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The Intensive English Program (IEP)  is one of the highly rated and long-standing language training programs in the country, fully accredited by CEA.

It fuses cross-cultural immersion with focused English language instruction to create a unique and distinctive college preparatory experience to ensure our students' future academic success and career readiness. 


Program Requirements

To participate you must have completed high school. Degree seeking students who have provisional admission with an english language requirement must complete all courses at 80% or higher. 

Undergraduate students may begin taking academic classes when they reach Level 6. Graduate students may begin taking academic class when they reach Level 7. 

Program Levels

International Student


"I came to UNC 2013, and joined the Intensive English Program, graduated with PhD in Special Education, and now I am working as a full-time assistance professor at Kuwait university. I had a great learning experience at UNC that polished and enhanced my skills and knowledge. All the teachers and staff at IEP were so supportive with the international students. They were so eager to keep in touch with all the students and provide help and assistance as needed. I personally, had had great learning experience at the highest level of IEP program due to the great and intense curriculum and the friendly and professional teachers.

Also, through my PhD study, my learning experience was filled with many good leaning and teaching opportunities that coined my knowledge and expanded my awareness. The program focused on increasing students’ skills in research, teaching, and presenting internationally. Moreover, UNC gave me the chance to know and work with amazing professors in many occasions.          

Even though I have been through a couple of challenges at UNC as an international student, generally, I have learned a great deal about myself where I discovered my strengths and improved my weakness. I truly enjoyed my learning journey and I am grateful to all of my professors and the IEP teachers as I had had great learning experience. I shall say that the entire experience of UNC has been amazing."

-Dr. Bedoor Alazemi,  Kuwait 

“I was lucky to have a full academic scholarship through my job.  I came to UNC and joined the Intensive English Program, graduated with a PhD in Special Education. There were many factors led me to be a part of this prestigious university; the quality of academic programs, services for international students, and the great reputation in the field of education over the past years. Now, I am working as a teaching faculty at one of the leading universities in my home country, Saudi Arabia. I am proud (bear) because my experience at UNC not only prepared me to be academically strong, but it also empowered me to share my culture with other people and hone my soft and leadership skills. I believe that UNC helps to create a fertile environment to achieve the perfect balance that any international future scholar is looking for."

- Dr. Aeshah Alsarawi, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

"I came to UNC in 2014 and had the unique experience to join the Intensive English Program. The IEP gave me the skills and confidence I needed to be sufficient and prepared in my Master degree in Music; it also helped me to be a better professional. I graduated in 2016 with a M.M. in Music Performance, and now I am a faculty at the University of Costa Rica as well as the first oboe at the UCR Symphony Orchestra."

-Isaac Alfaro, Costa Rica

Program Levels

  • Level 1
    • Recognize basic vocabulary
    • Understand spoken messages delivered slowly
    • Spell letters of the alphabet
    • Read simple words and short sentences
  • Level 2
    • Pronounce basic vocabulary
    • Communicate ideas in simple sentences
    • Fill out forms
    • Explain something that happened in the past
    • Explain something that is happening now
  • Level 3
    • Communicate through simple social exchanges
    • Write short paragraphs on familiar topics
    • Use complete sentences to tell a story
    • Read a complete paragraph and outline key parts
  • Level 4
    • Join a conversation and deduct meaning from contextual clues
    • Observe the standard structure in writing
    • Use basic transition words to preserve flow of ideas
    • Navigate texts to understand ideas
  • Level 5
    • Grasp point and details of conversations, lectures etc.
    • Provide details to support personal statement in essays
    • Use appropriate grammatical forms to have a conversation
    • Locate key information from academic readings
  • Level 6
    • Understand and use high-level academic vocabulary
    • Write short academic paper defending your position on a certain topic
    • Present ideas completely using all 12 of english tenses
    • Use reading strategies to isolate and incorporate key information in presentations and compositions
  • Level 7
    • Be fluent, logical and exact in oral responses
    • Understand and use puns
    • Write a research proposal
    • Critique academic research

       CEA Accreditation Logo           Study in the USA logo English Mastery

The Intensive English Program also offers additional non-accredited language support if you want
to continue to develop your understanding of the English language. 

English Conversation Groups

English Conversation Groups

Practice your English language skills, make friends and learn about different cultures at our weekly conversation groups.


English For Success Program

English For Success

English for Success Program is a three-week non-credit online program that prepares students from around the world for academic success in an English-speaking environment.

Learn More

Foundations of Business English

Foundations of Business English

Foundation of Business English in a 5-week, online program that provides linguistic and cultural support as well as practice for English language learners interested in entering the US business world.

Learn More

EFL Workshops 

Innovative EFL Methodology Workshop

Together with English Mastery, IEP@UNC is offering a 7-day professional development workshop for English as a Foreign Language teachers. The workshop is designed to promote innovative methodologies and techniques. 

Learn More