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The region’s premier English language program features intensive instruction and a diverse student population. Classes are small and all are taught by experienced instructors who hold advanced degrees. ELA prepares students for university study and professional advancement in the global workplace.

Students at ELA receive lots of individual attention. Tutoring is available and students have full access to DePaul University facilities such as student housing, fitness center, library, and computer labs.

Our campus is in the heart of Chicago.  The “Loop” – as the area is known – is home to a broad range of educational and cultural institutions.  A spectacular variety of entertainment and recreation is available. Nearby, you will find shopping, restaurants, beautiful parks, and a very active student scene.


The Intensive English Program offers five levels of Academic English.
New students receive a thorough English proficiency evaluation to ensure proper level assignment. 
Students entering the Intensive English Program should have at least low-intermediate English skills. 
Classes for this program meet for 18 hours  each week.

ELA offers a range of electives that vary by term. These include Pronunciation Workshop and Intercultural Communication for students with advanced English proficiency.




The ELA’s comprehensive approach to academic English instruction prepares students for success in university degree programs.
Our program focuses on language skills, university academic and social life, and contemporary American culture with a view toward helping all students prepare for careers in the global community.
We are committed to developing the potential of our students.  Small classes ensure students get individual attention and ELA makes every effort to maintain native language and gender diversity in all classes.


DePaul University offers conditional admission to most undergraduate programs and many graduate programs.
Conditionally admitted students attend ELA until they meet English proficiency requirements prior to starting their degree study.
ELA can assist students in understanding individual program requirements.

Extracurricular activities at ELA are open to students at all levels and provide important opportunities to practice English in authentic interactions.
Activities available include:
 Intramural Sports Teams
    Book Club
    Game Club
    Conversation and Culture Club
    ELA Club (social activities)

Watch the video:


Application CHECKLIST

Submit application online 

$80 application fee

Application essay





Application Deadline for 

Overseas Applicants

Application Deadline for 

Applicants within the US

Program Begins

Fall  2019

Winter 2020

Spring  2020

Summer  2020

July 15, 2019

November 1, 2019

February 1, 2020

May 1, 2020

August 23, 2019

September 11, 2019

December 10, 2019

March 10, 2020

June 1, 2020

January 3, 2020

March 27, 2020

June 19, 2020





Health Insurance

Testing Fee


Books (approximate)

Total Cost













Program Ends

November 26, 2019

March 20, 2020

June 12, 2020

August 21, 2020

















The English Language Academy is committed to its students’ learning.  
We believe that great lives are created through the power of language and that language is acquired through authentic social interaction with others.
The ELA is a learning community with special programming to help students master English.

• Extra weekly tutorial lab for pre-academic Foundations

  Level students
• Outstanding university Writing Center that supports

  non-native speakers’ needs
• Student led Book Club and Conversation & Culture Club
• Individual conversation partner opportunities with trained

  domestic students

•  ELA Club offers field trips and social activities for ELA students
•  ELA students can participate in intramural sports
•  ELA students regularly attend DePaul University social events
•  Service Leaning and volunteer opportunities available

The English Language Academy’s location in the cultural heart of Chicago gives ELA students easy access to one of the richest social and cultural experiences available anywhere. Our students also enjoy broad access to diverse student organizations and activities at DePaul University, one of the ten largest private universities in the United States.

How long does it take to process my application? 

Where will I live? 

How many students attend ELA?

Where are ELA students from?

How many students are there in a classroom?

What kind of transportation is available in Chicago? 

How do I apply to the 

English Language Academy? 

It takes approximately ten business days from the time ELA receives a completed application, including the supporting documents and application fee.

There are many housing options in Chicago for international students. Most ELA students find their own apartments through apartment finders and friends (we can help you connect).
To request DePaul University campus housing contact us.

Approximately 125

ELA students come from 35 to 40 countries around the world.

There are about 10-14 students 

per class.

Chicago boasts the second largest rapid transportation system in the U.S. Public transit serves the city and surrounding suburbs with commuter trains, regularly scheduled busses and the famous Chicago “L”.





Summer English Language & Culture Program

Want to enjoy a beautiful summer in Chicago while improving your English skills? Enroll in our Summer English Language & Cultural Program, where you will study alongside a diverse group of students while learning about American culture and America’s third largest city.

Program Details:  Apply Today!

July 2020

• The program consists of Language & Culture course with excursions and runs through the

month of  July. 
• Course and excursions are led by DePaul’s outstanding English Language Academy (ELA)

Classes meet Monday through Friday, 15 class hours per week including excursions, providing

students the opportunity to apply their in-class learning as they experience the city of Chicago. 
This is a non-credit program


The package option includes:

• ELA course and excursions 
• On-campus housing 
• Public transportation pass for duration of program 
• Airport pick-up 

Admission requirements:

• Minimum age: 16 years old 
• English proficiency requirements: Confident intermediate skills

For price and more details, please contact ELA.


What kind of transportation is available in Chicago? 










DePaul offers limited on-campus housing for ELA students on our Lincoln Park Campus. Please view the DePaul University Department of Housing web page for more information.
Other options include homestay, apartments or private dormitories. Please view our
Off Campus Housing page for more infomation about those options.

The DePaul University Demon Discounts program offers discounted pricing on a variety of services around the city. The complete list of discounts  is extensive and includes dining, entertainment, retail stores and more. 

DePaul dining services operates full-service, food-court style dining facilities on the Lincoln Park and Loop campuses. The types of food available range from pizza and sandwiches to salad bars and full meals…even sushi! Optional meal plans are available at a variety of pricing levels. 

ELA students are required to carry insurance coverage. This insurance must be acceptable to US health providers, and must be sufficient to cover the major expenses of illness, accident, hospitalization, medical evacuation, and repatriation. ELA students are eligible to enroll in DePaul’s student health plan that is underwritten by ISO. The ELA office can assist students in identifying plans that fit their individual needs.

(ADDITIONAL FEE APPLIES) ELA students are eligible to join the Ray Meyer Fitness Center. “The Ray” is a four story, state-of-the-art fitness facility that is comparable to the best health clubs in the city. Facilities include indoor pool, gymnasium, modern cardio machines, weight room, sauna and more. There is an additional membership fee per quarter for unlimited access. Day passes are also available. For more information, please visit Campus Recreation website.

DePaul University students can also purchase basic health services from the university’s Sage Medical Clinic for $60 per quarter.  The clinic provides only minor services. Its services are not sufficient to meet the ELA health insurance requirement. Sage Medical Clinic participation is required for DePaul students living in on-campus residences.

New ELA students participate in a two-day student orientation at DePaul. Important information related to safety is included along with advice related to living in and navigating around the city of Chicago. Students are given a comprehensive tour of the campus to ensure that they know where to go for key services related to being a DePaul student.


ELA students receive a professional language placement exam as part of the orientation process for new students. Other ELA academic services include:
 Peer tutoring and conversation

    partners through the University

    Writing Center
 Undergraduate program advising

    through the Office of International

 Graduate program advising by

    appointment with the ELA director


ELA students are eligible to join student clubs and activities. The ELA fields intramural teams in Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters (participation fee required). 
DePaul offers over thirty intramural activities. ELA participation is determined by student interest. Soccer, volleyball and basketball are the most common ELA teams. 
Additional opportunities for social engagement within the ELA exist through ELA Club (field trips), The Conversation and Culture Club, Game Club and Book Club (not all clubs meet in all terms).  These clubs are student led and organized and are free to join


The ELA supports the Vincentian mission of DePaul University by creating a nurturing and supportive environment that respects the dignity of all members of our learning community. Our staff works closely and confidentially with University Ministries and the professional psychologists at DePaul University Counseling to address the emotional and mental health needs of ELA students.


ELA students receive DePaul University student ID cards.
DePaul ID cards give students access to all university facilities such as libraries, computer labs, and public access printers. Many optional services such as meal plans are also accessed using the ID cards.
Students should carry their ID’s with them at all times when on
the DePaul campuses.