1. How long will I have to study in IEP?
The time students spend in the Intensive English Program is all relative to their own proficiency and level of application of their English language skills within a variety of settings. A student will usually spend two semesters taking English Language classes, plus or minus a summer session.
2. What is the Placement Test?
The placement test determines the level of your proficiency at the beginning of your language studies in order for the IEP staff to place you in the most appropiate classes. The placement test is two hours long and covers a variety of language skills such as speaking, listening, sentence structure and reading/vocabulary, as well as testing a student's writing proficiency through questions such as multiple-choice, true/false, close reading/short answer, as well as writing to a prompt.
3. How do I register for classes?
As soon as you decide to become a member of the CUA community you will be assisted by a slew of well seasoned advisors whose main job is to assist you with this registration process. During the registration process it is the role of the academic advisor to ensure that students are registered for classes that align them with their proficiency, which will then determine what academic resources such as textbooks that students will need to obtain.
4. Where can I live while attending the IEP at CUA??
We offer on-campus housing as well as on-campus dining accommodations for IEP students. We do recommend that if you are interested in living on campus that you apply two months in advance through the Housing Office. The Housing Office can make recommendations as to where students can live off-campus as well.
Contact Information for the Housing Office is on the resources available page.
5. What does it mean to be full-time student in IEP?
To be considered as a full-time student in the IEP, student must have at least 20 contact hours within the classroom a week for the duration of their studies. Please note that 20 contact hours a week does not include homework which is expected to be completed outside of the classroom.
*Having 20 contact hours a week is a requirement for holders of student visas (F-1 or J-1). You can attend the program only if you hold a student visa, a diplomatic visa (A-1 or A-2), or if you are a U.S. permanent resident or a U.S. citizen*
6. Can I take just one or two classes in IEP?
Yes, you can. To be considered as a "part-time student" in the IEP a student must be a part of one of the undergraduate or graduate programs here at The Catholic University of America. Within their degree program, they must be taking the full required load of classes that are required and can use any extra time to take a class or two within the IEP program that is noncredit and designed to help IEP students have continued comfort and growth within their English proficiency.
7. What do you mean by "immunization record" (on the Request for I-20 form)
In Washington D.C., there is a law requiring students under 26 years of age to have a complete immunization record. Bring with you the immunization (vaccine) record from your home country (ask your parents for it), translate it, and take it to our Health Services (see link under "useful links"). They will determine whether your record is complete or not according to D.C. law, and you may be asked to have additional shots or update old ones.
8. What about health insurance?
The University requires all international students to have health insurance.
If you do have other comparable health insurance and you do not need Aetna Student health coverage, you will need to submit a waiver application to Aetna Student Health prior to the waiver deadline of September 10th.
The waiver can be completed online at:
Please note that if you do not submit an approved waiver before the waiver deadline, then the school will automatically enroll you onto the Aetna Student Health plan and you will not be eligible to remove the coverage.
If you have further questions, please contact the The Catholic University of America Call Center: