Skip navigation Jump to main navigation

Fall 2020 Advisory

Find the latest information on SPS's plans for the Fall and University resources. COVID-19 Resource Guide.
Close alert

Online Semi-Intensive Program

ALP students enjoying their Zoom class

Experience the ALP at Columbia University from anywhere in the world!

The ALP is one of the oldest English language programs in the U.S.

Our courses help students improve their grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Program Highlights

  • Academic English – our courses focus on preparing students to study at university in the US. This includes essay writing, presentations, note-taking and discussions.
  • Integrated skills – each class focuses on more than one skill, which is a more natural way to learn a language.
  • Thematic learning – grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are best learned in context. Teachers explore different themes to provide content for students to discuss and write about. 
  • Error correction – making errors is an important part of the learning process. We encourage as much spoken and written communication as possible, and provide plenty of oral and written feedback to help learners become more conscious of their language, and to help them improve.
  • Team teaching – each semi-Intensive course is taught by two instructors, who work together to create courses specifically tailored to the students. Each teacher brings their own style and expertise, so learning is constantly varied.
  • Critical thinking – it’s not just about learning the language, but about learning to engage with themes and topics in individual ways. We teach students to be inquisitive and curious learners, and to really question what they see and read.
  • Authentic Materials – as soon as possible, we introduce as much authentic material as we can, from newspaper and magazine articles, to novels, plays, lectures, movies and music. Reading, listening to and watching real English all help expand vocabulary, improve comprehension, and make the language more ‘automatic’.
  • U.S. Culture – learning about New York and the U.S. helps to make the learning experience richer and can help expand learning beyond the classroom.

Remote Semi-Intensive Features

Semi-intensive courses are offered at levels 5-9. 

Our semi-intensive seven-week remote learning programs offer:

12 hours of live class hours per week via Zoom (Monday – Thursday 8am-11am Eastern Daylight Time)

4+ hours of homework and independent learning per week: reading, listening, writing and research

Weekly small group and 1-1 interaction with course instructors

What we offer with remote learning

Expert, experienced faculty, supported by the School of Professional Studies, a leader in online education for 9 years.

Individual attention and one-on-one support

Feedback and error correction on spoken and written English

A supportive and collaborative learning environment

Small class sizes (no more than 15, average 8-12)

A virtual New York and Columbia experience

A virtual community

In addition to class, the ALP will also organize optional weekly social and cultural activities and events with students in the program.


Session A or Session B 

Students can study for one seven-week session (A or B), or both sessions (A+B) for a total of 14 weeks.

Materials and topics will be different in each session.

See below for dates and tuition & fees.

Students studying in their home countries will not need an I-20 or F-1 visa to join the ALP.

F-1 students currently in the US will need to sign up for the regular full-time intensive to remain in status. 


The ALP has eight levels of instruction, from pre-intermediate to very high advanced.

The ALP will offer semi-intensive instruction only at intermediate and advanced levels (ALP level 5-9). Applicants scoring below level 5 on the Oxford online placement exam will not be admitted. 

Dates and Prices

Fall A: September 8 - October 23

Application Deadline: August 24

Fall B: October 26 - December 11

Application Deadline: October 12

For late admission please email alp [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu

Spring A: January 11 - February 26

Application Deadline: December 28

For late admission please email alp [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu

Spring B: March 8 - April 23

Application Deadline: February 22

Click on the + below to see full tuition and fees.

Apply to the Semi-Intensive Program

Only online applications are accepted.

  1. Completed online application form (choose 'Intensive')
  2. Non-refundable application fee: U.S. $150.00 for online application; and non-refundable $350.00 tuition deposit, payable by credit card only. These fees are paid when you complete the ALP's online application.
  3. Photocopy of your passport’s identification page.

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

 Apply online here

Connect with Us

Learn more about American Language Program at Columbia University or contact the program advisor.

Request more information

Study with Us

Learn more about the application process, deadlines, and requirements.

Learn more