Online English Program (OEP)

Join the Intensive English Program from your home, or wherever else you may be, through our new Online English Program (OEP). The 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. OEP students join our regular IEP students in the classroom through the use of Zoom video conferencing and our Canvas course management system.  Online students are able to interact with the in-person students and teachers in real-time without the need to obtain a student visa, pay for housing or meal plans, health insurance, or travel costs.  Part-time study is also available.   

Upcoming Session Dates:

  • Fall: August 26- December 14, 2024
  • Spring: January 21 - May 10, 2025

Program Costs:

Visit our Program Costs page for detailed information.

How to Apply:

OEP and IEP students use the same application process as undergradatuate students.  First, complete the  Nebraska Application online and choose the Intensive English Program option when prompted.  Note, that you must be 18 years old by the first day of the semester you intend to begin study, and you will need to submit a bank statment demonstrating your ability to pay for the cost of course and university fees (approximately $3,000).  After you have completed the application process and paid the $45 application fee, please contact the Program Director, Chris Dunsmore, by email at to indicate you intend to join the Online English Program instead.  Mr. Dunsmore can answer any questions you might have about the application process and the program.

Program Length and Scope:

  • Two 14-week semesters per academic year (August to December and January to May)
  • The equivalent of 20 hours of instruction per week for those who attend full-time (Part-time is available)

Proficiency Levels Offered:

  • Intermediate
    • Recommended entry scores of at least: TOEFL 35, IELTS 5.0, or Duolingo English Test 70
  • High Intermediate
    • Recommended entry scores of at least: TOEFL 46, IELTS 5.5, or Duolingo English Test 80
  • Advanced
    • 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
    • 5 hours per week plus assignments

All OEP class sessions are offered live (synchronously) through the Zoom video conferencing platform and will be held in conjunction with our regular on-campus Intensive English Program (IEP). OEP students will interact with other online students as well as 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:

  • Reliable internet connection: (Speed Test)
  • Computer with webcam and microphone (phone or tablet might work, but a larger screen size and keyboard are strongly recommended)

The 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:

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 semest. 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 need to complete their current level (semester) with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. Students may also move to a higher level for the next semester by submitting a qualifying score from one of the exams listed below. 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 semester 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)