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Advanced Academic Preparation

ALP teacher interacts with students in class

Available in Summer

This rigorous eight-week course is designed for students who plan to enter an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a university in the United States. It explores multiple aspects of one central theme and aims to prepare students for university-level academic study by:

  • Focusing on academic writing skills, including: Academic essay format, Source-based writing assignments, Summarizing skills, Vocabulary building, Issues related to plagiarism and academic honesty (paraphrasing, citing sources, and using quotations appropriately)
  • Introducing research skills
  • Improving discussion skills, including fluency and advanced-level vocabulary, thus preparing students for participation in seminar discussions
  • Teaching presentation skills, including pronunciation, vocal projection, and appropriate body language
  • Building listening and note-taking skills by drawing on a variety of resources including: Recorded lectures and talks, Documentaries
  • Teaching skills for coping with extensive reading

AAP students can also take advantage of our activities program, with events, workshops and social occasions to help build community and help students enjoy New York City together.

Students in the program will have access to Columbia University facilities, including the university libraries and computer labs. Students may access the Dodge Fitness Center (gym) by purchasing membership.

I took the Advanced Academic Preparation class, which was very interactive, and students were encouraged to think and contribute to classroom discussion all the time. There were many types of activities which were really challenging. As a result, we not only learned grammar, but also learned fundamental skills like active listening, how to read between the lines, and how to express our ideas and knowledge in effective ways. I really appreciated how the teachers always gave us a lot of constructive feedback. It was apparent that they were really paying attention to each student based on the specific advice they provided to each of us.”

Ornwara Tritrakarn - Thailand

Dates and Prices 

Tuition and fees are subject to Board of Trustee approval and may change.

For a full explanation of fees, see below.

Apply to Advanced Academic Preparation


Current ALP students must have reached ALP level 7 to be considered for admission.

New students must submit a minimum TOEFL score of 85 (iBT) with minimum of 21 in both writing and speaking, or 6.5 IELTS with a minimum of 6.0 in both writing and speaking.

On arrival all new students will complete a diagnostic writing exam. Those whose scores fall below ALP level 7 must take the ALP Intensive course at the appropriate level, given at the same dates as the AAP course (Session B+C).

Successful applicants will be placed into AAP classes based on their ALP level and TOEFL score. Students will be placed with others of similar ability.

To submit your official TOEFL score, please request that ETS send your TOEFL score report directly to the ALP admissions office, using DI Code: 2594, "Undergrad."

Application Materials

Only online applications are accepted.

  1. Completed online application form.
  2. Nonrefundable application fee: U.S. $150.00 for online applications + $1000.00 tuition deposit, payable by credit card only. No application will be processed without this fee.

    In general, an F-1 (student visa) is required for study in the US. International applicants are required to request an I-20 in order to obtain the F-1 visa and must enroll in a full-time program (18 hours or more per week).

    If you are already holding an F-1 visa and attending another school you must also transfer your SEVIS record from your current school to the ALP. Please speak to your Advisor at your current school.

    To receive an I-20, please upload your ALP admission letter with the following documents (see below) to the online I-20 application page (Compass). You will receive your admission letter and I-20 instructions after you are admitted to the program.
  3. Bank statement: this document must be in English and dated within the last three months. It must be from a checking or savings account and must show sufficient available funds to pay the estimated tuition, fees and living expenses.

    • To see required balance for I-20, please see the "Total" amount for your program, above.
  4. Sponsor letter: the letter must be in English and dated within the last three months. It must also be signed by the sponsor. If you are sending your own bank statement you are not required to submit a sponsor letter. The sponsor letter is necessary only if a bank statement will be submitted on your behalf by another person. The person whose bank statement you will submit is your sponsor. 

    Your sponsor must submit a letter (sponsor letter) stating that s/he will provide you with full financial support during the period of your study in the ALP. The sponsor letter must be in English and dated within the last three months. It must also be signed by the sponsor.
  5. Photocopy of your passport’s identification page.

    • The page in your passport that shows your photograph, your name and your date of birth.

Once your completed application and accompanying materials and fees have been received and processed, you will receive a US government I-20 A-B form. Bring the I-20 A-B form, along with your letter of acceptance and original financial documents, to a US embassy or consulate in your country to apply for a student (F-1) visa.

Students must apply online.

ALP Levels, Placement & Testing

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Commission on English Language Accreditation

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Columbia University American Language Program Intensive English Program is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) for the period August 2019 through August 2029 and agrees to uphold the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions. CEA is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions in the U.S. For further information about this accreditation, please contact the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation, 1001 N. Fairfax St., Suite 630, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 665-3400,