National University

English Language Program FAQs

National University

What is the deadline for submitting my application?

We recommend that you apply at least two months before your program’s start date. Students must take a placement test on the scheduled test date.

How long will it take for my application to be processed?

The application will be processed in about two weeks for English only students and up to six weeks for a joint application (ELP and Academics).

Does the term always begin on a Tuesday?

Once each year, the term may start on a Monday, but, in general, the term begins on a Tuesday.

How long is each term?

Each term is four weeks long.

How long are the Intensive English Program classes?

Each class is six hours. The morning session is 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, lunch hour is 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., and afternoon session is 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

How many students are there in each class?

We try to keep the classroom size small so that students can receive individual attention from the instructors.

Will I have homework?

Yes. Homework is assigned by the teacher in accordance with the lesson plans for each course.

How do the students find out what their final grades are for each term?

After the graduation event, the teachers meet with their students, give each student a grade report (percentages for the coursework and final assessment, as well as attendance percentage), and answer any questions.

I am interested in enrolling at National University after I complete the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program. Do I need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or any other test before I can be admitted to the National University degree programs?

No. The English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is designed to help you succeed in future academic classes. Upon completion of the highest level in the EAP program (Academic English: Advanced Performance II), you will have fulfilled the English language requirement for admissions into National University’s academic programs.

Does National University offer housing assistance? What are the options?

You can live in an apartment near the university or live with a host family. Contact International Student Services (ISS) at [email protected] for assistance.

I am a little nervous about living in the United States. How can you help me adjust?

In your pre-arrival information packet and during the new student orientation, International Student Services (ISS) staff will be available to you to answer your questions and provide support and assistance. Students enrolled in the English Language Programs (ELP) will meet friendly and caring teachers who will offer support and guidance as you progress through the program, as well as after graduation. The ISS staff members have expertise in helping international students with a variety of challenges, such as housing, obtaining a driver’s license, and participating in activities.

I am a little nervous about studying in the English Language Programs (ELP). What kind of support will I receive?

You will receive guidance from an international team of friendly, educated, experienced, and dedicated teachers. Additional tutoring may be provided after class for a student if he or she needs additional help with class work. Students may seek academic counseling from the program administrator (Room 164J).

Where are the English Language Programs offered?

  • San Diego
  • Los Angeles

What do I need to apply?

Complete the online application and pay the $65 application fee.

ELP Placement Exam

The placement exam covers the following four language domains:

  • Speaking (15 minutes)
  • Reading (40 minutes)
  • Listening (40 minutes)
  • Writing (45 minutes)

Where is the ELP Placement Exam administered?

The exam will be given at the San Diego or the Los Angeles National University locations.

What can I use to place into the program?

You can use any of the following score reports for placement into the program. The original score report must be given to the International Programs Office (IPO) in Office 185A.

  • ELP Placement Exam (given at National University in San Diego or Los Angeles)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score report
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) score report
  • DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) – German Academic Exchange Service – score report
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTEA) score report
  • iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency) score report

Please refer to the catalog for a complete list of English language proficiency requirements.
Note: Institutional TOEFL scores are not accepted for placement.

How many months of ELP do I have to complete?

The answer to this question depends upon the level of English proficiency and Academic English skill and performance levels.

  • If you are enrolled in the English Communication Series (ECS) program, there are twelve (12) courses available to you. You can transition from ECS to English for Academic Purposes (EAP) upon passing the ECS Exit Exam.
  • If you are enrolled in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program, there are eight (8) levels. Passing the highest level will fulfill the National University English proficiency requirement.

Can I skip levels?

Assessments are given on the first day of each class. To skip a level, you must show evidence of mastering the academic speaking, academic reading, academic listening, and academic writing tests—each with a minimum score of 90% and above.

What do we learn in English for Academic Purposes (EAP)?

You will develop your academic English skills and performance. Following is a partial list of topics you will address in class that are designed to challenge prepare you for academic programs at the college and university level. To have the proper English language and academic skill foundation to pursue your bachelor’s degree, and, especially, your master’s degree, it is extremely important for you to master the following university-level academic expectations:

Paraphrasing Note-taking Summarizing Analyzing text Mind Mapping
Outlining Citing Sources Quoting Formal presentations Academic Essays
Impromptu Speaking Debate Thesis Statements Research Papers

Why is taking the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program better for me than studying for one of the placement tests?

When you study to take a placement test, you are memorizing the answers, and when you take the test you are relying on your ability to recall that information. However, it is common to forget what you have memorized after several weeks have passed.

When you practice the skills, and challenge your academic performance in the EAP program, you will take ownership of your learning process. What you learn will become part of your knowledge foundation, providing a stable foundation upon which to grow and develop in your future field of study. By practicing, enhancing, and developing your academic English skills and performance, you will form the scholarly habits needed to ensure your future academic success.

What programs are available and what is the tuition fee for each?

English Communication Series (ECS)

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
3-day program
$500 per term
4 weeks

English Communication Series (ECS)

Monday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
TUES, WED, THU = 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
5-day program
$750 per term
4 weeks

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

Monday through Thursday
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Term start date is Tuesday (with one exception when the start date is on Monday)
Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Grammar/Writing Review
4-day program
EAP 100 to EAP 600 = $750 per term
EAP 700 & 800 = $1215 per term
Each class 4 weeks

English for Specific Purposes (ESP)

Only available to students who have graduated from EAP or students who have a score report from a placement exam confirming that they can begin their academic program. Rather than begin their academic program, these students will take ESP for one or more terms as an introduction to their future field of study, so they can familiarize themselves with the terminology and basic concepts used in their field of study. 3-day program
$500 per term
4 weeks

English Communication & Culture (ECC)

This is a customizable educational program suitable for groups of international students who would like to study English while participating in a variety of educational, cultural, or service learning events. Classes are generally held in the morning and tours, or events, are scheduled for the afternoon or on Fridays. Fees depend upon type of program and duration.
1-week program
2-week program

English Experience

Groups of ten (10) or more students from around the world may participate in one or more terms of the ECS or EAP programs (placement in levels is determined by placement exam outcomes). Fees depend upon type of program and duration.


  • Lunch is from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. for all programs.
  • Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) scholarship students are required to take the 5-day programs in ECS or EAP.
  • Awards and/or graduation certificates are awarded to students on the Friday of the fourth week of each term.

What is the refund policy?

Courses must be dropped before the first day of class to receive a refund. Refunds are not given on or after the first day of class.