English as a Second Language


Intensive English Program (IEP)

Fall 2013 IEP GroupThe overall goal of the year-long Intensive English Program (IEP) is to prepare students for academic success at the university level. Enrollment in the program is open to students and professionals outside of the University community preparing for future studies in higher education in the U.S., and appropriate immigration status is required to apply for the program.

Please Note Students transferring from another program in the U.S. must first have received conditional admission from a school of SMU before they can be accepted into the IEP!

Applicants accepted into the program are given an English language proficiency test during the first week of each term and are placed into one of the following levels: upper beginning, lower intermediate, intermediate, upper intermediate, advanced, and upper advanced. Each level can be completed during a twelve-week term of study (total 240 classroom hours), and students may join the program at the beginning of any one of the four available terms.

Please Note We do not accept students younger than 18 years of age.

Student visa applicants must apply for a minimum one-year I-20, and joint May Term/Summer Term enrollment is recommended.

The Curriculum

The curriculum is divided into two main components: Academic Skills (2-1/2 hours per day) and Communication Skills (1-1/2 hours per day), making a total of four class hours per day; class hours are slightly longer in the May and Summer Terms. Classes are held five days a week, Monday through Friday, for a total of 20 hours per week. During the Fall and Spring Terms, classes are held at various times during the day depending on the level; most May Term and Summer Term classes are held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., including breaks. All program-related activities are conducted on SMU's lovely Main Campus (maps and directions) in University Park located within the large, modern city of Dallas, Texas, with some classes held in the historic Dallas Hall. In a 2008 Reader's Digest survey, SMU scored an "A" and was ranked as the 16th safest college campus in the entire U.S. (visit the SMU Police Department website), as well as the safest private school in all of Texas regarding campus safety preparedness.

The SMU Intensive English Program:

  • Course of study comprising English for Academic Purposes (EAP), TOEFL/IELTS-related skills, and American culture
  • Concentrated work on reading, writing, listening, speaking, pronunciation, giving presentations, and study skills
  • Native English speaking instructors with extensive ESL teaching experience and related qualifications
  • Average maximum class size of 10 students
  • Receipt of the official SMU IEP Certificate upon successful completion of all program requirements for each 12-week level (view general course requirements on the current Term Calendar)
  • Conditional admission available for Undergraduate study, Graduate Engineering, and Law School LL.M Program
  • Full F-1/J-1 visa support provided (a minimum of one to two months should be allowed for processing of application and shipment of I-20/DS-2019 to the home country) See the IEP Mandatory Orientation.
    Please Note: An I-901 FORM included with new I-20/DS-2019's must be filed along with the appropriate fee before you can receive your visa! do not send the form to the SMU IEP; please use the address provided on the paper form or you can submit the form and fee online
    WARNING: If you are requesting F-2 visas for dependents, please expect a minimum two-week delay in processing your I-20!
Application Fee (required once per academic year) $50.00
Tuition and Fees (includes all books and materials)
Fall Term
(12 weeks, 9/10/14 to 12/5/14)
Spring Term
(12 weeks, 1/14/15 to 4/17/15, with one-week spring break)
May Term
(6 weeks, 5/13/15 to 6/26/15)
Summer Term
(6 weeks, 6/30/15 to 8/14/15)
International Student Fee
(Charged each fall and spring term to all students enrolled at SMU on a student visa) $50.00
Individual Term Health Insurance:

SMU Health Insurance is required for all students with an SMU student visa unless comparable insurance is provided by your government (see also SMU Memorial Health Center).

Fall Term
(12 weeks, 9/10/14 to 1/13/15)
Spring Term
(12 weeks, 1/14/15 to 5/12/15, including one-week break)
May Term
(6 weeks, 5/13/15 to 6/29/15)
Summer Term
(6 weeks, 6/30/15 to 9/9/15)
Please Note: Deadlines for application are not set in advance of each term since the amount of time required for visa processing varies greatly from country to country. No out-of-country visa applications can be accepted one month before the start date of a term, and no applications of any kind can be accepted after a term begins.

Download the 2014-2015 IEP Application, fill in the necessary forms, and fax, mail, or e-mail the completed application to the address on the first page of the form.

For questions on the IEP, please send an e-mail to jwheeler@smu.edu.

Please view the Grading Policy, Attendance Policy, Withdrawal/Cancellation Policy, and Dismissal Policy before applying.