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Intensive English Programs


Intensive English Program

Gail KellerbergerGreetings! I am Gail Kellersberger, Director of the English Language Institute. I welcome you to our program! The ELI Intensive Program has prepared students in the English language since 1974. Thousands of ELI graduates have entered academic classes, both as undergraduate and graduate students, at the University of Houston-Downtown and all over the United States. Other ELI graduates have returned to their countries to better jobs and stronger professional lives. We have the experience and success to help you meet your English language goals.



Student Handbook
ELI Online Courses
ELI photos of student participating in events and learning activities
Quick Summary

The ELI offers a 7-level Intensive English Program (IEP) for students and professionals wishing to improve their language skills for university study or professional use. ELI Graduates are ready for university study. Lower levels quickly develop vocabulary and conversational skills.  Intermediate and advanced levels focus on academic skills and content.  The 20 hours of in-class instruction per week are supported by 20 computer lab hours at student discretion. Extensive software, videos, activities, fieldtrips, orientations, and free classes help students progress quickly. ELI graduates statistically do better than other students at the University because of their excellent preparation.

Program Description

The Intensive English Program offers ELI classes

  • the latest in program design, teaching technique, equipment, and materials. Meet our Instructors.
  • courses which prepare students for academic life in U.S. universities. Meet our Students.
  • study which is intensive: 20 hours in class and 20 hours of computer lab every week.
  • 6 sessions per year. See our Calendar.
  • classes which meet 5 days a week, from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. or from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., depending upon level placement.
  • a free student computer laboratory which is open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
  • two additional computer labs for language study.
  • instructional classrooms with digital projection.
  • 8 levels of instruction with rapid advancement.
  • initial level placement test to avoid lost time.

Testing, Promotion, Graduation

  • New students are assigned a level based on placement test score.
  • Promotion to a new level is possible every session.
  • ELI graduates enter the university without a TOEFL score
  • ELI graduates receive three hours of academic credit
  • Students receive Certificates of Completion and Certificates of Graduation.
Special Benefits

hallwayELI Graduates receive an ELI Certificate of Graduation and 3 hours of academic credit for ELI English study after finishing 12 university credit hours. They may compete for scholarships in their credit classes. ELI students also receive benefits from the university. While in the ELI, they may compete for a small performance scholarship each semester and they may attend 4 hours of free pronunciation and conversation each week.


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Who can attend the ELI Intensive English Program?

Anyone with academic or professional objectives who has graduated from high school can attend. Students can come from other countries or from the US.

What is the program of study in the IEP?

Seven (7) levels of English. 20 class hours a week for 6.5 weeks. 20 hours of voluntary computer laboratory work a week. The program teaches grammar, reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Who are the instructors in the IEP?

Language teaching professionals, most with a Masters degree or better and many years of experience teaching English in universities in the United States and abroad.

What level do I start at in the IEP?

You are tested. You go into the level indicated by your test results.

How can an international student attend the IEP?

Fill out our application and send the requested material. We will send you an I-20. You will get an F-1 visa from the American Embassy in your country.

What if I only want to come to the IEP for one session?

You must still get an F-1 visa.

What do I do if I want to attend UHD after I finish the IEP?

Apply for an I-20 that covers both English study and academic study. The application has a place where you can mark this.

What do ELI Intensive English Program classes cost?

For a breakdown of costs, see Tuition.

How can I get an ELI application?

See Application.

What if I have a problem on the application?

You can write, call, fax, or e-mail for help:

University of Houston-Downtown
English Language Institute
Ms. Gail Kellersberger, Director
One Main Street, Suite 417 South
Houston, TX 77002, U.S.A.
Telephone: 1-713-221-8047
Fax: 1-713-223-7477


studentsThe ELI curriculum helps students learn English quickly. Classes are interesting and fast-paced. Instructors teach language rules and provide practice through tasks and exercises. In general, we train students in the four language skills through presentation, practice and task-based instruction.

Lower level courses

  • focus on basic language learning
  • train students to communicate with each other and with native English speakers
  • teach students grammar, vocabulary and reading, listening and speaking, and participation in writing clinics

Intermediate level courses

  • develop basic skills toward an academic application
  • rehearse language in alternate structures
  • develop English skills through the study of grammar, listening and speaking, reading and participation in writing clinics

Advanced level courses

  • improve language proficiency
  • provide instruction in academic note-taking, study methods, presentation techniques and library research
  • provide the necessary transition from language study to university study
  • develop English skills through the study of grammar, listening and speaking, and participation in writing and reading clinics

fun in class


English classes are sold by the session. Any student on a UHD I-20 must stay two sessions before transferring to another U.S. school. Of course, a student can return home at any time. All students have the option of paying tuition one session at a time, but students who pay for two sessions of Intensive English at one time receive a large discount off of the total price.

International Student Tuition (for internationals holding an F, H, J or L visa):

All international students pay a one-time application fee of $60.00.

Text books are not included and cost approximately $150.00 per session for intensive English.

UHD student medical insurance is required of all F-1 students.

Additional Possible Fees

Administrative Fee : Students who arrive from their country on a UHD I-20 and who request transfer to another English program immediately or within the first semester of classes pay a $200.00 administrative fee. This fee covers the cost of the student's processing to enter this language program.

Late Registration Fees: New students who register after the close of our registration period pay a $20.00 late fee. Returning students who register after the close of our registration period pay a $100.00 late fee.

Out-of-Cycle Testing Fees: Students who require a special time for scheduled tests pay a $60.00 fee for each test administered.

Lost Computer Password Fee: Students who lose their computer password more than once pay a $10.00 fee for each password retrieval.

International students pay a higher tuition than resident students because the state of Texas considers all international students to hold out-of-state status. Fees are higher for all students with out-of-state status.


Resident Student Tuition (for students who have a U.S. Residency Card - Green Card - or who are U.S. citizens):

All resident students pay a one-time application fee of $40.00.

Text books are not included and cost approximately $150.00 per session for intensive English.

Medical insurance is optional for resident students.

Late Registration, Testing and Computer Password Fees shown above apply to resident students, also.


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Last updated or reviewed on 11/26/14

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