Prepare for academic success

With the help of our Intensive English program, you’ll be ready for university study in the U.S.

Intensive Online English Plus (ION+)

Get started on your English language studies from your home country and be ready for your UST program! The Intensive Online Plus (ION+) program includes 18 hours of remote teaching each week, plus individual work in Guided E-Learning (GEL), MyELT and My English Lab learning platforms.

The 18 hours of remote teaching includes:

  • 8 hours of Structure and Speaking Practice (SSP)
  • 6 hours of Reading and Writing (R/W)
  • 2 hours Small Group Instruction (1 SSP and 1 R/W)
  • One 2-hour group American Experience class on Fridays

All classes are fully aligned with the ELS curriculum so you can work towards your Certificate of Completion, which is accepted in place of IELTS/TOEFL at 650+ universities in the US and Canada. For more information, click here.


Intensive English

The Intensive English course curriculum is designed to help you easily transition to university study – you will learn the key fundamentals of the English language in conjunction with vital study and classroom skills that will lead to success.

This program is designed for students that are not yet at the English level for the International Year One (IY1) program. This program allows these students to attend ELS to prepare them to enter the IY1 program, which saves at least 3 months of studying English.

The Intensive English classes are held on the University of St. Thomas – St. Paul campus at the ELS Language Center. You’ll make friends from around the world and across the U.S. as you practice your English with both international and domestic students alike.


Certificate of Completion

Successful completion of Level 109 of the Intensive English program will allow you to enter the University of St. Thomas International Year One program, provided you also meet the necessary academic entry requirements. The International Year One Program allows you to continue to improve your English while earning academic credits toward your St. Thomas bachelor’s degree.



  • Key Language Skills: Our English courses cover all essential language skills such as: listening, speaking, reading, writing, pronunciation, and grammar. You will learn to speak with clarity, listen carefully, and gain the writing competencies necessary to complete your academic assignments with ease and accuracy.
  • Key University Success Skills: To succeed in your university studies, you will need more than just basic English language skills. Our Intensive English program focuses on teaching you critical thinking, how to deliver presentations, public speaking, note-taking, academic research, and more.
  • Skills Enhancement Classes: The ELS Center at the University of St Thomas offers Skills Enhancement Classes dedicated to subjects such as American Idioms, American Film, Current Events, and American Culture – enabling you to not only learn the English language, but to become part of the conversation.
  • Applied Learning: Meet with native English-speakers, practice conversing while using real-world English, and listen to guest lecturers.