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Frequently Asked Questions

Intensive English Program (IEP)

Usually, the answer is simple – Yes. If you are admitted to the IEP, NC State will issue your I-20 and mail it to you.

HOWEVER, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, IEP courses for the Spring 2021 semester will meet online. NC State is currently not able to issue student visas for online programs.

For some, this is very disappointing. For others, it is an opportunity to improve their English and – for now – save money (no university fees, no travel or living costs). Any international student can apply to take 1 or more IEP classes from their home country.

It will depend on the result of your placement exam, but generally students spend one to three semesters in the IEP program. There are three levels in the IEP, and it usually takes one semester to complete a level.

The placement exam is given 7-14 days before classes begin. You will receive information on the exact test dates via email.

There is no set way to study for our placement test, however, students have found that the more they surround themselves with the English language, the more comfortable they are when taking the placement test.

Some suggestions include:

  1. Read in English on any topic of interest to YOU; read as much as you can – magazine articles, newspapers, novels, etc.
  2. Watch English language TV – the international news, American TV shows, movies, etc.
  3. Listen to English podcasts
  4. Speak and write in English as much as possible.  Practice sharing your opinions on a variety of topics.  Be sure to support them with relevant details and examples 

English language students are not guaranteed admission to undergraduate or graduate degree programs. Once a student is enrolled in the IEP as an English language student, they are not eligible for conditional admission to the university. Students should apply directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or to the Graduate School to be considered for conditional admission. 

To pass each level, students must receive a GPA of 3.0 or higher* and have approximately 90% overall attendance rate.

*A student that does not pass their current level the first time is given two additional, consecutive semesters (e.g. Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Summer 2022) in which to pass that level.

To complete the IEP, you must complete level 6 with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, have approximately 90% overall attendance rate.

New Mind Education has been a partner of North Carolina State University since 2010. One of New Mind’s student programs is their University Performance Program, or UPP. This is a supplementary enrichment and advisory program designed to support first-year international undergraduate and graduate students at NC State, including IEP students. UPP provides weekly 1-on-1 advising, first-year seminars, volunteer opportunities, extracurricular activities, and field trips to achieve students’ holistic success.

IEP admission and admission to NC State remains completely independent of enrollment in UPP, but the optional program is recommended for first-year international students. 

For more information about New Mind (UPP), please visit their website.

Yes! You may apply to the IEP if you are under 18 years old.

Yes! The IEP offers part-time enrollment. Part-time students can take up to 16 hours/week of class in the IEP.

Please note that a student visa will not be provided for part-time students.

No. The cost of the IEP is made up of the program fee and mandatory university fees. These fees are the same for every student in the IEP, no matter what their visa status is or where they are currently living.

No. The Intensive English Program is a non-credit program so financial aid cannot be used to pay for it.

Conditional Admission

Yes, you must still complete the IEP. Once a student accepts the offer of conditional admission to NC State, he/she has made an agreement with the University and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or the Graduate School to fulfill the conditions of admission. To fulfill the condition of admission, a student must successfully complete the IEP.

A submission of a new English proficiency test score will not necessarily exempt conditionally admitted students from completing the IEP. It is true that a higher score on a standardized test does indicate improved English proficiency. However, student performance in an IEP is a better predictor over time of a student’s ability to successfully use English in an academic environment.

No, you may not. An offer of conditional admission is only valid beginning the semester indicated on the offer letter. Students may not come to the IEP early, even as an IEP-only student.

No, you may not. The IEP does not permit students to take credit courses while in the IEP unless that student is enrolled in our Pathway program.

Undergraduate Conditional Admission

Yes, you can; however, you should be aware of several important issues.

  1. Your new application will be reviewed, and your progress in the IEP will be carefully examined. If your academic performance in the IEP is not strong, this may reflect negatively on your entire application.
  2. There is no guarantee that those students who previously received an offer of conditional admission will receive a letter of direct admission by submitting this new application.

Conditionally admitted students who complete the IEP are expected to matriculate into their degree programs within one semester of passing level 6. If you are away for more than one semester, you will be expected to reapply for admission with a new TOEFL/IELTS score. This is because language proficiency is lost if not actively used.

It is strongly recommended that you apply to Undergraduate Admissions to receive conditional admission if you are considering attending NC State during your stay in the United States.  After completing the IEP, you then would proceed to your major without having to take an additional TOEFL or IELTS.

If you enroll in the IEP as an English language student, and decide to apply to NC State while you in the program, you are not eligible for conditional admission to the university. English language students are not guaranteed admission to undergraduate degree programs.

Graduate Conditional Admission

Not at this time. In the future, we may have a special Pathway Program for conditionally admitted graduate students in the future.

You will be integrated in classes with other IEP students.  If there is a sufficient number of graduate students, you will be placed in a section with other graduate students only.

Students do not apply for graduate conditional admission. They are considered for graduate conditional admission after applying DIRECTLY to the Graduate School.

If you have questions about anything related to the Intensive English Program, email If you have questions about your status as a conditionally admitted student, contact the Graduate School and your specific program.

Pathway Program

No, not at this time. The IEP is in the process of adding more credit classes in the future.

Yes! You will be in a regular undergraduate credit class with NC State undergraduate students.

COM 110 has approximately 20 students in each section, and MA 141 has approximately 80 students.

The IEP will register you for your undergraduate credit course as well as the IEP courses.

No. The TOEFL iBT score you submitted in your undergraduate NC State application will be used for your Pathway Program application.

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