Online English Program (OEP)

Online Programs Brochure

The Online English Program (OEP) is for highly-motivated students (intermediate proficiency or higher) who want to improve their academic language skills in order to meet admission requirements to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln or other colleges and universities in the United States. It may also be suitable for non-degree seeking students who want to improve their higher level language skills for work or other purposes. The program is offered completely online, thus eliminating the need to obtain a student visa, pay for housing or meal plans, health insurance, or travel costs that would be required for an in-person program. 

Program Length and Scope:

      • Four 8-week sessions per academic year (August to May)
      • One 8-week session in the summer (May to July)
      • The equivalent of 16 hours of instruction per week
      • Time commitment: Approximately 25-30 hours per week in total with classes, assignments, projects, etc.

 Proficiency Levels Offered: (8-week terms, Two terms to complete a full level)

    • Intermediate (A & B)

Recommended entry scores of at least: TOEFL 35, IELTS 5.0, or Duolingo English Test 70

    • High Intermediate (A & B)

Recommended entry scores of at least: TOEFL 46, IELTS 5.5, or Duolingo English Test 80

    • Advanced (A & B)

Recommended entry scores of at least: TOEFL 60, IELTS 6.0, or Duolingo English Test 90

 Courses Offered at Each Level:

    • Reading & Writing 
      • 6 hours per week plus assignments
    • Listening & Speaking
      • 6 hours per week plus assignments
    • Grammar
      • 4 hours per week plus assignments

All courses will have a combination of synchronous sessions (live through Zoom) and asynchronous sessions (recorded, not live). Students may choose any course they wish to study as long as they meet the required placement score for entry. Students hoping to gain admission to Nebraska or any other U.S. college or university are highly recommended to complete all three courses in a level. Students will consult with the OEP advisor prior to starting classes to determine which ones best meet their needs. The advisor will help students register for appropriate courses that meet their individual needs.

 Technology Requirements:

    • Reliable internet connection
    • Computer with webcam and microphone (phone or tablet might work, but a larger screen size and keyboard are strongly recommended)
    • Access to UNL's Canvas Course management system. This might require the use of a VPN depending on location. Students are responsible for complying with their local laws and regulations regarding the use of VPN technology. 

Main technology used in delivering the courses:

  • UNL Husker Email account (assigned once you have been accepted to the program)
  • Canvas -UNL’s learning management system
  • Zoom (for video synchronous sessions)


Individuals must submit proficiency scores from at least one of the following exams when they apply to the program:



Duolingo English Test

These scores will be used to place students into the appropriate level/classes. It is important to designate that the scores be sent directly to UNL when registering for the exam (Do not wait for the results and then send the scores because it delays the enrollment process). Scores must be received at least one week in advance of the start of the term. If you submitted one of these scores to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln when you applied for undergraduate or graduate admission, we will use the score we have on file to place you into the program. Those students with scores that are lower than the ones recommended above should consider applying for the on-campus Intensive English Program.

Level Progression: 

Students who want to move to a higher level in the OEP will generally need to complete two terms (A & B) with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher for the full level. Students may also submit a qualifying score from one of the exams listed below at the end of each 8-week session. Since it takes time to get the scores results, please plan to take the exams well in advance. The exam websites should contain information on the amount of time it takes to get results.  Exam scores must be received by the first day of the term in order to apply to that term. 

Students who want to take full academic classes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in the following semester must meet the English proficiency requirements by submitting scores from one of these exams. Conditionally admitted UNL students may meet the requirements to join the Credit EAP program by achieving a 3.0 cumulative GPA in the High Intermediate or Advanced levels of OEP. Those students who are admitted only to the OEP must also apply for full admission to UNL. Admission to OEP alone does NOT guarantee admission to UNL. 

 Textbooks and Materials:

    • Many materials will be provided through Canvas for students by the instructors
    • e-book purchases may also be required (estimate $200 for books and materials if all three classes are taken) 

Upcoming Session Dates:

      • Fall 1: August 24 to October 16, 2020 (must apply by August 7, 2020)
      • Fall 2: October 19 to December 11, 2020 (must apply by October 5th, 2020)
      • Spring 1: January 11 to March 5, 2020
      • Spring 2: March 8 to May 7, 2020
      • Summer: May 17 to July 9, 2020

Tuition and Fees:

Visit our Program Costs page for detailed information.

How to Apply

To join the session that begins October 19, 2020, please use this OEP application link. For the session that begins January 11, 2020, please apply using the Intensive English Program (IEP) Application. After you have applied, please contact the Program Director, Chris Dunsmore, by email at to let him know you intend to join the Online English Program and not the Intensive English Program. Mr. Dunsmore can answer any questions you might have about the application process and the program.

Before joining this program, please consider the following:

Your OEP courses will not always have regular (synchronous) meeting times. Even when your courses do not have regularly scheduled class times, you are still required to complete assignments and tests by specific deadlines. You may need to attend group project sessions at times convenient for the entire group, join in synchronous (real-time) office hours, attend online presentations, or participate in real-time exam reviews.

You must be able to commit approximately 25-30 hours per week if you take all courses in a level. You should expect to post to discussion boards, blogs and journals; participate in group projects; complete readings and engage with videos, podcasts, and presentations; or be a part of other activities consistently throughout the week. You must be self-motivated to be successful in this program. 

As an online student, you will be interacting with other students and your instructor. You will meet students from many different backgrounds and situations. Using chat, video conferencing, email, social media, discussion boards, and more, you can stay connected with fellow students and faculty, building networks that will last long after your class has ended.

Your courses are taught by faculty who understand the specific needs of learners studying at a distance. Special consideration is given to advance planning and setting expectations in the distance/online classroom; thus, each class is outlined in a syllabus distributed at the start of the course. The syllabus is your guide to the class—it provides an overview of the course assignments, grading strategy, expectations, course materials, deadlines, course goals, and learning outcomes.

If you do not feel this program is right for you, please consider joining us, in-person, on our Lincoln campus for the Intensive English Program.