Skip Sub Menu

Intensive English Program

The Intensive English Program (IEP) is an academic support service designed to help international students enhance their academic success by improving their English language proficiency and increasing their familiarity with US culture. Small classes and individual attention characterize Drake's IEP, where intermediate and advanced level courses are offered. Course placement will be based on scores received through an English proficiency exam, such as TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test.

Intermediate IEP Courses

This program is designed with the flexibility to move students from one level to another should it be determined that is in their best interest.

This course will build strategies for developing reading speed and comprehension, while developing the students' vocabulary.

This course will emphasize using structure correctly in oral and written communication.

Listening & Speaking
This course will use a pragmatic approach to build listening and speaking skills, utilizing various types of everyday communication.

This course will develop writing skills as used in everyday communication.

Pronunciation & Spelling
This course will focus on improving pronunciation of American English.

Academic Vocabulary

This course will focus on increasing your academic vocabulary. Will be taught in the Fall.

Community Conversations

This course is required of all F-1 students every semester but is also available to any student enrolled in the IEP. It will focus on conversation and life in the U.S.

Advanced IEP Courses

This course will build strategies for improving reading speed and comprehension, while improving the students' vocabulary.

This course will focus on the structure of American English as it is used for reading, writing, and speaking, especially in an academic context.

Listening & Speaking
This course will improve listening and speaking skills for academic purposes, including listening to lectures and taking notes, giving oral presentations, and participating in group discussions.

This course will focus on several types of academic writing: journal writing, summary writing, essay writing, and scholarly reports or research papers.

TOEFL Preparation
This course will prepare students for taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which is required at many U.S. institutions in order to take academic programs. It will use exercises and practice tests, and will focus on developing the students' test-taking skills.

Academic Language Preparation

This course will prepare students for specific academic situations, including: group work, speeches and presentations, note-taking, problem-solving, and other unique language tasks that are unique to U.S. classrooms. It will be offered in the Spring term.

Community Conversations

This course is required of all F-1 students every semester but is also available to any student enrolled in the IEP. It will focus on conversation with U.S. American peers, life in the U.S. and skills-building in a U.S. classroom context.

Sample IEP Schedule

During Fall and Spring semesters, there is one session over a sixteen week semester. 

Four core language skill courses are offered every semester to include Listening and Speaking, Grammar, Reading and Writing as well as a TOEFL Preparation course. Additional multi-skills courses are also offered but can change from semester to semester.

Start dates for terms are August and January.  All F-1 students must complete 26 weeks prior to a vacation period. Contact the for specific dates.

Sample Intensive English Program Course Schedule (PDF)

TOEFL Equivalencies

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Students with a TOEFL score below 54-55 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) will enroll in intermediate level English as a Second Language courses. Students with an iBT score above 54-55 will enroll in advanced ESL level courses. (See below for computer and paper-based TEOFL score equivalencies.)

Scores are evaluated on each part of the TOEFL, therefore it is possible that a student may enroll at the intermediate level in some skill areas, but at the advanced level in others.

Students with iBT scores above 71 (for undergraduate study) or 79-80 (for graduate level study) are not required to take English as a Second Language, but may enroll in IEP courses that they believe will interest and benefit them. Such courses are free of charge to anyone who is paying full-time Drake tuition.

Score equivalencies

iBT = internet Based TOEFL
CBT = Computer Based TOEFL
Paper = Paper and pencil TOEFL (including the Drake institutional TOEFL)

iBT 54-55  =  CBT 157  =  Paper 480   
iBT 71  =  CBT 197  =  Paper 530
iBT 79-80  =  CBT 213  =  Paper 550

All IEP courses are academically-focused to improve English language skills as well as familiarity with academic content, vocabulary and US classroom practices.

Drake IEP students have full access to university facilities, including the Library, Health Center, Career Center, recreational facilities, Counseling Center, and, of course, the Office of Global Engagement. They may participate in any campus event or student activity that is available to degree-seeking students. IEP students will learn to access campus services, library holdings, faculty and each other via Drake e-mail, Blackboard, and the MyDrake system.

The IEP is offered during the Fall (15 weeks, August – December) and Spring (15 weeks, January – May).

Fall or Spring (per semester)
    Full-time (≥6 IEP courses) $6,500
  (per course)
    Part-time (<6 IEP courses) $1,300

For full details on program costs, including housing, books, health insurance and other fees, see the Drake IEP Financial Certificate

All students in the IEP must have a high school diploma and at least the minimum required English proficiency exam scores as listed on this page.

Spring & Fall 2024 Update:

The Intensive English Program will not be offering courses offered in Spring or Fall 2024. We will reevaluate our offerings in the future, but in the meantime, courses have been suspended. You can continue to check our website for future offerings, but as of right now, there are no planned classes being offered in 2024.

University Calendar 
University News