English for Professional Purposes: Strategic Communication

Available in Summer.

This course in English for Professional Purposes: Strategic Communication will meet for 18 hours per week for six weeks, prior to the start of the Master’s of Science in Strategic Communication program.


This program, designed in collaboration with the School of Professional Studies Strategic Communication faculty, is intended to prepare international students entering SPS SCOM in the Fall for the demands of their graduate coursework.

Participants will:

  • strengthen their reading, writing, listening comprehension and speaking skills as they relate to their goals and needs, guided by the course instructors.
  • hone their English language skills and be introduced to some of the English language skill-building that will be covered in the Fall SCOM K4000 course.
  • learn vocabulary which will enhance their ability to talk about topics related to their field, as well as vocabulary related to natural-sounding and pragmatically appropriate English speech, including common collocations and spoken phrases.
  • improve intelligibility and fluency in formal and informal spoken communication, so that they are better positioned to participate confidently and clearly in their classes in the Fall.
  • be encouraged to focus on improved spoken interaction and on fluidity of “give-and-take” in classroom conversations and group projects.
  • receive extensive ongoing error correction and feedback on their speaking from the instructor.

Lessons will be structured to facilitate vocabulary-building and to strengthen public speaking skills, critical thinking, persuasive communication skills, and grammatical accuracy. This will be done via a variety of in-class and out-of class activities including:

  • class discussions
  • readings
  • writing and other homework assignments
  • student presentations
  • guest lecturers
  • in-class listenings, video and film. 

There will also be several opportunities to focus on English language skills outside the classroom, via class trips with prep and follow-up activities. 


For a full explanation of fees, see below. 

Dates & Prices

English for Professional Purposes: Strategic Communication

Application Deadline June 9
Course Dates July 8 – August 16
Tuition $5,532
Activity Fee $50
Instructional Support Fee $90
ALP Student Services Fee $20
Technology Fee $35
Housing $1,932
Living Expenses $3,982
Textbooks $150
Total $9,859

SPS Activity Fee: this covers SPS expenses relating to orientation, handbooks and events. 
Instructional Support Fee: this covers class materials and expenses such as playbooks, novels, newspapers, photocopying, theater tickets, museum or event entry. 
ALP Student Services Fee: this covers internal I-20 processing fees and other SEVIS transactions.
Technology Fee: this covers SPS technology expenses, including access to online course management software, Canvas, and tools used to develop online course content.  
Housing: this is the cost for students in Columbia University Housing. ALP/Columbia Housing is not available for EPP/AAEGS students. This information is provided for financial planning purposes only.
Living Expenses: this includes food, transportation, everyday expenses, and Housing. This gives an idea of how much money is needed to live in New York so you can plan financially. Students are not billed for living expenses. 
Textbooks: this is an estimate only and varies by course. Students are not billed for textbooks. 
Total: When you apply for an I-20 you must show you have this much money on your financial document. 


The program is open only to incoming Master's of Science Strategic Communication students at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies.

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 EPP: Strategic Communication must have an I-20 issued by the ALP. At the end of the summer, we will transfer your I-20 from the ALP to the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) so that you can begin your studies at the 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.

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 English for Professional Purposes: Strategic Communication as your program. When prompted for an application identification code, please use the code COPRACI. This will allow you to submit the application without an additional fee. If you have any questions regarding your I-20, SEVIS, transfers, or immigration in general, please contact ALPvisa@columbia.edu.

At the completion of the English for Professional Purposes: Strategic Communication 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.