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Online Semi-Intensive Course

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 remote learning programs offer:

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

Fall and Spring classes are 7 weeks, Summer classes are 4 weeks. 

What we offer with remote learning

Expert, experienced faculty

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

Fall and Spring 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.

Summer Session A, B or C 

Students can study for one, two or three four-week sessions for a total of 12 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

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

Click on the + below to see tuition and fees.

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


Explanation of Fees

Important note: For Insurance and Health Fee information, please see your ALP admission materials.

SPS Activity Fee: this covers SPS expenses relating to orientation, handbooks and events. 

Instructional Support Fee: this covers class materials and expenses.

Technology Fee: this covers SPS technology expenses, including access to online course management software, Canvas, Zoom, and tools used to develop online course content.

Health and Related Services Fee: All ALP students studying on-campus or online are required to pay the Health and Related Services Fee. This fee covers access to Columbia health services such as medical, counseling, wellbeing, sexual violence response and disability services. For online courses this includes phone/video appointments, accommodations for approved disabilities and access to workshops and training.

Health Insurance: All part-time US-based ALP students are required to have Columbia Medical Insurance. A waiver may be possible, but is rare. The Columbia Health website has information about waiver requests. 

Books & Materials: this is an estimate. Instructors may assign books or media materials during the session. Students are not billed for books and materials but purchase them independently.

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, payable by credit card only. 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.

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

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