English Language Academy

Learn English with ’s English Language Academy

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Learning English opens up a world of opportunity — in business, education, arts, culture, professional settings and more. Where you learn English can also shape this experience in important ways.

That’s why the English Language Academy (ELA), located on the beautiful campus of the , takes great care to create a supportive, family-like atmosphere that helps students thrive and that has been one of the keys to our ongoing success. Whether you are taking an English language course here on campus or through our leading-edge remote learning option, you will find a top-quality academic program taught by expert instructors who are passionate about helping students learn English.

The English Language Academy enthusiastically welcomes students from all over the world. Our programs are designed to help you learn English to excel in your studies at a U.S. university or improve your language skills for professional reasons. Our instructors are skilled at helping learners of varying levels of language proficiency.

Choose your Course

Featured ELA Courses

English Language Academy
25 Units
Main Campus
English Language Academy
N/A Units
Online Self-Paced
English Language Academy
N/A Units
San Diego

Study At the Most Beautiful campus in the U.S. – Ranked #1 by the Princeton Review

Ranked number one by the Princeton Review, the is officially the most beautiful campus in the United States. As an International Student enrolled in an on-campus program through the English Language Academy, you will have access to the entire campus. Enjoy stunning views of the San Diego Bay, Spanish Architecture, and scenic views of the surrounding San Diego area while experiencing amazing tropical weather. Enroll in one of the English Language Academy’s on-campus programs to stay at the most beautiful campus in the country.

English Language Academy: A closer LooK

Take a peek at the USD campus while learning about the philosophy and mission of the English Language Academy in this brief video.

Who Should Attend?

The English Language Academy offers a variety of different programs, each carefully designed to serve language learners of varying ages, levels of English proficiency and goals. These range from our popular Summer International Junior Program for international students aged 13-17 to the Intensive English Language Program, which prepares those aged 18 and older for university or career success.

Generally speaking, each of our programs provides personalized, high-quality instruction to help non-native speakers develop and improve their English language skills. Students also gain cultural knowledge that can be helpful in achieving their personal, professional and academic goals.

ELA PRogram Highlights

Here are some of the highlights that are common to the wide range of English language courses and certificate programs offered through our English Language Academy:

  • Individual skill-based student placement for dynamic learning
  • Small classes averaging 10 to 15 students, offering individualized attention and a strong connection with faculty
  • Highly qualified instructors with graduate degrees in English language teaching, enhancing the educational experience
  • Assistance with various housing and accommodation options, including on- and off-campus housing, or homestay with an American family
  • A Student ID Card, providing access to the university’s many facilities and services (e.g. swimming pool, tennis courts, gym, etc.)
  • Opportunities for field trips to reinforce English skills and learn about American culture
  • Friendly, dedicated staff available to help students with academic planning, housing, visa processing, campus functions, social activities and more
  • Certificate issued after successful completion of the program

What our students say

I highly recommend the English Language Academy for international students. Teachers here are really helpful and friendly. They helped me not only in my study, but they also helped me with the problems in my daily life. I came to America without any TOEFL study experience, but with the help of ELA, in two semesters I passed the TOEFL test and got accepted in USD. Thanks for the help from ELA.

My experience in ELA was truly amazing. I returned home after one year not only with a better performance in writing, listening, speaking and grammar, but having a broader experience of our world, sharing with people from other cultures and having unforgettable moments with them. I am also glad to have had teachers so nice and with a high level of know-how, always willing to help you and giving the best of themselves day after day. Forever grateful and thank you for the memories!

Home away from home — this is how I describe my ELA experience. Caring staff and patient teachers. The trips every semester helped me learn more about San Diego and the culture of the U.S. On the academic side, I have improved a lot in my writing skills to a level I am proud of. Moreover, my vocab has enlarged at the ELA, which now makes my writing cohesive. My favorite class was reading and critical thinking, and it is needed at the university level. You will approach what you are looking for if you put the effort.

ELA is one of the great English schools that I have ever enrolled in. It not only strengthened my English but also built up my
academic skills which was good preparation for a higher education.

Located on USD’s beautiful campus in (always) sunny San Diego, ELA is a unique place to improve your English language skills at any level. The English Language Academy’s excellent teachers and highly motivated staff, along with international students from all over the world, create a fantastic environment where increasing your language skills comes naturally.

Summer 2023 English Language Academy Catalog

Click here to browse new and featured courses and programs offered by USD’s English Language Academy this Summer.

Multilingual Brochures (pdf)

Unique Benefits

In addition to some of the program highlights and benefits mentioned above, one of the key advantages of ELA programs is that our placement test is used to place students at different levels for each skill area. For example, a student may be placed in Advanced Reading, High Intermediate Listening, Intermediate Writing, etc. This helps customize the English language-learning experience to each student’s unique needs, as well as providing them with a more dynamic educational experience by having different teachers and students in classes.

Dynamic, Practical Language Skills

Our individualized, skill-based placement system stimulates dynamic learning for students of varying levels of language proficiency with instruction that is tailored to their unique needs.

Sense of Community

Our faculty and staff engage students from around the globe in an enriching, high-quality educational experience where they also build friendships that help stimulate academic success.

Invested in Your Success

Our mission is to help each student thrive while developing the English language skills that position them to achieve personal, professional and academic goals.

Mission Statement

The English Language Academy (ELA) offers an Intensive English Language proficiency program that helps to improve and strengthen the skills of non-native speakers so they can fulfill the academic requirements of a college or university.

Professor speaking english virtually to students

Expert Faculty Instructors

Our highly skilled English Language Academy instructors — each of whom have earned graduate degrees in English language teaching — are patient and passionate about their work helping students learn English.


The ’s English Language Academy is a member of the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP) and the Association of International Educators (NAFSA). Our Intensive English Language Program is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). In addition, USD’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission (WASC).

Is USD Right for Me?

USD’s widely respected Division of Professional & Continuing Education is dedicated to connecting students with high-quality courses and certificate programs.

If you are passionate about lifelong learning or if you are seeking educational opportunities to gain specific knowledge and skills for personal or career advancement reasons, then (yes!) the is right for you.

Informative Stats and Facts


USD has been crafting high-quality curriculum for over 70 years


Number of students who have enhanced their career


Majority of courses are offered in flexible and convenient formats

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose the English Language Academy (ELA)?

The ELA offers an intensive and rigorous language program for students who are serious about pursuing an academic degree at an American college or university. Classes are small, no more than 15 students per class; and teachers are dedicated to helping students achieve their academic and personal goals.

Who should attend the English Language Academy?

The ELA offers a variety of different programs, each carefully designed to serve language learners of varying ages, levels of English proficiency and goals. These range from our popular Global Leadership Summer Program for international students aged 13-17 to the Intensive English Language Program, which prepares those aged 18 and older for university or career success.

What type of Intensive English Program does the English Language Academy offer?

The ELA offers an Intensive English Program which includes reading, writing, grammar, listening, speaking, and test preparation (TOEFL and IELTS).

How are students placed in classes?

Upon arrival at the ELA, new students take a placement test. They are then placed into individual, skill-based classes specific to their level. The ELA has six levels of English language proficiency, ranging from beginner to advanced.

How long does it take for a student at the ELA to enter the ?

USD is ranked in the top 100 universities and requires international applicants to have earned a TOEFL score of 80, an IELTS score of 6.5, or a Duolingo score of 115. The length of time it takes a student to earn those scores depends on a number of factors. At the ELA, we have designed our curriculum to help students reach those scores through our test prep and college prep classes.

Do ELA students have access to any facilities on the USD campus?

As an ELA student you will be issued a USD Student ID Card, providing access to the university’s many facilities and services (e.g. swimming pool, tennis courts, gym, etc.).

What makes San Diego a good place for an international student to come and study?

San Diego offers a unique set of advantages for students wanting to live and study in the city. The academic potential, amazing attractions, cultural diversity, food, shopping, and natural beauty make it as many agree “America’s Finest City.”


Your English in America’s Finest City

Make your dreams come true of studying English in the United States at the English Language Academy.