Apply Now

How to Apply:

To apply for our fall, spring or summer full-time Intensive English Program, complete the online application form. There is no application fee.

Important: Applicants must provide official documentation of the source of funds for tuition and living expenses. Documentation may be a letter from the applicant's bank, scholarship board, or other funding agency. We also require a scan of the photo page of a valid passport. After we receive the application and documents, we evaluate them. If a student is accepted to the program, we will issue Form I-20 which is required to request the student visa.

Ready? Click here to apply.


Where will you live while you are in Madison?  There are many options:-

On-campus Housing
The University residence halls are available to international students, but they fill up very quickly and should be requested as soon as possible. There are few single rooms available, so you may share a double room with another UW student. For more details about the wide variety of campus housing available, see the University Housing website (This link will open in a new tab).

Off-campus Housing
Off-Campus Housing provides a wider range of options, but it can take more work. We can help advise you on your search for suitable accommodation. Here are some choices:

Privately-Owned Apartment Rentals
  • You may want to make living arrangements before you come to Madison, but it is actually better to be here and visit the apartment in person before renting and signing a lease. Rentals are plentiful and there is no need to feel rushed. For a list of off-campus rentals, see the Campus Area Housing Listing Service website (This link will open in a new tab).
Privately-Owned Dormitories
  • Some privately-owned residence halls offer flexible vacancies, including academic year, semester or summer leases.
  • Privately-owned residence halls are dormitory-style living arrangements that are owned and operated by private companies and individuals. Some include a meal plan and others provide a full kitchen. Application procedures and lease agreements are your responsibility (but we will help you through the process).
  • These are some of the most popular private dorms in Madison (each link will open in a new tab. UW-Madison is not responsible for the content of these externally-hosted sites).
Cooperative Housing
  • Cooperative housing in Madison is another option. Costs are around $300-400 per month for a single room with a shared bath and kitchen facilities. Each member of the household shares in housework duties, which include cooking, cleaning and serving meals. We can help you find suitable places to share. 
  • For information on cooperative housing, see the Madison Community Cooperative website (This link will open in a new tab. UW-Madison is not responsible for the content of this externally-hosted site).
  • There are a few homestay options in Madison, which we will help you set up. See the list of homestays here (This link will open in a new tab. UW-Madison is not responsible for the content of this externally-hosted site).
  • If you need a place to stay when you first arrive, the Madison Friends of International Students may be able to help. See their website for details (This link will open in a new tab. UW-Madison is not responsible for the content of this externally-hosted site).

Contact Us:
Program in English as a Second Language
5134 Helen C. White Hall
600 North Park Street
Madison, WI 53706

Phone: +1.608.263.3780


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