Course Description

This Online American College Prep Course Helps International Students Achieve Academic Success

The academic experience in the U.S. can be very different from that in other countries. International students planning to attend colleges/universities in the U.S. can give themselves the advantage of learning about campus life and academic expectations ahead of time by taking this online course, which will help them more successfully navigate academic life in the U.S.

Titled Preparing for University in the U.S. and thoughtfully crafted to help international students become ready for what awaits them in their upcoming college experience, this 7-week online college prep course is taught by the University of San Diego’s prestigious English Language Academy.

Who Is This Program For?

This American university preparation program is ideal for non-native, English-speaking international students who are planning to attend college in America. It is designed primarily for students who have already been accepted to a U.S. college or university. International students who have already begun their studies in the U.S. may also find the program to be helpful.

Students are required to have at least a high intermediate level of proficiency in English. The course does not provide application support or entrance counseling.

If you are an international student with solid English skills who wants to prepare for undergraduate study at an American college or university, this preparatory course will help you improve your abilities in spoken and written English, as well as your understanding of U.S. academic culture. 

Why Prepare Yourself for College in the U.S.?

International students are not always well-equipped for the social, cultural, and academic challenges that exist on American college/university campuses. This course helps you learn and apply concepts, theories, and skills to become a better contributing member of an American university classroom and campus community.

The English Language Academy’s college prep program focuses on two primary areas:

  • Academic English preparation
  • Expanded cultural awareness

Course Details

Course Format: This course is offered in an asynchronous, online format.

Curriculum: This online course is made up of seven one-week modules.

Instructors: USD Faculty, experienced in online teaching techniques, provide a stimulating online learning environment. All instructors hold a Master's degree or higher.

Program Requirements: Advanced level of English proficiency. 

Course Options

Course Date Units Price

What You Will Learn

In terms of student learning outcomes, participants in our college and university prep course will develop the ability to:

  • Identify and apply academic and campus resources (online and in-person)
  • Express questions, concerns, or requests to a professor or university community member
  • Distinguish key aspects of classroom and university culture in relation to expected conduct
  • Develop interpersonal communication skills for peer and group work Apply time management techniques and study skills to reduce stress
  • Produce and participate in academic presentations
  • Refine college-level critical thinking and writing skills


Professional development courses offered by the University of San Diego’s Division of Professional & Continuing Education are taught by faculty that possess a depth and breadth of academic and real-world professional experience.

Why USD?

PCE nurtures key partnerships on the local, national and international level to better serve working professionals who seek to enhance or build their careers, as well as with their employers to help achieve their highest value and potential. Contact us today to learn more.

Informative Stats and Facts


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Learning Method Information

Courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that allows you to structure your education to suit your schedule while keeping you on pace toward achieving your educational.

Online Fixed-Date

Online Fixed-Date: Online fixed-date courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that enables you to collaborate with your instructor and other students in a shared, online learning environment. These courses have fixed start and finish dates, but as an online student you will have 24/7 online access to your classroom assignments, syllabus and course resources. Our online fixed-date courses allow you to work on your assignments anytime, although you are required to complete the assignments by specific dates.

How is the learning structured? In an online fixed-date course, you and your classmates will proceed through the curriculum together, collaborating in a shared learning experience. Each online fixed-date course is asynchronous, meaning that you can work on your assignments anytime, although required to complete the assignments by specific dates. The course is designed with learning modules where all of the content is grouped into weekly assignments. Each module covers one or more topics. Within each of the learning modules, you can expect the following components:

  • Module introduction that outlines what you can expect to learn in the module.
  • Required readings (textbook, articles, journals, etc.) and presentations (audio and/or video).
  • Assignments with due dates (which may include: written assignments, journal entries, research, blogs, etc.) based on the readings and presentations.
  • Discussion forum where you answer prompts from the instructor and interact with your classmates.
  • Module conclusion to review the topics and what you should have learned.
  • Typically, there is a final project, paper, or exam due in the last module that culminates all of the topics covered in each of the learning modules. You’ll find that the design of the learning modules has a rhythm to help you manage your time in the course.

Key Benefits of English Language Academy Courses

Dynamic, Practical Language Skills

Our individualized, skill-based placement system stimulates dynamic learning for students of varying levels of language proficiency with instruction that is tailored to their unique needs.

Sense of Community

Our faculty and staff engage students from around the globe in an enriching, high-quality educational experience where they also build friendships that help stimulate academic success.

Invested in Your Success

Our mission is to help each student thrive while developing the English language skills that position them to achieve personal, professional and academic goals.