American Language Institute

The American Language Institute (ALI) is one of the oldest and most respected intensive English programs in the United States. The ALI has prepared international students to study in American universities for over 50 years.

The ALI provides a full-time, academically focused curriculum in English as a second language that gives students both language and study skills necessary for academic success. There are six levels of instruction ranging from a low intermediate level to an advanced level.

The ALI also offers Gateway, a special program for students who have completed the highest ALI level. The Gateway Program allows students to enroll in one course at SF State while studying English at the ALI.

Students must enroll for a full session (12 weeks in the fall and spring, 10 weeks in the summer), which involves 22 hours per week of classroom instruction. Part-time study is not permitted. In addition to language classes, the ALI offers its students assistance with the university application process, immigration, cultural adjustment and counseling, as well as social activities and conversation practice.

ALI offers a Letter of Conditional Eligibility (graduate and undergraduate programs) from SF State, which lets students know if they are qualified to apply to the University based on evaluated transcripts. U.S. consulates overseas accept letters of conditional admission and conditional eligibility as proof of a student’s serious plans for further university study in the U.S. All applicants must be graduates of a recognized high school or secondary school and must be 18 years of age or older. The program is primarily designed for serious, academically motivated students preparing for university study in the United States.

ALI Admissions

  1. Complete the paper application for the American Language Institute.
  2. Application fee of $50 and tuition deposit of $200. Total of $250 payable to: SF State - CEL/ALI.
  3. An official bank letter:
    1. English translation if necessary
    2. Less than twelve months old
    3. On bank letterhead/stationery
    4. A minimum of $34,500 U.S.
    5. Signed by a bank official
    6. FAX or email attachments are acceptable

Session Dates & Tuition

Spring 2016

February 3 - May 6, 2016 (12 weeks of instruction)

Summer 2016

June 1 - August 12, 2016 (10 weeks of instruction)

Fall 2016

September 7 - December 9, 2016 (12 weeks of instruction)

*Tuition will increase effective spring 2016. Tuition amounts will be posted soon.


There is no deadline for applying, but ALI typically closes admissions two months before the start of a session, so ALI advises students to apply as soon as possible. Admission depends on whether ALI still has space at the time ALI receives all the necessary documents.


Website: American Language Institute


*Subject to change.