College Prep ProgramsThe English Language Academy (ELA) at the University of San Diego offers an intensive English Language education program. Students are tested for class placement on six levels and learn English language skills in small class sizes.

ELA is a member of the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP) and the Association of International Educators (NAFSA).

USD Pathway Program for International Students

USD Pathway Program: If the Office of Undergraduate Admissions determines that you may be in need of strengthening select skills prior to beginning your undergraduate studies at USD, you may be admitted conditionally by way of the Pathway Program. Admission to the Pathway Program is determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions only. The USD Pathway Program offers academically prepared international students with the opportunity to become full-time, degree-seeking USD students through completion of an English language and college readiness curriculum, which is administered by the English Language Academy.




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What Students Are Saying

"When I entered ELA, they didn’t offer a class specialized in “pronunciation” in their curriculum although it was one of the areas I needed to work on to improve my TOEFL score. When we asked them if they could offer a “pronunciation” class, they arranged a schedule and created a new class for us. I was impressed and so thankful for their consideration for students. This is just one example, but they are really helpful and enthusiastic in education. ELA definitely helped me to open the door to the LL.M. in USD School of Law." - Hiro Wakabayashi, Japan
"I arrived to San Diego one year ago, with a poor English knowledge and big dreams. I had four months to pass the TOEFL with 85% to get accepted to the USD Legal Master’s Program. So the English Language Academy was an obvious choice to brush up my English. San Diego, with the perfect climate, and the incredibly beautiful campus was an ideal place to do it. Besides the mandatory classes, students can chose among interesting extra classes. So partially you make your own schedule, like in a college. Different classes focus on different skills, and if you are lucky, like I was, you do not even have the chance to speak other than in English. It means your English improves incredibly fast. Almost exactly four months after I arrived, I passed the TOEFL with 97 points, and started the spring semester in the program I had dreamed of. My teachers and the entire ELA staff was a big part of it - Jennifer, Terri, Deborah, Marcela, Christina, Annie, Lenore, and Erika! Thank You!" - Judit Maria, Hungary
"Being an 18 year old from Saudi Arabia, and suddenly realizing that I will leave to study in the United States is a scary thought. But thankfully, I chose the city of San Diego, and the English Language Academy in the University of San Diego. And I couldn’t have gone wrong for three reasons.
"First of all, San Diego is the perfect city. San Diego is the second best climate in the summer in America. And the beaches are amazing with all the activities going on there. And if you like shopping, it has that too. There are a variety of shopping malls and outlets in San Diego.
"In addition, The USD campus is breathtaking. Likewise, the students who go to the university are lovely and polite. It is a small campus, but contains everything a student will ever need, and that’s what I like about it.
"Finally, the staff and teachers of the ELA are wonderful. I’ve been here three semesters, and along side my great improvement in the English language, I have made a huge amount of amazing friends and enjoyed my stay here in San Diego. It truly feels like home here." - Mohammed Alkowaiz, Saudi Arabia