The Intensive English Programs support the internationalization goals of Southeast Missouri State University by preparing English language learners for success in undergraduate or graduate study through high-quality instruction in the English language and cultural orientation activities. The Intensive English Programs emphasize the linguistic skills, cultural awareness, and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed at an American university.


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The IEP is accredited by CEA (The Commission on English Language Program Accreditation) and is a proud member of EnglishUSA (AAIEP), both of which promote professional standards and quality instruction in intensive English programs.

The Intensive English Program at Southeast Missouri State University is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation for the period April 2017 through April 2021 and agrees to uphold the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions. CEA is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions in the U.S. For further information about this accreditation, please contact CEA, 1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 630, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 665-3400, www.cea-accredit.org.

When new students arrive, they take several placement exams. A committee of IEP teachers reviews all exam scores to decide the best levels for each student to study reading, writing, listening and speaking, and grammar. Students move quickly through the program because they practice each skill at exactly the right level.

In Reading class, students

  • Recognize the letters in the English alphabet and use patterns to decode words
  • Recognize affixes and use them to understand word meanings
  • Continuously develop vocabulary including words used for familiar, daily activities; academic vocabulary; and idiomatic expressions
  • Improve reading fluency through directed readings and extensive reading
  • Answer wh- questions about short texts
  • Differentiate between details and main ideas
  • Differentiate between facts and opinions
  • Match cause to effect
  • Compare and contrast authors' points of view
  • Infer meaning from text
  • Synthesize information from multiple texts
  • Use headings and subheadings to understand the structure of texts
  • Evaluate reliability and identify evidence of bias in texts
  • Identify literary elements and cultural values in short stories

In Writing class, students

  • Write words with a variety of sounds and spelling patterns
  • Write simple sentences about the past, present, and future
  • Write compound and complex sentences using a variety of verb tenses
  • Use a recursive writing process that includes peer review and multiple drafts
  • Write a variety of basic paragraphs with topic sentences, supporting sentences, and concluding sentences
  • Write a variety of well-developed paragraphs that show understanding of sentence and paragraph structures
  • Write a variety of three-paragraph essays with introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions
  • Write a variety of well-developed five-paragraph essays that show understanding of coherence, cohesion, and effective transitional phrases
  • Summarize, paraphrase, and cite information from other sources
  • Write a research essay that integrates a variety of sources

In Listening and Speaking class, students

  • Ask and answer basic questions and make simple statements about concrete and familiar topics
  • Identify main ideas and details in short messages and media programs
  • Speak about their dreams, hopes, and expectations
  • Use a variety of techniques to take notes on lectures and presentations
  • Deliver presentations on personal, academic, and professional topics
  • Answer questions about the content of extended speech, including lectures
  • Use flexible and precise language to present descriptions of complex subjects
  • Infer connections between ideas in extended speech that is not clearly structured
  •  Verbally cite sources in researched academic presentations
  • Improve pronunciation, including intonation patterns, syllable and word stress, linking, and thought groups

In Grammar class, students

  • Use simple verb tenses to make affirmative and negative statements, questions, answers, and imperatives
  • Use perfect, progressive, and perfect progressive verb forms to make affirmative and negative statements, questions, answers, and imperatives
  • Use future time clauses with before, after, and when
  • Can use prepositions of time and place
  • Use count and non-count nouns with appropriate articles, and stative and active verbs with appropriate tenses
  • Use modals, gerunds, infinitives, and passive constructions
  • Use adjective, adverb, and noun clauses
  • Use comparative and superlative structures

The IEP has 9 levels: 8 levels for undergraduate students and an additional level called Grad CAP for graduate students.

Students may take the Grad CAP courses if they:

  • have a bachelor’s degree, and
  • have completed the undergraduate IEP program of study, or have a TOEFL of 61 or an IELTS score of 5.5 or greater, or
  • by departmental permission.

IEP levels range from beginning to advanced on the CEFR scale.

IEP level

CEFR level

# weeks

Description (adapted from the CEFR level descriptors)




Can understand and use some familiar expressions. Can interact in a very simple way provided the other person talks very slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.




Can understand and use familiar expressions. Can communicate in simple interactions when the other person talks slowly and clearly.




Can communicate in routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.




Can initiate, maintain, and close simple interactions, and can produce some simple text, when the topic is related to familiar or personal matters.




Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest.




Can understand most main ideas on more complex academic text. Can interact with some hesitation,  produce connected text related to events, and give some simple reasons and explanations.




Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.




Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.

Grad CAP



Can understand most texts regardless of length or subject. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

IEP students have over 22 hours of language instruction each week in four classes:

  • Listening and Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Grammar

Below is an example of the class schedule for a typical IEP student in levels 1-8 (students in Grad CAP courses will have a different schedule).


Monday-Friday: 8:30am-10:20am


Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays: 10:30am-11:50am


Mondays and Wednesdays: 1:30pm-3:45pm


Tuesdays and Thursdays: 12:30pm-2:45pm

Conditional Admission is available for all undergraduate majors and many graduate programs. Students who apply for conditional admission do not need to send a TOEFL or IELTS score.

Conditional admission for bachelor's students

If a student meets some requirements for admission except the required language test score, they can receive conditional admission. A student with conditional admission must improve their English language skills by attending the Intensive English Program. After the student completes level 8 classes, they will be fully admitted to the university.

Conditional admission for master's students

After finishing the undergraduate IEP requirements, master's students will study in the Graduate Conditional Acceptance Program (Grad CAP), which is taught in one full sixteen-week semester beginning in either August or January (Grad CAP courses are not offered during the summer). After the student completes Grad CAP with a grade of B or better (and sometimes other requirements, such as GRE or GMAT exams), they will be fully admitted to the university.

Conditional Admission is possible for the following Graduate Programs:
Master of Arts
  • English (including TESOL)
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Human Environmental Studies
  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Management
  • Financial Management
  • General Management
  • Health Administration
  • Industrial Management
  • International Business
  • Sport Management
  • Environmental Science
  • Management
  • Nutrition and Exercise Science
  • Technology Management (separate deadline)
  • Criminal Justice
  • Biology (separate deadline)
  • Chemistry (fall only admission, separate deadline)
  • Mathematics
Master of Business Administration
Master of Science
Master of Natural Sciences
Science Education


International Center 102
Intensive English Programs
One University Plaza, MS 2040
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701