English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

The 12-week CISL English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program offers students a comprehensive, academic-based curriculum that provides non-native English speakers with the reading, writing, and research skills necessary to excel at a U.S. college or university. The program is ideal for students interested in pursuing an education in the U.S. or for those who desire an English education focused on academic aspects of the language.

Only students with a CISL level of upper-intermediate may enroll in the EAP program: students with a lower level of English must continue taking other CISL courses (Standard or Intensive English) before participation in EAP. The EAP classes are offered in the afternoon and are therefore an addition to other programs, such as the Standard English or test preparation courses.

The EAP is recommended for students interested in the following CISL programs:

  • Academic Year Program: Students first complete CISL Standard English and TOEFL courses in order to gain the English skills necessary for post-secondary education, then transfer to a U.S. college for one semester. Click here to learn more about CISL’s Academic Year Program
  • Pathway Program: Upon successful completion of the EAP course, students receive conditional acceptance into several U.S. colleges or universities. Students then transfer and receive their degree. Click here to learn more about the CISL Pathway Program.
  • Afternoon Option: CISL students registered in morning classes such as Standard English, Cambridge English Preparation Courses, or TOEFL Preparation can further their education by attending EAP courses in the afternoon from 1:30 to 3:10. 

Course Description

The goal of the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Course is to prepare students for college­ level coursework and academic writing.The course is divided into four three­week units; students can take one, two, three, or four units of the course. Students who successfully complete all four units of the EAP Course are eligible to participate in the CISL Pathway Program. The CISL Pathway Program grants conditional acceptance to CISL students to universities and colleges partnered with CISL.

Course Objectives

  • Academic Reading and Writing: write essays, do research and cite sources, identify and use structural features in a text (e.g. topic sentences, thesis statements, etc.) as well as logical features (e.g. argument, counterargument, stance, etc.), evaluate sources, and more.
  • Academic Discourse: share ideas, ask and answer questions in a class discussion, and analyze texts.
  • Language Control: learn, practice, and review English grammar, pronunciation, word forms, and academic vocabulary.   

Key Features

  • Three‐week Units: students who cannot enroll in the full 12‐week course can participate in only one, two, or three of the four units (Unit 1: Essay Fundamentals, Unit 2: Basic Essays, Unit 3: Academic Discourse, Unit 4: Comprehensive Essay).
  • Small Classes: the maximum class size in the English for Academic Purposes Course is 8 students, so students get a lot of personal attention and feel comfortable in a small group. Learn more about why small classes are important.
  • Practical Activities and Assignments: class activities and assignments mimic tasks that students will encounter in university situations so that students can confidently use English to communicate after getting accepted to a university.
Academic English (EAP)
Levels High‐Intermediate (B2) to Advanced (C2)
Maximum # of students per class 8
Lessons per week 8
Schedule Monday‐Thursday, 1:30 p.m. ‐3:10 p.m.
Start dates July 5‐ San Francisco only
August 1‐ San Diego only
September 26
November 14‐ San Diego only
Course length 12 weeks
Language focus Academic Writing

Students who are enrolled in the EAP Course can also enroll in…

Note: Students taking any 20‐lesson per week course and who are requesting an I‐20 for a student visa will also need to take either an Afternoon Elective or attend a 1.5 hour Study Hall session each week in order to meet the 18‐hour per week minimum requirement for the student visa. One lesson = 50 minutes. For more information about U.S. visas, please read the visa information here or contact us directly using the online inquiry form.

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