Back to top

DigiPen’s Intensive English Preparation (IEP) courses are designed for international students who wish to attend DigiPen but whose language skills are insufficient to pass a standardized proof of English language test at the time of application. IEP courses help students improve their English language proficiency so they can be successful in their chosen degree program at DigiPen.

When you enroll in IEP courses, you will learn and practice a broad range of skills, including oral communication, industry-specific vocabulary, and advanced reading and writing. These courses will equip you to communicate effectively in complex work and social situations. IEP courses will also help you adjust to DigiPen’s culture and our rigorous academic programs. You will interact with faculty, staff, and other students as you become familiar with this unique learning environment.

By taking IEP courses, you will also gain knowledge of American cultural practices through immersion in both the DigiPen community and the local area. You can improve your English language skills by engaging in conversations with people from many different cultures. You may also participate in the full range of clubs and activities at DigiPen, such as playtesting groups, esports, study clubs, and more.

Credits earned from IEP courses do not count toward any DigiPen degree programs.

IEP Enrollment

Applicants who meet all of the admission requirements for their chosen degree program but lack English proficiency will automatically be considered for IEP courses and may be asked to provide the score sheet from their standardized English test. To qualify for IEP courses, you must have achieved one of the following minimum test scores but not met the score requirement to prove proficiency in the English language:

  • TOEFL (paper exam): 450
  • TOEFL (computer exam): 133
  • TOEFL (internet-based test): 45
  • IELTS (paper exam): 4.0
  • Cambridge English (paper exam): PET (level B1)

We will notify you if you qualify to participate in IEP courses and you will receive a conditional acceptance to your degree program. After completing the IEP courses, you will still be required to submit a passing proof of English test score before you can matriculate into your degree program.

IEP Course Requirements

At the start of IEP courses, you will be placed at a specific level based on the outcome of a placement test. Each level of IEP coursework takes one semester (15 weeks) to complete. To complete the level, you must earn the indicated number of credits for that level by completing the required courses.

  • IEP Placement Level I requires completion of at least 14 credits.
  • IEP Placement Level II requires completion of at least 14 credits.
  • IEP Placement Level III requires completion of at least 14 credits.
  • IEP Placement Level IV requires completion of at least 16 credits.

You must remain enrolled with a course load of at least 12 credits to maintain full-time status.

IEP Course Sequence

Level 1 (Semester 1)

Level 2 (Semester 2)

Level 3 (Semester 3)

Level 4 (Semester 4/College Bridge)

Electives

Completion of IEP Levels

Upon completion of each level of IEP courses, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion in Intensive English Preparation specifying the level completed.

Exam Requirement

After completing the required IEP coursework, you must fulfill your admission condition by taking one of the following tests and earning the minimum passing score or greater:

  • TOEFL (paper exam): 550 minimum passing score
  • TOEFL (computer exam): 233 minimum passing score
  • TOEFL (Internet-Based Test): 80 minimum passing score
  • IELTS (paper exam): 6.5 minimum passing score

Course Descriptions

Required Courses

CourseDetailsDescription
IEP 001L — English Language Lab I
Credits: 2
Class Type: Lab
Prerequisite: None
This course reinforces English language skills through contact with the teacher and other students and includes practical applications of material taught in IEP classes.
IEP 002L —
English Language Lab II
Credits: 2
Class Type: Lab
Prerequisite: IEP 001L
This course reinforces English language skills through contact with the teacher and other students and includes practical applications of material taught in IEP classes.
IEP 003L —
English Language Lab III
Credits: 2
Class Type: Lab
Prerequisite: IEP 002L
This course reinforces English language skills through contact with the teacher and other students and includes practical applications of material taught in IEP classes.
IEP 010 —
Reading & Grammar I
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: None
This course focuses on developing proficiency in reading skills. Topics may include main ideas, key details, tone, organization, transitions, referents, writer’s purpose, and vocabulary in context.
IEP 011 —
Writing & Grammar I
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: None
This course focuses on paragraph development and grammatical control, building from the sentence to the paragraph level. This includes an introduction to writing techniques and grammar.
IEP 012 —
Listening & Speaking I
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: None
This course focuses on understanding basic verbal and non-verbal communication in academic and real-life settings through short listening activities, and making brief oral presentations.
IEP 020 —
Reading & Grammar II
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: IEP 010
This course focuses on the development of reading comprehension, critical thinking, small group discussion, and academic research using a variety of different materials, such as library books, periodicals, encyclopedias, and the Internet.
IEP 021 —
Writing & Grammar II
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: IEP 011
This course focuses on paragraph-to-essay structure, including clear thesis statements, body paragraphs with clear topic sentences, and conclusions. Various rhetorical styles will be introduced, including expository, classification, and comparison and contrast.
IEP 022 —
Listening & Speaking II
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: IEP 012
This course focuses on the expansion of speaking and listening skills, including giving and getting information, instructions, opinions, and reasons.
IEP 030 —
Reading & Grammar III
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: IEP 020
This course focuses on reading a variety of higher-level materials and expands on research proficiency.
IEP 031 —
Writing & Grammar III
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: IEP 021
This course focuses on identifying and developing cause/effect, descriptive, analytical, and persuasive essays as well as editing writing from other sources.
IEP 032 —
Listening & Speaking III
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: IEP 022
This course focuses on improving listening and speaking abilities in complex communicative situations, both academic and social. It uses media to practice advanced language functions and develop competence with appropriate grammatical structures.
IEP 040 —
College Reading & Grammar
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: IEP 030
This course focuses on the development of reading skills that students are expected to use in college courses. These skills include understanding complex reading selections, critical thinking, library research, and presentation of new material. Students will be required to pass a practicum in order to pass the course.
IEP 041 —
Academic Writing & Grammar
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: IEP 031
This course focuses on writing multi-paragraph research-based essays, with a strong thesis and citations, in a logically organized and error-free manner. Students will be required to pass a practicum in order to pass the course.
IEP 042 —
Lecture Comprehension & Presentation
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: IEP 032
This course focuses on speaking, listening, note-taking, and communication skills for college transition students. Students will be required to pass a practicum in order to pass the course.
IEP 043 —
Professional Vocabulary
Credits: 4
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: IEP 032
This course focuses on the development of vocabulary specific to the technical, design, and artistic fields.

Electives

CourseDetailsDescription
IEP 004L — English Language Lab IV
Credits: 2
Class Type: Lab
Prerequisite: IEP 003L
This course reinforces English language skills through contact with the teacher and other students and includes practical applications of material taught in IEP classes.
IEP 005L —
English Language Lab V
Credits: 2
Class Type: Lab
Prerequisite: IEP 004L
This course reinforces English language skills through contact with the teacher and other students and includes practical applications of material taught in IEP classes.
IEP 050 —
English Slang
Credits: 3
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: None
This course focuses on understanding the complex usage of informal English in both social and academic settings.
IEP 051 —
Oral Communication
Credits: 3
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: None
This course focuses on developing speaking and listening skills, with emphasis on public speaking and presentations.
IEP 052 —
Test Preparation
Credits: 3
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: None
This course focuses on preparing students for various types of tests, which may include standardized tests such as the TOEFL, and teacher-generated subject exams.
IEP 053 —
American Culture
Credits: 3
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: None
This course focuses on understanding American culture and the behaviors and attitudes of Americans.
IEP 054 —
Topics in Humanities
Credits: 3
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: None
This course focuses on understanding the influence of literature, art, philosophy, etc. on ancient and modern culture.
IEP 055 —
Understanding Fiction
Credits: 3
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: None
This course focuses on understanding different genres of English fiction, including short stories, poems, and novels.
IEP 056 —
Personal and Professional Development
Credits: 3
Class Type: Lecture
Prerequisite: None
This course focuses on developing individual and group skills needed for success in a professional environment.

Take the Next Step

Get started with our in-depth information packet!

Sign up to receive our degree program viewbook and other resources to help you determine if a DigiPen education is right for you.

Request Information

Start Your Application

Ready to take your education further? Head to our secure application portal and submit an application for admission.

Apply Online