Language Institute - English as a Second Language (ESL) | Georgia Tech Professional Education | Atlanta, GA

Intensive English Program Description

The Intensive English Program (IEP) offers courses to learners of English at seven different levels of proficiency, from beginning to advanced. Our IEP curriculum has been divided into three different tracks. The track learners follow depends on their level of proficiency and their purpose for studying English.




IEP Levels

New students in the Intensive English Program are given a placement test before the start of the session. Based on the results of the placement test, students are placed in one of the seven levels available in the program.

Foundation Track Academic Track Specific Purposes Track
Levels 100-400 Levels 500-700
For learners who want to improve basics of English in grammar, reading, writing, and speaking/listening For learners who are preparing for study at an undergraduate or graduate program in the U.S. For learners who want to focus on a particular skill or topic including test prep, academic prep, business courses, and general courses about a variety of topics.

Level Placement

  • It is possible to start at any of the seven levels of proficiency that are available in the intensive English program, Lower Elementary to Upper Advanced depending on the results of a placement test.
  • All new students are required to take a placement exam. The test determines the level at which students will begin. Students do not select the level at which they will begin. During orientation, students will learn about the Specific Purposes Track options available during the current session.
  • The placement test assesses students’ proficiency level in reading, listening, grammar, vocabulary, and writing. New students are placed in the same level for all skills in their initial session.
  • Our lowest level is for beginners in English, but we expect all participants in our program to have at least the equivalent of two years of high school English.


Level Promotion and Length of Study

  • Promotion to the next level is based on final course grades and teacher recommendation.
  • Very few students in our program begin at the 100 Level and continue through the 700 level. Most learners who wish to follow the Academic Track (Levels 500-700) begin at the 200, 300, or 400 levels.
  • The length of time that it takes to complete the program can vary from learner to learner. Some learners stay for only one session, while others may spend up to 18 months. How long a learner stays in the program depends on a number of factors including the following:
    • Individual study goals
    • Amount of time available to the learner
    • Effort and motivation
    • Beginning level of proficiency
    • Overall language-learning ability


Courses and Workload

  • Full-time students are required to take a minimum of 4 core courses every session.
  • All students on F-1 visas are required to study full time. Non-F-1 students may choose to study full-time (4 or more courses) or part-time (1-3 classes) depending on their visa status. Students on an F-2 visa are not allowed to study full-time.
  • Each core course meets 5 hours per week.
  • All class participants are expected to attend class regularly and spend time outside class completing assignments, studying, and preparing for class.
  • Because the courses in the IEP are university courses, learners are expected to take responsibility for their learning. This means that we expect learners to be motivated, participate actively in class, complete all assignments on time, make progress in their studies, and be respectful of their classmates and instructor.
  • Courses in levels 100-600 include grammar, reading, writing, and speaking/listening, while courses in level 700 include reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
  • Specific Purposes track courses include courses in four categories: test prep, academic prep, business courses, and general courses about a variety of topics.
  • Course catalog: