Academic English Program

The Academic English Program (AEP) is the key component of the Pathway Program at Saint Michael’s College. It can also serve as a stand-alone program for students wishing to improve their English. For over 40 years, the AEP has provided students with the skills needed to succeed at university or wherever near native fluency is required.

AEP students take both academic English and academic-content courses, and receive university credit in each of the levels they complete. Upon completion of all three levels, students have enough credits to be considered second-year university students, or “sophomores.”

Students may enter the program at any level and may skip levels depending on their progress. Students who score below the minimum score on their language test will start in the Intensive English Program and transfer to the AEP when they are ready. Each level may be completed in one semester. Sessions are available throughout the year, including most summers.


Three Levels

Academic Prep (6 academic credits for full semester)

This level transitions the student from ESL to academic content classrooms with the following subjects and courses:

  1. An introductory academic content course where students will gain experience studying academic subjects just as they would in a US-American classroom, thus bridging the ESL and academic content classrooms.
  2. The following skill-building courses will directly relate to the content course’s subject matter:
      • Academic Writing & Grammar
      • Academic Reading & Vocabulary
      • Oral Skills

AEP1 (14 academic credits)

In AEP1, students take three courses in academic English and one undergraduate-level “content” course with non-native and native English-speaking students in the classroom together. The academic English courses support the academic content course.

  1. College Reading & Listening
  2. College Writing & Grammar
  3. Oral Presentation Skills
  4. One undergraduate-level content course. This course is designed and taught by a professor in a specific content area. Native speakers of English and AEP students are in the classroom together.

AEP2 (16 academic credits)

Students in AEP2 take two academic content courses and just two courses in advanced English. Upon successful completion, they are ready to enter the undergraduate degree program.

  1. Advanced College Writing
  2. Introduction to Literature
  3. First content course of the student’s choice*
  4. Second content course of the student’s choice*

*Students may take any courses offered at Saint Michael’s as long as they meet the academic requirements.

Campus Life

AEP students experience Saint Michael’s College as full-fledged university students with access to all university facilities, including the library, technology, and fitness areas. They are welcomed in all university clubs and activities that are available to undergraduate students, and are housed on campus among international and US-American students.

Accommodations are typically in one of St. Mike’s premium residences—Cashman Hall—which houses our “GEAR” Program (Global Experience Academic Residential). GEAR is home to about 60 US-American and 60 international students, living in single rooms within suites of 4 or 8 students. US-American students must apply for the privilege of living in GEAR and demonstrate they are committed to connecting with international students. In most years about twice as many US American students apply for GEAR as are accepted.

Requirements for Admission

  • Language proficiency equivalent to 52 iBT /5.0 IELTS for admission to the AEP
  • Good secondary school record
  • Minimum age is 17 (16 on a case-by-case basis with special permission). Students over 25 must live off-campus

Upon arrival, each student’s writing proficiency will be assessed for placement in the appropriate level using our in-house Academic Writing Assessment (AWA).

Included in Cost of Tuition

  • Orientation
  • English language activities, conversation partners
  • Access to all university facilities and activities

Airport transfer upon arrival

  • Academic and Career Counseling
  • Health Insurance and access to college’s Health Center
  • Included in Room and Board (In addition to the above)

    • 3 meals/day in university dining hall
    • Accommodations
    • Linen and bedding

    For Information About...

    • Applying only for the AEP, contact Ms. Tina Cioffi,  
    • Conditional Admission to the Undergraduate Degree Program, contact Ms. Lisa Lagerquist, +1-802.654.3000,

    View the AEP mission statement for more information.

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