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Advanced Academic English for Graduate Students

Available in Summer

This six-week intensive program is intended to prepare international Master's students entering Columbia University in Fall for the rigorous demands of their graduate coursework. 

The curriculum is specifically designed to reflect the type of work completed in master's degrees in professional schools of study. It will focus on all language skills, with an emphasis on spoken interaction, helping students speak more fluently, accurately and intelligibly so they are better able to participate in their graduate courses. It also aims to familiarize students with the graduate student experience at Columbia University.

The course is for international students whose first language is not English.

The curriculum will combine linguistic and academic objectives.

Participants will:
  • Deliver individual, pair, and group presentations on topics related to their fields
  • Receive extensive feedback on their oral skills (from various stakeholders)
  • Learn strategies for correcting errors in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation
  • Learn how to present oral and written data commentary 
  • Expand their academic vocabulary 
  • Learn how to explain concepts of their field to non-experts
  • Become familiar with professors' expectations
  • Learn American email etiquette

Information session

Find out more by watching our Information Session


This class changed me, and was much more than I expected it to be…I learned far more than I ever thought I would. I know that I will probably never have another opportunity like this to practice my speech or have teachers help me correct my English pronunciation with such care.

- Ruth, China

Dates and Prices

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

For a full explanation of fees, see below.


This course is open only to incoming Master’s students entering Columbia University in the Fall.

Application Materials

Applicants must apply online. Only applications submitted from the ALP Web site are accepted.

  1. Completed online application form.

    In general, an F-1 (student visa) is required for study in the US. International applicants are required to request an I-20 for the American Language Program (not the Master's program) in order to obtain the F-1 visa and must enroll in a full-time program (18 hours or more per week).

    All international students taking Advanced Academic English for Graduate Students must have an I-20 issued by the ALP. At the end of the Fall, we will transfer your I-20 from the ALP to the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) so that you can begin your studies in your Master's program.

    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 with 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.
  2. 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.

    For ALP purposes, we need to see sufficient funds for the ALP I-20 only. However, when we transfer your record from ALP to ISSO at the end of the Fall (and when you have your visa appointment at the US Embassy in your country), you must show financial documents with sufficient funds to cover Advanced Academic English for Graduate Students + one year of the Master's program.
  3. 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.
  4. Photocopy of your passport’s identification page. This is the page in your passport that shows your photograph, your name, and your date of birth.

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

Students must apply online. Please select Advanced Academic English for Graduate Students as your program. If you have any questions regarding your I-20, SEVIS, transfers, or immigration in general, please contact alpvisa [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.

At the completion of the Advanced Academic English for Graduate Students course, you will work with the ALP Visa Office to transfer your I-20 to Columbia’s International Students and Scholar’s Office (ISSO) for the completion of the degree program.

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