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.

UPDATE for Transfer Students: Students transferring from another program in the U.S. are no longer required to have conditional admission from an academic program of SMU.

Applicants accepted into the program are given a placement 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.

Minimum Age Limit: 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. Classes are held five days a week, Monday through Friday, for a total of 20 hours per week.  Starting in Spring 2016, IEP classes will be held according to one of the following two timetables, including breaks:  9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (morning schedule); 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. (afternoon schedule).  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. In a 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, with as much diversity of student background as possible in each class.
  • 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 Term Calendar).
  • Conditional admission available for Undergraduate study, Graduate Lyle Engineering, the Law School LL.M Program, and The Cox School of Business' Master of Science Programs.
  • 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 Orientation.
    SEVIS Fee: 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; you can submit the form and fee online.
    I-20 Processing: U.S. Immigration policy prevents us from being able to scan/e-mail your I-20, nor is SMU's International Center able to e-mail your SEVIS number.

Maximum Total Costs and Estimated Expenses for One Academic Year
(without dependents)

Application Fee (required once per academic year) $50.00
Tuition and Fees (includes all books, supplies, and materials)
Fall Term Tuition - books/supplies/materials included
(12 weeks, 9/14/16 to 12/9/16)
Spring Term Tuition - books/supplies/materials included
(12 weeks, 1/18/17 to 4/21/17, with one-week spring break)
May Term Tuition - books/supplies/materials included
(6 weeks, 5/10/17 to 6/23/17) IEP Annual Vacation Policy
Summer Term Tuition - books/supplies/materials included
(6 weeks, 6/28/17 to 8/11/17)
International Student Fee (charged each fall and spring term to all F-1/J-1 visa students)
SMU Health Insurance (payment is made separately from other IEP costs)

SMU IEP Health Insurance with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is required for all IEP students with an SMU student visa (if comparable insurance is provided by your government, please submit the Waiver Form).  You may purchase health insurance by submitting the Health Insurance Enrollment Form.

In addition, the SMU Dr. Bob Smith Health Center requires all IEP students to submit the Student Health History Form (please refer to the Health Form Instructions in completing this form).

Fall Term Health Insurance
(12 weeks, 9/9/16 to 1/17/17)
Spring Term Health Insurance
(12 weeks, 1/18/17 to 5/16/17, including one-week break)
May Term Health Insurance
(6 weeks, 5/17/17 to 7/4/17)
Summer Term Health Insurance
(6 weeks, 7/5/17 to 9/8/17)
Payments: Payments are made one term at a time at the beginning of each term during the registration period via the IEP Payment Methods.

Download the 2016-2017 IEP Application, fill in the necessary forms, and mail or e-mail the completed application to the address on the first page of the form.  The 2017-2018 IEP Application will be available in mid-April, so please check back at that time.

For more information or questions about the IEP, please send an e-mail to iep@smu.edu.

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

Deadlines: Out-of-country applications can no longer be accepted for the May Term IEP; however, in-country applications (transfer and non-visa students) will be accepted until Friday, May 28.  After that time, applications will be wait-listed and accepted if space is still available.