The ELI organizes trips to local attractions such as Niagara Falls and has a student council which organizes activities both on campus and in the Syracuse community. In addition, ELI students are eligible for all campus activities such as lectures and concerts.

Can I study part-time at the ELI?

The ELI is designed for students to study full-time on F-1 or J-1 student visas. Persons who are in the country on other visas may be considered. J-2 visa holders may choose to study full or part-time. F-2 visa holders may only study part-time. Students who wish to study part-time will be admitted if there is space available in the level which they test into.

Do you have to be conditionally admitted to Syracuse University (SU) to attend the English Language Institute (ELI)?

Admission to SU is not a requirement for admission to the ELI. Many students apply to the university while they are attending the ELI and some are here only to study English and then return to their home countries.


Do you provide learning laboratories?

Facilities at the English Language Institute include state-of-the-art smart classrooms and computer labs. Instructors employ up-to-date classroom techniques.

How long will I have to study in your program?

New students are tested and placed into the appropriate level. Each level takes one semester or two summer sessions to complete. Successful completion of level 4 satisfies the English proficiency requirement for most undergraduate and some graduate programs at Syracuse University.

How many students are in each class?

An average of 12 students per class with the maximum being 17.

What kind of certificates are offered?

A certificate of completion is awarded to students who complete a level of study without exceeding the allowed absences. You may also request a transcript through Syracuse University with your grades from the ELI. 

What type of visa will I need to study at the English Language Institute (ELI)?

An F-1 (student) visa is required to study full-time at the ELI. Once admitted, students receive a Form I-20 which they then take to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for a student visa.

Who is eligible for admission to the Syracuse University English Language Institute?

You must be at least 17 years of age, a non-native speaker of English, and have completed your secondary education. You must have some knowledge of basic English grammar and the ability to understand verbal instructions.

Who teaches at the English Language Institute?

Instructors hold professional Master’s degrees and have years of experience teaching Academic English to non-native speakers.

Will I get credit for the courses at the ELI?

The ELI is a non-credit program, but you will receive a certificate upon completion of each semester. In addition, you may request a transcript with your grades from your courses.

How can I get involved with the ELI or are there any volunteer opportunities?

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the English Language Institute at Syracuse University! We look for volunteers at the beginning of each semester. Campus community members can volunteer to lead weekly conversation groups. Please contact us at if you would like to be a conversation group leader for the upcoming semester. Syracuse University upper-level undergraduate and graduate students looking for employment opportunities can apply to be an International Student Mentor for our Mentor Program on Handshake. Volunteer and employment opportunities are a semester long commitment.