Mercer University English Language Institute

Mercer University’s mission is to equip its students with the skills and knowledge required to live full and successful lives, to empower them to become leaders in communities throughout the world, and to inspire them to deploy their talents to positively impact the human condition. Our vision is to change the world one student at a time.


Mercer University’s mission is to equip its students with the skills and knowledge required to live full and successful lives, to empower them to become leaders in communities throughout the world, and to inspire them to deploy their talents to positively impact the human condition. Our vision is to change the world one student at a time.

The mission of the English Language Institute at Mercer University is to empower international students to develop the English language proficiency necessary for personal, academic, and professional success.

In addition, the faculty and staff of the ELI strive to provide a tolerant and supportive community in which students are encouraged to develop cross-cultural friendships, engage in service, and explore concepts of global citizenship and international cooperation.


Founded in 1986 on Mercer University's Atlanta, Georgia campus, the ELI has been preparing international students for university-level academic study for over 30 years. Though our mission has expanded to educating students for success in English in not only academics but also personal and professional contexts, our commitment to our students has never changed. Our faculty strive to achieve best practices in language teaching in order to meet student learning goals, and our staff are dedicated to providing student support services for advising, experiential learning, and full immersion into U.S. culture. Our program is part of the fabric of the Atlanta campus and our students have the opportunity to engage with degree-seeking students through academic collaborations with our Schools of Pharmacy and Health Professions and through social collaborations with a variety of departments and schools.


The English Language Institute consists of three program types: Our Intensive English Program (IEP), Alternative Summer Learning Experiences, and Special Programs.


The IEP consists of 22 hours of face-to-face classroom learning per week over two semesters each year. Students are placed into one of four proficiency levels of English after taking a placement test during orientation, and progress through our program from that entry point through Level 4. Our advising staff works individually with students over the course of their enrollment to offer academic and personal support and to ensure that they progress through our program successfully. Additionally, our advising staff assists students with applying for degree programs and seeking other opportunities beyond their completion of the English program. 

Each level consists of four skills-based courses; contact hours for each course are associated with the time necessary for students to acquire English proficiency in the individual skill. Students at a beginner level are expected to complete the program after four semesters, or two academic years. Students who complete our highest level meet the Mercer University English language proficiency requirement for admission and are therefore exempt from submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores as part of the application for degree program study.

Students can enroll in the program either at the beginning of each semester, in August or January. Mid-term enrollment in October and March is also available for students who struggle to secure visas by the semester enrollment deadlines. Calendars and costs can be found on our website here:  https://international.mercer.edu/english-language-institute/dates-cost/


In response to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, Mercer University has moved all summer courses online. Consequently, the ELI has decided to offer a special menu of academic skills preparation courses for our students who plan to enroll in undergraduate or graduate degree programs in the United States once the crisis has passed. Our courses are taught using a combination of the Canvas platform for asynchronous learning and the Zoom platform for scheduled class meetings and individual instruction and advising. 

A description of each of these three-credit-hour equivalent courses is available on our website at https://international.mercer.edu/english-language-institute/programs/2020-online-courses/.

Below is a schedule of course enrollment periods. 

 MAY 18 - JUNE 26     JUNE 29 - AUGUST 7   



We offer short-term and long-term programs throughout the year for special groups. Programs range from one week to six months or more.

Because we design each program tailored to the specific needs of each group, participants can be integrated within our existing ELI classes or have a completely separate schedule. In addition to the courses, we also offer supplementary opportunities including classroom observations, tutoring, seminars, conversation practice with community volunteers, partnerships with other campus departments, and hybrid courses.

We currently offer the following types of programs:

  • English Communication & Culture
  • ESL/EFL Teacher Training
  • Business & Professional English
  • English for health professionals, or other specialized fields
  • Hybrid programs


ELI students who are enrolled in our Intensive English Program or in one of our Special Programs can take full advantage of the campus student services offered at Mercer University, whether they are living in the campus dormitory, in an apartment or facility off campus, or in a homestay. 

Campus Services Include:

  • Library
  • Computer Labs
  • Membership in Student Organizations 
  • Participation in Campus Activities and Events
  • Campus Healthcare Services
  • Fitness Facilities: Including a gym, swimming pool, and fitness classes
  • Cafeteria
  • Free Parking
  • Weekly Transportation to Local Grocery




$1,000—$5,000 Session

Fast facts

Afiiliation icon



Top Programs icon

Top Programs

English Language (ESL), English for Professionals, English for Specific Purposes Programs

Type of school icon

Type of School

University/Intensive English Program

  • School Size

  • Student Body Gender

  • Religious Affiliation

    No Affiliation
  • Scholarships for International Students

  • Conditional Admission Available

  • Setting

    City, Suburban
  • Accreditation and Certification

    EnglishUSA Member, UCIEP Member, SACSCOC
  • Type of Housing

    Residence Hall, Homestay, Apartment

Atlanta GA
Visit us
3001 Mercer University Drive Atlanta, GA

Become the best version of yourself at Mercer University English Language Institute

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