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. 

Upcoming Session Dates:

      • Fall 1: August 23 to October 8, 2021
      • Fall 2: October 11 to December 3, 2021
      • Spring 1: January 18 to March 4, 2022
      • Spring 2: March 7 to April 29, 2022

Tuition and Fees:

Visit our Program Costs page for detailed information.

How to Apply

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.

Program Length and Scope:

      • Four 7-week sessions per academic year (August to May)
      • One 7-week session in the summer (May to July)
      • The equivalent of 19 hours of instruction per week for those who attend full-time (Part-time is available)

 Proficiency Levels Offered: (7-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 
      • 8 hours per week plus assignments
    • Listening & Speaking
      • 7 hours per week plus assignments
    • Grammar
      • 4 hours per week plus assignments

All OEP class sessions are offered live through Zoom and will be held in conjuction with our regular on-campus Intensive English Program (IEP). OEP students will interact with other online students as well and in-person students in the IEP. 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 and register for the courses that meet their individual needs and time zones.

 Technology Requirements:

        • Download speed of at least 5 megabits per second recommended (higher is better)
        • Upload speed of at least 5 megabits per second recommended (higher is better)
        • Ping (delay in transferring of data) of no more than 75 milliseconds
    • Computer with webcam and microphone (phone or tablet might work, but a larger screen size and keyboard are strongly recommended)

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. 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.
  • 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 7-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. 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 or regular textbook purchases may also be required (estimate $200 for books and materials if all three classes are taken)