Institute for Academic Studies

Program Overview

The Institute for Academic Studies (IAS) introduces you to academic subjects in English and helps you develop English language skills for communicating clearly and confidently in a university environment. 

IAS is designed for international undergraduate students. In IAS, you will develop your ability to study and discuss academic topics in an English-speaking university setting.

In your “Philadelphia in a Global Context” core course, you will discover the culture and history of Philadelphia by reading academic texts, performing research in and outside of class, and participating in academic discussions. In a final project, you will create a personal website that showcases your coursework and international experience.

In your elective courses, you will explore two additional academic subjects of your choice in English. Your options include: Communications, Innovation & Technology, Leadership, Marketing, Resiliency, and Sustainability. You will build vocabulary and develop listening and speaking skills to effectively communicate your knowledge and opinions about course topics. Throughout the program, guest lectures from Penn professors will enhance your university experience.

Session length

4 weeks

Focus of study

Introduction to Academic Content in English

Hours per week

20 academic hours

Proficiency level

Intermediate to advanced

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