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Intensive English Program

The Mercyhurst Intensive English programs prepare students to continue in a degree program at either Mercyhurst University or another American college or university of their choice.  Through a combination of English language study, personal counseling, and immersion in the American culture, students learn the skills needed to succeed in higher education.   The University enrolls over 200 international students and has an excellent academic reputation as well as a beautiful and safe campus.  Students who complete the Mercyhurst Intensive English program will be well-qualified for any future plans.

Mercyhurst University offers two Intensive English Programs.  The Summer Program is an 8 week session that prepares students for fall enrollment at Mercyhurst or another American college or University.  The goal is to help students meet university admissions requirements.  The Academic Year Program ranges in length from 8 weeks (one session) to 32 weeks (four sessions), depending on the student’s language proficiency at the time of admission.  The goal is to help students meet university admissions requirements.

During every session, courses are offered in English grammar and pronunciation, English reading and writing, and English listening and speaking.  Students are not rushed or hurried through any level – students move to the next level only when they feel comfortable and confident in their English skills.

Program Highlights

  • Small class sizes with experienced and trained teachers
  • Four levels of instruction plus university course electives for advanced students
  • Access to language labs and library facilities
  • TOEFL test preparation
  • Help with university, graduate and professional school applications
  • Travel and social activities
  • Excellent housing and meal plans
  • Very affordable tuition and living prices
  • A beautiful and safe campus

Admissions Requirements

All students must submit an Intensive English Program application along with a TOEFL or IELTS score report.  Admission will be limited to applicants who score at least 500 on the paper TOEFL, 61 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) or 5.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

All students who are admitted to the Intensive English Program will be granted full (unconditional) admission to Mercyhurst College upon successful completion of the program.  In certain cases, a student may be required to complete designated reading and or writing courses during his or her first term at Mercyhurst.

Mercyhurst will sponsor qualified F-1 visa students and will facilitate the visa acquisition process.  All applications to the Mercyhurst University Intensive English Program are handled on a personalized basis. 

Testing & Placement

All students take a placement test upon their arrival to Mercyhurst University.  This placement test evaluates each student’s abilities in English listening, composition, grammar and reading.  Students are also interviewed by program staff to test their English speaking level.  Results of the test and interview are used to place each student into his or her best course level.

  • Level 1:  Beginning level for students with a basic knowledge of written and spoken English.  Students complete Sessions 1, 2, 3 and 4.
  • Level 2:  Second level for students who have a basic understanding of written English, but need to build           their speaking skills.  Students complete Sessions 2, 3 and 4.
  • Level 3:  Intermediate level for students who can understand spoken English and can read most English, but need help with writing and/or grammar.  Students complete Sessions 3 and 4.
  • Level 4:  Advanced level for students who are proficient in English writing and grammar, but who need to become more fluent in English speaking.  Students complete Session 4.

The Mercyhurst Intensive English Summer Program is intended for students who are ready for Level 4.  Students may enroll in Mercyhurst summer term courses as well as the Intensive English Program.  The Academic Year Program is for students who qualify for Level 1, 2, 3 or 4.  Students who complete level 4 may enroll in Mercyhurst summer term courses.  Credits earned in Mercyhurst summer courses can be applied toward a Mercyhurst University degree.   Credits will also be transferred to other American colleges and universities.

Progressing through the Program

Students take an exam at the completion of each level of instruction.  The exam scores are used by instructors to help determine each student’s readiness to move on to the next level.   Students are not rushed or hurried – all students move through the program when they feel comfortable and confident to do so.  Each student’s achievement in course work and on exams is recorded on an official University evaluation form.  The University provides this evaluation form to students and their sponsors (upon the student’s request).  In addition, students leaving the program are awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Travel & Social Opportunities

Both summer and academic year students will have opportunities to participate in many social events throughout their program.  Academic year students may also join any of over 50 Mercyhurst student clubs and organizations, and attend all University lectures, presentations, recitals, social events and athletic events at no cost.  Planned trips for students include a tour of Niagara Falls, New York, a tour of the Rock ’n  Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and a trip to New York City.  There is no extra charge for any of the planned trips.  An optional trip to Washington DC will be offered at additional cost.


Mercyhurst will sponsor qualified F-1 visa students and will facilitate the visa acquisition process.  All applications to the Mercyhurst University Intensive English Program are handled on an individual basis.  Please contact:

Daniel Cabanillas
Admissions Coordintor, Intensive English Program
(814) 824-2430
USA Country Code: 001