The University of Alabama (UA) English Language Institute (ELI), part of the UA Capstone International Center, offers a variety of English language programs that are designed to help non-native speakers improve their proficiency in English.

ELI programs of study include the following:

  1. Intensive English Program – a year-round, multi-level, intensive English-language program for degree-seeking students, professionals, or others who need to improve their English skills
  2. Pathway to UA – an undergraduate pathway program that allows students to meet UA English proficiency requirements for full admission and earn academic credit at the same time
  3. Semester Abroad at UA – a short-term study-abroad program that allows students to earn academic credit, improve their English, and transfer the credit to their home university
  4. Academic Support Program – support courses for undergraduate and graduate students at UA who are non-native speakers of English
  5. International Teaching Assistant Program – a support program for students who are non-native speakers of English and serve as graduate teaching assistants at UA
  6. English + Business Program – a four-week certificate program for students who want to improve their English and learn about business concepts and practices in the United States
  7. Customized Group Programs – custom-designed short-term programs, such as teacher training or culture tours, for groups of students from international universities, companies, or other organizations

For more information about any of the ELI programs, contact The University of Alabama, English Language Institute, Box 870250, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0250; web –,  205 348-7413; fax 205-348-9266; email

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Intensive English Program

The ELI Intensive English Program (IEP) is designed for individuals who need to learn English as a second language. The program focuses on preparing students for academic success, both in English-language proficiency and cultural awareness, for undergraduate and graduate study at The University of Alabama.

Six levels of study, from beginning to advanced, are available. Each level consists of a minimum of 20 hours of class per week. Sessions lasting six-eight weeks are available six times per year in January, March, May, June, August, and October. Students may begin their English study at the beginning of any one of these sessions.

An ELI student wishing to enter an undergraduate degree program at The University of Alabama may meet UA's English proficiency requirements either by obtaining the required TOEFL or IELTS score or by completing Level 6 with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Levels 4, 5, and 6. Conditionally admitted students who meet certain conditions may become eligible to enroll in credit-bearing courses while completing their ELI program of study. In such cases, the number of UA courses that an eligible student may take is determined by the ELI.

Students who apply for admission to UA and meet the academic and financial qualifications to enter the University but do not meet the English proficiency requirements may be admitted conditionally. Such students will not be eligible to begin an academic program and will be required to register for full-time or part-time study in ELI until they meet the English proficiency requirement as outlined above.

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Pathway to UA

Pathway to UA is an undergraduate conditional-admission program for students who:

  • Want to earn a bachelor’s degree at UA
  • Meet the academic qualifications for undergraduate admission at UA
  • Are non-native English speakers who do not have the required minimum proficiency in English
  • Want to take courses for academic credit while completing the English requirement

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Semester Abroad at UA

Semester Abroad at UA is a one semester (or longer) undergraduate study-abroad program for students who:

  • Are enrolled in a university outside the USA
  • Want to study abroad and earn academic credit at The University of Alabama
  • Are non-native speakers of English who want to earn academic credit, improve their English, and experience living and studying on the UA campus

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Academic Support Program

The ELI Academic Support Program provides opportunities for UA undergraduate and graduate students who may want or need additional English-language instruction. At the graduate level, ESL support courses in written and spoken English are available free of charge to full-time international graduate students each fall and spring semester. In addition, the ELI Study Center and the UA Language Resource Center are available for individualized language assistance.

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International Teaching Assistant Program

The International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) provides training and evaluation for international students with graduate teaching assistantships. Participation in the ITAP program is mandatory for all non-native English-speaking GTAs and graduate assistants who have instructional responsibilities at the University.

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English + Business Program

The English + Business Program is a four-week certificate program for students who want to improve their English and learn about business concepts and practices in the United States. The program is offered twice each year at the beginning of each fall semester and spring semester. In order to benefit fully from the program, it is strongly recommended that participants have an intermediate or advanced level of English proficiency.

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Customized Group Programs

ELI Special Programs consist of a variety of programs designed for groups of participants with mutual goals and concerns who desire highly specialized, intensive curricula. Such programs are typically designed for international English teachers, students whose international universities have approved given curricula for credit, international graduate students preparing to enter universities throughout the United States, and business professionals who wish to improve their overall effectiveness in English or to concentrate on specific skills such as written communication.

An organization wishing to participate in such a program should clearly define the goals of its group and keep in mind that program enrollments typically require a minimum of 10 participants. Financial sponsorship for the above programs may come from ministries of education, embassies, corporations, private philanthropic organizations, U.S. or other government sponsoring agencies or the individual participants themselves. Programs may be offered at any time of the year and typically range in length from two to six weeks.

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Contact the ELI

To obtain more information about any of the above ELI programs, contact The University of Alabama English Language Institute, visit the ELI website ( or contact the ELI at Box 870250, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0250; telephone 205-348-7413; fax 205-348-9266; or email