The mission of the Intensive English Program (IEP) is to offer leveled English language courses to prepare non-native English speakers, including international students, for success in degree programs at the university and other academic and community settings. The IEP is committed to facilitating cross-cultural understanding and supporting the university’s values of academic excellence and inclusion.

The Washburn University Intensive English Program is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation for the period August 2021 through August 2022 and agrees to uphold the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions. CEA is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions in the U.S. For further information about this accreditation, please contact CEA, 1001 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 630, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 665-3400,

CEA Accreditation

Academic Calendar

  • Fall 2022: August 22 to December 16
  • Spring 2023: January 17  - May 12

Tuition for 2021-2022

  • Out-of-state residents and international students: approximately $10,500 USD for 13 credit hours per semester, which is 18 hours in the classroom per week.
  • In-state residents: $1,261 USD for each 4-credit course per semester.


Apply for the Intensive English Program

Students whose native language is not English must meet Washburn's English Proficiency Requirement. Any of the following can be used to satisfy this requirement.

  1. English Test Scores
    • TOEFL iBT score of 72 (18 average of Listening and Speaking, 17 for Reading, and 19 for Writing)
    • IELTS of 6.0 or above with no section score below 6.0
    • PTE of 49 or above with no section score below 40.
    • SAT of 480 on the Evidence-based Reading/Writing section and an interview (can be online) with IEP Coordinator, International Programs Director, or International Programs Coordinator of Recruiting
    • ACT English section score of 22 or above and an interview (can be online) with IEP Coordinator, International Programs Director, or International Programs Coordinator of Recruiting
    • Duolingo English Test (DET) – Overall Score of 95 with no placement scores below 95 being calculated according to the following chart:

Writing Placement

Reading Placement Speaking/Listening Placement
Average of Literacy and Production scores Average of Literacy and Comprehension scores Average of the following sets of scores: (Conversation + Compression)/2 and (Conversation + Production)/2

  1. English test scores for graduate students:
    • TOEFL iBT score of at least 80 or 6.5 on the IELTS with balanced sub-scores for students from non-English speaking countries. Please note that certain departments may have higher TOEFL/IELTS requirements. Graduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree at a U.S. institution may be required to take a reading and research course.
  2. Completion of both Level III of all the Intensive English courses at WU with grades of "C" or better.
  3. Completion of an Intensive English Program at another U.S. institution comparable to Washburn's program. Washburn's IEP staff determine the compatibility.
  4. Proof of citizenship from one of the countries on this List of English Speaking Countries.

Please also note:

Students who cannot meet these requirements will be admitted through the Intensive English Program. Certain departments may have higher TOEFL requirements.  Students meeting some but not all section score requirements, see IE Student Guide for more details.

Students who cannot meet the above guidelines will be placed in the Intensive English classes by the staff of the program based on their test scores and transcripts. They must fulfill this requirement as soon as possible.

Students who have completed Freshman Composition at another U.S.- based institution are not automatically exempt from Intensive English courses. They may be required to take the reading course if a deficiency in this area is determined.

Table of Scores needed for direct undergraduate admission (Students not meeting these scores can take Intensive English classes first)



Duolingo 95+

PTE - 49+

Average of Listening and Speaking Subtest Scores





Reading Subtest Scores





Writing Subtest Score





A more detailed table can be found in the IE Student Guide.

Three levels in each of the three areas are available in spring and fall semester: Speaking and Understanding, Reading Comprehension, and Academic Writing. There is also an additional level course offered for graduate students.

Language in Context, a complimentary seminar, is required of all full-time degree-seeking Intensive English students.

All classes follow the University schedule and meet five hours per week in class each semester (16 weeks). Students can utilize the Writing Center and the English as a Second Language (ESL) service, which may be one-on-one instruction provided by or associated with the University free of charge to the students. A full-time student typically takes three courses and receives 16-18 hours of instruction for 12 hours of credit. In addition, students have full access to other University services and facilities, such as the health center, computer labs, libraries, and athletic events/facilities, free of charge.

The 200-level courses  (IE 202, IE 203, and IE 204) are recognized as general electives for non-native English speaking students and are applicable toward the undergraduate degree programs at Washburn.

IE 091 / 092 Language in Context Seminar (0-2 hrs
This course gives international students unique opportunities to experience language in local cultural contexts and challenge their application of the English language.  Students will go on field trips and hear guest speakers from diverse backgrounds on relevant topics to the international student.  Students will be required to complete a project and write a journal with reflections on their experiences.  IE091 is offered in the fall and IE092 is offered in the spring.  These courses meet for two hours per week but do not count toward the 120 hour baccalaureate degree requirement.  Full-time Intensive English students are required to enroll in this course for 1 credit hour.  No prerequisite.

Reading Comprehension
IE 072 Reading Comprehension for Academic Purposes I (4 hrs)
IE 102 Reading Comprehension for Academic Purposes II (4 hrs)
These courses develop non-native English speakers' vocabulary and reading skills for personal and academic communication using materials with diverse topics.

IE 202 Reading Comprehension for Academic Purposes III (4 hrs)
By reading books, articles and sample academic texts, non-native English speakers in this course study and practice effective reading and investigating strategies to discover the ways ideas are expressed and put into writing. Besides building academic vocabulary, the goals are increased reading fluency, speed and understanding.

Speaking and Understanding
IE 073 Speaking and Understanding for Academic Purposes I (4 hrs)
IE 103 Speaking and Understanding for Academic Purposes II (4 hrs)
Non-native English speaking students practice improving their oral and aural skills. They prepare to participate in everyday social conversations, classroom interactions, listening effectively to lectures and being involved in basic discussions. Students are expected to prepare and give short speeches and will be tested weekly on a list of idiomatic expressions.

IE 203 Speaking and Understanding for Academic Purposes III (4 hrs)
This course focuses specifically on the skills needed for presentations, the basic organization of American communication, and idiomatic expressions that prepare the student for the American academic and professional environment.

Academic Writing
IE 074 Writing for Academic Purposes I (4 hrs)
IE 104 Writing for Academic Purposes II (4 hrs )
These courses for non-native English speakers focus on foundational writing skills from sentence structure to well-organized paragraphs of various kinds. Besides analyzing audience and purpose, basic citation and research skills are covered.

IE 204 Writing for Academic Purposes III (4 hrs)
Expressing ideas in writing for the American academic and business reader is the goal in these courses for non-native English speakers. Students will learn the conventions of expository paragraphs, essays and investigative reports. Summary, analysis, citation and research skill practice are included.

IE 295 Special Topics: Enhancing Skills for Graduate Studies (3 hrs)
Required course for all prospective graduate students.

Vocabulary you should learn:

Most Common 2000 Words in English -

Academic Word List – a list of 570 words used in all majors

To study vocabulary:  Use with Flashcards+ App  Free online dictionary that is very good for learners like you!  The App is available for iPhone for $4.99 and is well worth it!

For listening and reading:

Writing and Tutoring Center at Mabee Library:  

Grammar help:

Irregular Verb list -

General Grammar Help -

Spelling Rules -

For using sources in APA format:

Writing Center

Coordinator: Kelly McClendon

Faculty: JiSoo Abbuehl

Faculty: MaryAnn Wittman

American Association of Intensive English Program

GET IN TOUCH WITH International Programs

Office of International Programs
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

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