The Institute for Academic Studies provides a foundation for university-level English. Students receive an introduction to academic subjects in English and experience life and culture at a U.S. university. Guest lectures from Penn professors offer students a unique university experience.

  • 4 week program
  • 20 academic hours per week
  • 3-5 hours of socio-cultural activities and field work per week
  • 4 Penn professor guest lectures
  • 2 levels: intermediate, advanced

 Sample Weekly Schedule

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:30-
9:20
Elective 1 Elective 1 Elective 1 Elective 1 Elective 1
9:30-10:20 Elective 2 Elective 2 Elective 2 Elective 2 Elective 2
10:40-12:20 Core: Philadelphia in a Global Context Core: Philadelphia in a Global Context Core: Philadelphia in a Global Context Core: Philadelphia in a Global Context Core: Philadelphia in a Global Context
12:00-1:30 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
Afternoon/
Evening Activities
Guest Lecture
Field Trip:
Independence Hall
  Major League Baseball Night  

All Skills Core Course helps students build integrated academic English skills, including speaking, listening, reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar. Read more about the core course.

Elective Courses help students develop English for communicating about academic content and themes such as Communications, Innovation and Technology, Leadership, Marketing, Resiliency, and Sustainability. Read more about elective courses.

Lectures by Penn Professors occur on topics related to the elective courses. Read more about lectures by Penn professors.

Socio-cultural Activities and Field Work are organized for students for 3-5 hours per week. Read more about activities and field work.

Program Requirements

Students must be at least 18 years old and have a language proficiency at the CEFR level of B1- as demonstrated by TOEFL iBT of 57+, TOEFL PBT of 487+, IELTS of 5.5+, or TOEIC of 550+.  If you do not have a test score but believe you are at an intermediate level or higher, you can participate in an online placement test to determine eligibility after submitting your application.  If you do not qualify for the program, all application materials will be returned to you.