Individuals interested in attending the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) must have completed secondary school, meet English language proficiency requirements, and be able to provide proof of sufficient funds to support their studies.

In order to apply, students must send the following materials:

  • A completed application form (online)  or paper application (email us at for a copy).
  • A copy of the biological information page of the student’s passport
  • Documentation of financial support (1- an official bank statement showing sufficient funds to cover the costs of the program/personal expenses in USD$).  If the official bank statement is in someone else’s name, we would need for that person to write a letter of sponsorship
  • A letter of sponsorship for room and board.  Please note that we currently do not have on-campus housing available for IELP students.
  • A check or money order for $190 US ($40 application fee and $150 deposit) is also required The application fee and deposit are non-refundable. This can also be paid online via a FLYWIRE account.  This is often used for international payments, not local.  You must first be accepted into our program and receive a student identification number before using this source of payment.  
  • A 250 word essay where you introduce yourself to us, mentioning history with learning English and how attending our program will affect your future goals.
  •  A one-minute video “interview” where the applicant discusses his/her hometown, favorite hobbies, and reason for choosing Maine.  It is okay to use notes for this, but please make sure this is NOT “scripted” or read.  
  • We require that new IELP students take the Duolingo English Test.  More information can be found at this website.  Make sure that your completed test scores are sent to the University of Southern Maine (  If you are living locally, you have the option of signing up for one of our free department placement tests instead of the Duolingo.  One can sign up for a free placement test by using this online linkHere is a link to a page with more information about the test and a link to test preparation tips.  
  • Optional:  If you have taken a standardized test of academic English, such as the IELTS or TOEFL, please include a copy of your score report.  (If you have a recent IELTS or TOEFL score, the Duolingo test is not necessary.) 

Note: Final acceptance and I-20 form will not be issued until ALL application materials are received.

Application Deadlines:

  • Spring: October 30
  • Fall: May 30
  • If you already possess a valid I-20, and are looking to transfer to our program, please email for specific transfer information and deadlines.

**Program mailing address (for check or money order)

ESOL Office/Intensive English Language Program

University of Southern Maine

PO Box 9300

Portland, Maine 04104-9300