About Our Program

Mission Statement

The mission of the English Language Institute is to equip its students with the English proficiency, academic skills, and cultural knowledge necessary to gain entrance to and achieve success at Oklahoma State University, or any American institution of higher education. The program is also suitable for those wishing to learn English for business or personal reasons.

Vision Statement

The program aims to produce students who will thrive at OSU. Students will have a high level of proficiency in Academic English, in all core skill areas: listening, speaking, structure, reading, and composition. In addition, ELI graduates will be familiar with academic tasks and expectations, and will also be able to function well in the social milieu of the university classroom and the world outside. After completing the program of study at ELI, students will feel confident and comfortable in an OSU classroom, and acculturated to American society as a whole. ELI students who are studying English for business or personal reasons will be proficient in all language skill areas and able to understand and navigate American ways.

ELI Information

The English Language Institute is an intensive English program designed to help international students attain the English proficiency necessary to enter a college or university in the United States. It is also suitable for individuals who may wish to learn English for business or personal reasons. There is an average enrollment of ninety students from fifteen to twenty countries each session. Programs can also be designed to meet the special needs of groups.

Each student is placed in one of six levels on the basis of placement tests. Experienced and professional faculty members utilize the latest teaching techniques to help students attain competency in all aspects of the English language. The length of time necessary to complete the program depends on the student's English background, diligence, and motivation.

Classes are offered in listening/speaking, reading, composition, and structure (grammar). All students, regardless of level, attend class 20 hours per week. We offer extra services such as tutoring, cultural activities and trips, as well as volunteer opportunities; and put you into contact with native American English speakers as much as possible.

ELI Admission


  • New students: In order to be admitted to ELI you must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent. The documents needed for admission are listed on the application form (see link below). While we accept students with no prior study of English, please realize that the lower your level of English, the longer it will take you to become proficient.
  • Transfer students: In order to be admitted to ELI you must meet the following criteria:
    1. You must have maintained a 2.0 average in your classes in your previous program;
    2. You must have had excellent attendance;
    3. You must have completed the last level in your previous program in good standing (i.e., not have been suspended or withdrawn).

Please note that we do not accept students who are out of status.

Application schedule 2016:

Spring I 2016 Jan. 11 – Mar. 4 Dec. 11 2015
Spring II 2016 Mar. 14 – May 6 Feb. 5 2016
Summer 2016 May 31 – July 22 Apr. 22 2016
Fall I 2016 Aug. 15 – Oct. 7 July 8 2016
Fall II 2016 Oct. 17 – Dec. 19 Sept. 9 2016

Applications received after the deadline will automatically be deferred to the following session. For example, if you want to attend Spring II term, you must apply on or before Feb. 5. If you apply after that date, (for example, Feb. 16), you will be deferred to Summer term.

Oklahoma State University Admissions Information for International Students:

Please see the University Catalog for complete information. Concerning English proficiency, at the undergraduate level, requirements are 500 TOEFL (paper-based) / 61 iBT (internet based), or 6.0 IELTS. Graduate admission requirements are 550 TOEFL (paper-based)/79 iBT, or 6.5 IELTS. Admission to the English Language Institute does NOT constitute admission to Oklahoma State University. To pursue an academic degree program at OSU, prospective students need to complete the separate undergraduate or graduate application process. ELI staff will be happy to advise you and help you in this process.

Arrival Information

Students must arrive at least one week prior to the beginning of the session in order to complete their registration, take placement exams, and attend required orientation sessions. Assistance will be provided in locating housing, establishing bank accounts, and shopping for initial necessities. Airport greeter service is available at the Will Rogers International Airport in Oklahoma City prior to the Fall-I and Spring-I sessions.

Orientation and Cultural Programs

An orientation to the English Language Institute, Oklahoma State University, and the City of Stillwater is provided at the beginning of each session and continues throughout the session. Some of the special activities provided for ELI students include American holiday celebrations, picnics, and short field trips. Students pay no additional fee for transportation or lodging on these trips.

Certificates and Progress Reports

Upon completion of each level, students receive progress reports showing grades, attendance figures, and performance evaluations. Please note that TOEFL exams are administered at the end of Spring-II, Summer, and Fall-II sessions. The TOEFL score achieved at the end of those sessions is also noted in the report. Students who are in good standing and receive 500 or more on the TOEFL before leaving ELI are awarded Certificates of Proficiency. Those who leave the program before attaining 500 are given Certificates of Attendance.

Testing Information

Regular testing is done throughout the following sessions: Spring-II, Summer, and Fall-II. An Institutional TOEFL is administered by the English Language Institute at the end of the following sessions: Spring-II, Summer, and Fall-II. In addition, Oklahoma State University is an International TOEFL Testing Center.