Frequently Asked Questions

How will IEP benefit me?

The Intensive English Program is not only a language program to help you improve your listening, speaking, and writing skills, but the program serves as a introduction to American culture and university life. Entering directly into university classes is hard for most students new to the United States, so the IEP faculty and staff wants to make IEP a beneficial transition time for many international students.

How long will I be in IEP?

This can depend on your previous English experience, TOEFL scores, and also how long you feel you can benefit from IEP courses. International students (with a PBT TOEFL score less than 500/ IBT less than 61 or those without a TOEFL score) admitted into the university take a placement exam that determines what IEP level they will start in. IEP has 5 levels, and every level is 8 weeks long. Students must pass each class with an A or B to move on to the next level. A TOEFL score over 500 will qualify a student to take regular university classes.

If I’m going to graduate school, do I still need to take IEP classes?

If your TOEFL score meets the graduate school’s requirements (minimum score of IBT 80 or PBT 550), then you are not required to take IEP classes. Taking IEP classes before entering directly into university classes is recommended because IEP helps prepare international students in American culture of education and classroom behavior. However, taking IEP classes does NOT guarantee admission into graduate school.

What is the difference between IEP classes and regular university classes?

IEP classes are designed to teach the academic English needed for success in university classes and to help international students transition into their university coursework. Because the American teaching style is very different from many countries, IEP teachers feel it is important to help students understand the differences of how the American classroom works. IEP classes have assignments, homework, and projects like regular classes, but teachers in IEP have time and are willing to help students improve their language and study skills. In regular university classes, the professors may not understand the transition the international students face, and they may not always have as much time to spend with individual students. In this way, IEP gives students the opportunity to improve their classroom skills before entering the American university for the first time.

What different countries are represented in IEP?

IEP enrolls students from different countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, Niger, Kazakhstan, S.Korea, Mexico, Columbia, Taiwan, and Japan.

Do I have to take the TOEFL before applying to UCA?

No, you do not have to take the TOEFL before applying to UCA, but you cannot be directly admitted to the undergraduate or graduate school until you have qualifying TOEFL scores or until you complete the Intensive English Program. If admitted to UCA without a TOEFL score, you will take the IEP placement test and automatically start classes in IEP for the semester you are admitted.

Where can I take the TOEFL and when can I receive my scores?

UCA offers a paper-based TOEFL on campus. Students who wish to take the Internet-based TOEFL are free to schedule an exam time at their convenience but must arrange for their own transportation to the test center (the closest is Little Rock, which is a 30-minute drive from Conway). Please the ETS Web site for more information.

If I pass the TOEFL, do I have to complete all IEP levels?

No, students are not required to complete all IEP levels if they pass the TOEFL; however, it is highly recommended that students consider completing their English program to better prepare them for university classes.

Can I get a job on campus?

While many jobs on campus are reserved for  students who receive financial aid from the U.S. government, however international students can apply for some jobs on campus. These jobs may include departmental positions (such as a secretary), positions in Reynolds Performance Hall, or positions with Aramark (such as working in the cafeteria or in catering). Many students apply for jobs on campus, so it is not guaranteed that you can find a job. Students are required to get a Social Security Number (registered with the U.S. government) to be employed on campus. Students with on-campus jobs work a maximum of 20 hours a week. It is illegal for international students on student visas to work off campus.