Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most common questions the ELI receives from students.  We have categorized them into two sections:  Admissions and Program questions.  If you have any questions that are not answered here please do not hesitate to contact us at or (212) 346-1562.  We look forward to speaking with you!

Admissions Questions

  • What are ELI's admission requirements?

That the student be at least 16 years old and have completed secondary school. (Customized programs can be designed for groups of younger students).

  • When can students enroll in ELI?

There are 7 entry dates. Students can enroll in September, November, beginning of January, end of January, March, June or July. There are two 7-week terms in the Spring and two 7-week terms in the Fall. There is a 3-week January term. In the summer, there are two 6-week terms for the Intensive, Pre-Undergraduate and Pre-Graduate programs.

  • How can students get into a Pace University degree program?

You can apply to a degree program even if you need to improve your English or if your TOEFL score is low. If you are academically qualified (based on your high school or previous university record), you may be admitted on the condition that you enroll in the ELI program for at least one or two semesters (depending on level of English). If you want to apply to a degree program, apply directly to the Offices of Undergraduate Admission or Graduate Admission . Do not apply to the English Language Institute.

  •  How are students placed?

Non-matriculated ELI students take a placement test administered by ELI. Academic advisors look over the placement tests and help students create an appropriate schedule.

  • What is an I-20? What is an F-1 (student) visa?

An I-20 is an official document issued by a school. It certifies that the student has been accepted into a full-time program at that school and that the student has submitted documented proof of having sufficient funds to pay for his/her educational program. The school does not issue visas. The student takes the I-20 to the American consulate or embassy in his/her country and uses it to apply for a student (F-1) visa. The visa is used only to enter the United States.

Program Questions

  • How many students are in each ELI class?

The maximum for each class is eighteen students, but most classes have fewer than 15 students.

  • Where are ELI students from?

At the New York City campus, there is great diversity. Most students are from Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, Turkey, Taiwan, France, Venezuela, and countries in Africa.

  • How is the Intensive Program different from Pre-Undergraduate and Pre-Graduate?

At the Advanced level (080), you can choose between the Intensive Program, the Pre-Undergraduate Program, and the Pre-Graduate program. Pre-Undergraduate and Pre-Graduate are for degree-seeking students and use academic materials (textbook readings, videotaped lectures, etc.) and tend to be more formal. The Intensive Program is for visitors and other students who do not plan to attend university in the United States. They use general interest materials (magazines, newspapers, etc.) and are more informal.  The Pre-Undergraduate and Pre-Graduate are the most advanced levels in the ELI are available to students with recommendations from ELI advisors and instructors.

  • What kind of training do the ELI instructors have?

Most of the instructors have master’s degrees in linguistics, English literature or teaching English. All have at least two years of experience teaching English to adults. Most of them have taught overseas.

  •  What is the teaching method?

This is a serious academic program. Students are expected to attend class and complete all homework in order to pass the courses. The teaching method is content-based in the advanced level. Students use authentic materials to study various topics. At the lower levels, the method is communicative with integration of all skills and grammar. Speaking and active participation are encouraged in all courses.

  • Does ELI provide certificates?

Yes, certificates of completion are prepared for full-time students by request at the end of the semester. Students can also obtain an official University transcript at the Office of Student Assistance (OSA) at 1 Pace Plaza.

Housing Questions

  • How far are the residence halls from the school?

Majority of the ELI students will live in the St. George residence hall located in Downtown Brooklyn.  The train is a short 5 minute ride (2 stops) and leaves you two blocks from the Pace University campus.  There are a few residence halls near the Pace campus however they fill quickly and space is extremely limited.  The housing assignment is made by the Office of Housing & Residential Life - not the ELI. 

  • Can I have a private room?

No.  ELI students are mostly placed in double rooms with one other roommate.  if you submit your housing application late or after the deadline you will be placed in any available room which means you may be in a triple or quad room (2 or 3 roommates).

If you cannot find the answer to your question here please contact us at or (212) 346-1562.