The ESL @ WPI Program offers English language courses to help students, scholars, and their partners brush up on and learn English for academic and non-academic purposes. The aim of the program is to assist students in developing their communicative abilities and skills to the point of proficiency through various courses offered throughout the year.

Contact English as a Second Language:
Phone: 508-831-6033

Appointment by email only

  • English for International Teaching Assistants is designed to help international teaching assistants learn and practice speaking English, paying special attention to the vocabulary of their majors while presenting information, learning classroom management practices, and understanding the academic culture and behavior in the U.S.
  • ESL Seminar is a tutorial offering ongoing support to address the linguistic needs of students and scholars in the major skills areas, along with practice giving oral presentations and studying aspects of U.S. culture and history. The course also includes field trips to museums, concerts, and other cultural activities.
  • ESL for Spouses teaches the legal partners of students and scholars the English language needed to establish themselves and meet their needs in U.S. culture. Course focuses on listening, speaking, and vocabulary development. The course also includes field trips to museums, concerts, and other cultural activities.
  • ESL Tutorial   When time and personnel are available, a tutorial possible on a contractual basis. 
  • Other Services    In addition, the ESL @ WPI Program offers oral proficiency testing in English for international teaching assistants and other WPI graduate students and scholars who may require it and, time permitting, international students might also find resources for help with writing (IQP/MQP Reports, Theses, and Dissertations).
  • ESL Summer Institute 2017 is an intensive summer program for students planning to study engineering, math, technology, and science at U.S. colleges and universities. Classroom instruction integrates reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills and pays special attention to the use of spoken English in a technological academic setting. The ESL Summer Institute lasts for approximately three (3) weeks, and is designed for (but not limited to) conditionally admitted international students on both the graduate and undergraduate levels. This program begins on July 24, lasts for three weeks, and is designed for international students.  International graduate students who will become TAs are especially encouraged to enroll in the ESL Summer Institute

In addition to classroom lessons with small classes and individual, computer-assisted instruction, the Summer Institute offers:

  • Tutorials in technical writing
  • Oral presentation workshops
  • Computer workshops
  • Note-taking strategies
  • On-site visits to local high-tech companies
  • Cultural excursions to Cambridge and Boston
  • Discussions on U.S. culture
  • Cross-cultural dialogues

Summer Activities

ESL Summer Institute students have the opportunity to participate in social and cultural activities both on and off campus, including meetings with American students and members of the community, tours of Cambridge and Boston, visits to museums, galleries, and exhibitions, and attendance at lectures, concerts, and American cinemas, in addition to our area's many other attractions.

During the three week program, students make two mandatory visit to an area high-tech firm or an exhibition for a tour and talk. Students are expected to participate in all field trip activities. Written reports are mandatory after each visit.


State-of-the-art computer equipment and classroom facilities are available for ESL Summer Institute students at WPI through the university's Computing & Communications Center. Extensive library resources and services are available to students through WPI's Gordon Library. Impressive athletic and recreational facilities are all located on WPI's 80-acre residential campus. Students live in one of WPI's new or newly refurbished residence halls in double occupancy rooms.  Students may eat in several on-campus eateries including the Campus Center, Morgan Hall and Founders. 


The 3-week cost is $2,000, which includes program and activities fees, room, insurance (where applicable, for ESL Summer Institute only), and application fee for non-matriculation students.

Program Fee                                        $1000

Activities Fee                                          475

Board only (not food)                              525

Total                                $2000

  • All figures are in U.S. dollars
  • Class time is approximately 6 hours a day, 5 days a week
  • Fees do not include the cost of books and materials
  • Health insurance is required for all students without private health insurance
  • Student Accident and Health Insurance, designed for WPI students, can be waived if evidence of an equivalent policy is approved by WPI (evidence must be submitted with an official/officially certified English translation)

Admissions & Visas

Previous study of English is required since the ESL Summer Institute focuses on the English language at the high intermediate to advanced levels. In order to be admitted into the ESL Summer Institute program, enrollees who are not matriculating at WPI must present proof of an acceptable score on a TOEFL or equivalent test of English proficiency or take a placement exam. Students should show an ibt-TOEFL score 70 +.

If students are already in the U.S., an International Student Advisor at the International House will assist with the transfer of F-1/J-1 visa status.

Students must also complete a WPI Enrollment Form . The WPI admissions staff is available to advise students on the necessary procedures—feel free to email them with any questions.

For more information about the ESL Summer Institute 2017, please read Frequently Asked Question (FAQ). 

If interested in the ESL Summer Institute, please fill out the form and an Enrollment Form will be sent to you.


We have compiled a list of useful forms with tips and advice to help make your experience WPI and/ or Summer Institute as enjoyable and educational as possible.  Check out this information below: