English For Academic Purposes

This course is for:

  • Students who have been conditionally accepted at an English language college or university but who have not yet attained the required CAEL, TOEFL test, IELTS, or other language proficiency test score
  • Sudents planning to enter university but who have not yet been accepted
  • Students who have attained the required language test scores but who feel they need more intensive work in academic English and study skills in order to perform as well as possible in their credit courses
  • Both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as those in high school and community college

Course Objectives

The goal of the EAP program is to prepare students to read, write, speak and listen to English well enough to succeed in university and college courses. During the program, students practice the academic and language activities that they will encounter in tertiary level studies. Activities include viewing and discussing videotaped lectures, listening and note-taking, academic writing, reading academic texts, critical thinking, participating in discussions and seminars, writing different types of university examinations, and improving library and research skills. Students also prepare for language proficiency examinations like the CAEL, IELTS and TOEFL test.

Students in the EAP program experience life at university through organized visits to lectures on campus in different academic disciplines. Students are also encouraged to participate fully in the university experience through social and cultural activities.


On the first day of class, students are tested and placed into the level best suited to their needs. The Intensive English Program consists of six levels and students are placed into these levels according to proficiency. In Levels One to Three of the Intensive English Program, both EAP and EPPC students focus on developing accuracy and fluency in general English and cross-cultural communication skills. To enter Level One, students should have at least a high beginning level of English. In Levels Four to Six, students may choose the more communicative EPPC program or focus on academic language and study skills in the EAP program. Orientation to Saint Mary's University and the city of Halifax takes place during the first few days of the semester.

Special Features

  • Year-round courses offered in 8 week sessions
  • An intensive program of 25 hours per week supplemented by individual and group tutorials and our Conversation Partner Program
  • Six different levels of instruction according to individual needs
  • Academic and cultural orientation
  • Small classes: average class size 15-16, maximum 18
  • Full university facilities including libraries, book store, health clinic and computer laboratories
  • Access to Saint Mary's world class recreational facilities including fitness centre, health club, courts, etc.
  • Full-time International Student Advisor and Department of Student Services

We cannot hold a place in our Intensive English Program for you unless you register and pay the appropriate deposit. If you register and pay the deposit for one semester, you are guaranteed a spot in our IEP only for that semester. Registration in one semester does not guarantee registration in the semesters that follow. If you wait to register for future semesters until you arrive in Halifax, there may be no space for you.

In particular, Summer and Fall sessions can fill up months before they begin. We recommend that you register for at least 2-3 sessions, especially if you are preparing for University study. If you wait to register for later sessions until you arrive, the semesters you require may be full. Register early to avoid disappointment.


Students who successfully complete the highest level of EAP (Level Six) are not required to write a TOEFL, IELTS or CAEL examination to enter undergraduate programs at Saint Mary's University. For the EAP Level Six timetable and courses, click here.

Please note these important points about EAP Level Six:

  • Placement into all levels, including EAP Level Six, is done on the basis of scores on the placement test administered on the first day of the semester. In order to enter EAP Level Six, students must achieve an overall average score of 4.000 with no score lower than 3.5. There can be no exceptions to this policy.
  • Students may not enter EAP Level Six after the beginning of the semester.
  • EAP Level Six is a limited enrolment program designed for students who have a conditional admission to Saint Mary's University. On occasion, other students may take the course when space permits.
  • Students who have not met attendance requirements for previous semesters, or those who have withdrawn from previous semesters of the IEP, are not eligible for EAP Level Six until they re-qualify.
  • EAP Level Six is a demanding program. Given the short length of our semesters (eight weeks), students may take this level two or more times before they successfully complete it.