English for Academic Preparation

Study English in San Francisco, America's Most International City

The English for Academic Preparation (EAP) program gives you an opportunity to study in beautiful San Francisco, California, and learn English in an intensive language program that emphasizes university preparation and academic skills.

American Language Institute students in front of the Humanities Building


  • Well-trained, enthusiastic teachers and small classes with individual attention to all students
  • A curriculum that gives you strategies to understand and use English at an American university
  • TOEFL waivers for qualified students applying to SF State undergraduate degree programs
  • Advisors to help you apply to SF State and assist you with immigration questions, academics and American life
  • Student activities to help you enjoy your city and American culture


International students balance between rocks and water at Sutro Baths

Gateway: English + University Credit Studies

  • Improve your English & academic skills for university success
  • Take an SF State course for credit
  • Receive support to understand & complete your university course assignments

Students in purple SF State gear at the Golden Gate Bridge

Conditional Admission

  • For international students who are academically qualified to apply for admission to SF State, but have an insufficient TOEFL score
  • Apply to SF State after deadlines have passed
  • Receive assistance with your application

Students lounge on the grass in the sunshine

TOEFL Waivers

  • Two possible TOEFL waivers
  • Either waiver will meet SF State English proficiency requirements
  • You do not need to complete the highest ALI level to receive either TOEFL waiver

Online Courses

SF State students taking an online class

Offered Online for Spring 2021

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ALI courses and SF State courses are offered online, with live instruction using Zoom.

Online Information Session - October 27
Online English for Academic Preparation

About the Program

What Students Say

Emily (Minling), an International student from China

Emily (Minling), China

“The English for Academic Preparation program at SF State is the best language program I have taken. It helped me to improve my reading, speaking, listening and writing skills all at once. I also got to know new students from all over the world, and we had a good time studying together and supporting each other. The program is tailor-made for students who plan to attend an undergraduate or graduate program at a university in the near future.”

International student, Sota Watanabe, outside of the Facebook headquarters in Silicon Valley

Sota, Japan

Sota built his English skills at the American Language Institute, then went on to earn a certificate in our International Business program, where he developed the knowledge and skills to create his own startup and become a global leader.

Elena Zheltova, international student from Russia

Elena, Russia

“The American Language Institute is the best English program that I have ever attended. Seriously. Everything there was flexible, but structured. My class had six people from different countries, and everybody was very goal oriented.”

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