University of Pennsylvania

Fast Facts

  • School Size


  • Cost of Attendance

    $1,000—$5,000 Session

  • Affiliation


  • Type of School


  • Student Body Gender


  • Religious Affiliation

    No Affiliation

  • Scholarships for International Students


  • Conditional Admission Available


  • Top Programs

    English Language (ESL), English for Academic Purposes, English for Professionals

  • Setting


  • Accreditation and Certification


  • Type of Housing

    Residence Hall, Homestay, Apartment, Dormitory

  • Social Media

The English Language Programs

Come join us in Philadelphia, a vibrant and diverse city of 1.5 million people! Philadelphia is the fifth largest city in the United States, and was the United States’ first capital. Today, Philadelphia is rich in culture, history, art, nature, shopping, and entertainment. Students can attend music performances, cheer on professional sports teams, explore famous museums, visit historical sites, shop at trendy boutiques, and much, much more! Philadelphia is located between New York and Washington, D.C., and within easy travel distance to Boston, Baltimore, and the Atlantic Ocean beaches.

University of Pennsylvania’s English Language Programs (ELP) is one of the top programs in the U.S. All full-time instructors hold Master’s or PhD degrees in English as a Second Language (ESL) or Applied Linguistics and have extensive teaching experience. University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is a top-ranked, Ivy League university, home to the Wharton School of Business.

Each year, Penn ELP offers Academic English, Business English, and General English to 2,000 students from 35 countries!

As part of the university community, the ELP opens the door for students to study English at a top-ranked U.S. university!


Institute for Academic Studies

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. 

  • 4-week sessions
  • 20 academic hours per week
  • 4 Penn faculty guest lectures 
  • 2 levels: intermediate and advanced 

Elective courses cover academic content on topics such as Communications, Innovation & Technology, Leadership, Marketing, Resiliency, and Sustainability while core courses include a focus on the culture and history of Philadelphia.

Institute for Business Communication

The Institute for Business Communication engages students in courses that cover a variety of real world business issues and topics designed to improve their business knowledge and professional communication skills, and to better prepare them to achieve their professional goals.

  • 4-week session
  • 20 academic hours per week
  • 4 Penn faculty guest lectures 
  • 2 levels: intermediate and advanced

Students develop practical business skills through simulated business activities and targeted assessments.  Covered skills include analyzing business strategies, negotiating effectively, collaborating in meetings, and speaking persuasively. 

University Connection

The University Connection program joins academic English preparation with one-on-one advising, admissions workshops, and orientation to US university culture to help students successfully apply to undergraduate or graduate degree programs at US universities. University Connection Plus includes SAT, GRE, or GMAT preparation courses.

  • 7-week sessions
  • 20 academic hours per week
  • One-on-one meetings with university admission specialists 
  • 3 levels from intermediate to advanced 

Students learn how to navigate the admissions process, perform university research, identify best-fit schools, write memorable application essays, and submit successful applications. Students also improve their academic English fluency and develop time management and study strategies to better prepare them for success in their degree program. Eligible advanced-level students can also apply to take a credit course through Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS).

Intensive Program

In the ELP’s accredited Intensive Program, students develop their English language skills through well-designed core and elective courses.

  • 7-week sessions
  • 20 academic hours per week
  • 8 levels from beginner to advanced

Exceptional curriculum and expert teaching methods help students increase their fluency and confidence so they can achieve their academic, professional, or personal goals. Every aspect of the Penn ELP experience – from in-class discussions to out-of-class group projects, from living on a university campus to participating in planned cultural activities – assists students in improving their English skills and enhancing their understanding of US culture. Includes academic English, business English, and general English course options.

Student Activities

  • Social and cultural activities, including museum visits, concerts, and parties
  • Field trips, such as professional sporting events, shopping excursions, and beach trips
  • Conversation Partners Program to practice English with native speakers
  • Penn student clubs to volunteer, play sports, or explore new interests
  • ELP Student Center to learn about fun events on campus and in Philadelphia or to relax and meet new people


  • International House of Philadelphia: suites of 10 single rooms with shared lounge, bathroom, and optional kitchen
  • Homestay: private bedroom in home of American family
  • Dormitories: on-campus Penn dorms, available in July/August only
  • Off-campus Options
University of Pennsylvania

3340 Walnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19104-6274
P: 215.898.8681
For more information: University of Pennsylvania