Intensive English Program at UW–Milwaukee


Download the Fall 2015 Handbook

Join students from more than 20 countries who enroll in the UWM Intensive English Program (IEP) each semester.

Choose the IEP to:

  • improve your English before beginning full time academic study at UWM or another U.S. college or university.
  • improve your English for professional advancement.
  • achieve your personal goal of gaining greater proficiency in English.
  • meet your requirement to take ESL as an undergraduate dual student (part-time IEP).
ESL to UWM:  Full-time IEP (conditionally admitted) students, and half-time IEP (dually admitted) students  who successfully demonstrate their ability to meet the learning outcomes of the highest IEP level (B2) will be considered to have met the English proficiency requirement for admission to undergraduate study.  No standardized test score (IELTS or TOEFL) is required.

Mission Statement

The IEP at UWM trains students in U.S. language and culture to prepare them for successful careers, either as undergraduate and graduate scholars in a university environment, or as professionals.  The IEP thus helps students adapt to the UWM campus, the city of Milwaukee and the wider Wisconsin and U.S. communities.The IEP focuses on developing and improving students’ communicative and cultural competence using authentic documents and situations, and encouraging critical awareness of cultures.

The IEP also contributes to scholarship in fields related to the teaching, learning and acquisition of second and foreign languages.  In collaboration with other academic units on the UWM campus, the IEP helps in the training of future instructors in the field, and participates in and conducts research whose aim is to expand scholarly understanding of language learning and acquisition.

Key to the success of the IEP are 1) strong relationships between IEP staff and students, 2) a curriculum that responds to the greatest extent possible to individual student needs, and presents students with authentic documents and situations, 3) cooperation and collaboration with UWM units whose missions also include international student and scholar services and 3) collaboration with UWM academic programs that have an international component.

Intensive English Program Outcomes

Students successfully completing the highest level (B2) of the IEP can:

  • read lengthy, complex texts with a large degree of independence, using a broad active reading vocabulary in all but low frequency words and idioms, adapting style and speed of reading to different texts and purposes, and using appropriate reference sources selectively.
  • use the language fluently, accurately and effectively on a wide range of general, academic, vocational or leisure topics, marking clearly the relationships between ideas.

  • communicate spontaneously with good grammatical control, minimally restricting what they want to say, and adopting a level of formality appropriate to the circumstances.

  • understand spoken language, live or broadcast, on both familiar and unfamiliar topics normally encountered in personal, social, academic or vocational life with comprehension difficulty arising only from extreme background noise, inadequate discourse structure and/or idiomatic usage.

  • write clear, detailed texts on a variety of subjects related to their fields of interest, synthesizing and evaluating information and arguments from a number of sources.

  • give clear, systematically developed, detailed descriptions and presentations on complex subjects, while integrating sub-themes, developing particular points, adding relevant supporting detail and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion.

More information can be found in the IEP curricular guide here.