English Language Center

Program Information

Students must be 18 years of age by the first day of the semester to apply and have graduated from high school (or the equivalent of 12th grade in the US) by the application deadline. Applicants who will turn 18 during their first semester may request an exception to the age requirement by emailing the ELC Office (elcsec@byu.edu) to request the forms for an exception.

Semester Deadlines and Dates

SemesterDurationApplications Accepted
Summer 2018 (1 semester)May 7 to August 16, 2018Open until February 9, 2018
Summer 2018 and Fall 2018 (2 semesters)May 7 to December 13, 2018Open until February 9, 2018
Fall 2018 (1 semester)September 4 to December 13, 2018Jan. 15 to Apr. 2, 2018
Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 (2 semesters)September 4, 2018 to April 25, 2019Jan. 15 to Apr. 2, 2018
Winter 2019 (1 semester)January 7 to April 25, 2019May 1 to Aug. 1, 2018

Cost (Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Summer 2019)

Application Fee:
Additional Costs
Books (estimate): $200-$300 per semester
Health Insurance (estimate): $350 per semester
Living Expenses (estimate): $3350 per semester
Do not send money for the additional costs.
Tuition (per semester):
Express Mail Fee :
Tuition must be paid by the application deadline.

Program Description

The English Language Center (ELC) at Brigham Young University is under the direction of the Department of Linguistics and English Language and the Division of Continuing Education. The program is designed to provide a laboratory school for teachers learning to teach English to speakers of other languages and to provide high quality English language instruction for students desiring to improve their English language skills. Students can expect most of the teachers at the ELC to be graduate students studying in the TESOL master’s degree program or to have graduated from that program with a graduate certificate or master’s degree.

Although ELC students are not BYU students, they nevertheless have access to many BYU facilities including the university library as well as to the ELC computer lab and resource center.

ELC Class

The English Language Center strongly promotes an English-only environment. At the ELC, language instruction and testing take place Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Students are expected to complete 2 to 3 hours of homework assignments daily. They also participate in social activities sponsored by the ELC. Above all, the intensive nature of the program supports language development; students attend 20 hours a week of in-class instruction plus lab work.


Entering students are tested in order to determine their level of English proficiency and are placed in the appropriate program level according to their performance on the placement test.

The ELC has two programs. The Foundations Program focuses on basic language skills. Students admitted to this track usually have some foundation in English prior to coming to the ELC. While at the ELC, they will work to improve their skills. The Academic Program focuses specifically on preparing students to develop English language skills in order to attend a university where English is the medium of instruction. Students in the Academic Program should have at least a high intermediate level of English proficiency.

The table below shows each level offered in both the Foundations and Academic Program.

*As circumstances permit, University Prep can be repeated one time, for a maximum of two semesters in University Prep.

Students who have the required proficiency to be placed in the University Prep level will be permitted to repeat the level once with the alternate curriculum.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: Can I move from the Foundations Program to the Academic Program?
    A:  Yes, but you will be required to achieve the same proficiency required for other students entering the Academic Program.
  2. Q:  What if I come to study and I place in the Foundations Program, but I want to study Academic English?
    A:  You will be placed in the appropriate program according to your proficiency, but you will work with a teacher to set up an individual language plan to meet your language needs. If you demonstrate the proficiency necessary to study in the Academic Program, you may continue to study in that Program after successfully completing the Foundations Program.
  3. Q:  What if I come to study and I place in the Academic Program, but I don’t want to study academic English?
    A:  You will be placed in the appropriate program according to your proficiency, but you will work with a teacher to set up an individual language plan to meet your language needs.
  4. Q:  Can I take both programs at the same time?
    A:  No. These programs are designed to meet the learning needs of students at different proficiency levels.
  5. Q:  How do I skip a program or level?
    A:  The placement test will be used to identify the program that would be best for you as well as the most appropriate level within the Program. Since language learning takes a great deal of time and effort, it is unlikely that most students would be able to skip a level. However, if a student does well enough on the exams at the end of the semester, it may be possible to skip a level (less than 1% of our students have been able to skip a level).
  6. Q:  Are the Academic Program classes actually university courses? Do I get university credit for them?
    A:  No. Academic classes at the ELC are designed to prepare students to use English at a university where English is the medium of instruction. However, the classes are not regular university classes, nor do students earn university credit for them.
  7. Q:  What's the difference between University Prep Curriculum A and University Prep Curriculum B?
    A:  Both curriculums target the same proficiency level but use different content and textbooks to help you develop the language and skills necessary to succeed in university course work.
  8. Q:  Do I have to take the University Prep Curriculums in order?
    A:  No. The two curriculums are different but equivalent.
  9. Q:  If I am placed in the University Prep level, can I choose which curriculum I am enrolled in?
    A:  No. The curriculum rotates each semester.
  10. Q:  How many times can I take the University Prep Level?
    A:  Every student can take the University Prep level twice—once with curriculum A and once with curriculum B.

Learning Resource Labs

A modern computer lab is available in the English Language Center. Also, an innovative Self-Access Study Center (SASC) provides students with the opportunity of working individually on their specific language needs. Tutoring is available to help students with their coursework. Software programs for helping students with listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, and TOEFL are available.


Student Responsibility

Students are expected to assume total responsibility for their learning both in class and outside of class. This includes abiding by the English-mainly policy at the ELC. In addition, students must follow the BYU Honor Code while enrolled at the English Language Center. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities available to explore American life and culture.

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