Academic English Program

Offered at both our Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses, the Academic English Program (AEP) and Intensive Academic English Program (IAEP) is designed to prepare you for academic studies if you do not meet Lakehead University's English language requirements. Our program targets all four language areas: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You will improve your ability to read academic materials, write essays, take notes, and give presentations. 

Modes of Delivery: Online and In person

Please let us know if you would like to join online or in person after applying to the program by emailing us at


Apply Now!

Program Overview

Academic English Program (AEP) - 13 Weeks

Students will improve their ability to read academic materials, write a variety of academic essays and give academic presentations individually and in groups. There are 5 levels in the Academic English Program. You will be assessed upon arrival and placed in the appropriate level based on your skills if you do not possess current IELTS or TOEFL scores.  If you do not have a test score from any of these sources, you must do a placement test online before your arrival if you are planning to study in Canada. 

NOTE: Our in-house placement test is used for placement in the Academic English Program only. Thus, the test does not guarantee entry in any undergraduate or graduate program.

  • The program runs 25 hours per week and each level takes 13 weeks to complete. 
  • Upon successful completion of Level 5 of the Academic English Program, graduates will meet the English language academic requirement for most Lakehead University programs without having to take another standardized English test.
  • If you begin the program in level 5, you may be allowed to take one academic course outside of your AEP class schedule. Please note that eligibility to take academic courses will be determined on a case-by-case basis and depending on your test results. 

Intensive Academic English Program (IAEP) - 9 Weeks (compressed)

Students who have a conditional Offer of Admission and have the equivalent of IELTS 6.0 may be admitted to the Intensive Academic English Program (IAEP). This compressed course takes 9 weeks (July & August) and runs Monday through Saturday from 9a.m. to 4p.m. (36 hours per week). This program will allow students to start their academic program in September upon successful completion of IAEP.

Review our AEP and IAEP Student Handbook here.

How do I know which level I will be placed in? See the chart below to match test scores to the Academic English Program's levels.

A chart displaying the different placement levels of Lakehead's Academics English Program

Program Dates



September 12 - December 14, 2022 (all levels) 


January 16 - April 21, 2023 (all levels)

May 8 - August 4, 2023 (all levels)

September 5 - December 12, 2023 (all levels)


June 26 - August 25 (level 5; IELTS 6.0 overall)

Required Fees

Application Fee: $50 CAD

Academic English Program Tuition

$5,200 CAD per semester (tuition only)

Placement Test Fee (if required):

iTEP Academic Plus - AEP $85 CAD

Test measures the four skills: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening

The test can be taken either on site or remotely.

Academic Courses: 
$2,650 - $3,400 CAD per class per semester depending on the academic program
Optional for advanced English-language students in Level 5 AEP.

Auditing Fees:
$322.79 CAD per class per semester. Students do not obtain a credit.
Optional if you would like to take academic courses without receiving credit.

$900 - $1500 CAD per month
Prices vary depending on the type of accommodation you choose and whether you live on or off-campus.

Medical Insurance:
$1.95 CAD per day (approximately $238 per semester)
For details on medical coverage, visit the GuardMe website.

Ancillary Fees: 
Approximately $75 CAD per semester

Bus Pass:
Thunder Bay

Adult Pass (25+ years): $80.00 monthly

Youth Pass (13 - 24 years): $55 monthly

$63.60 (monthly)


Apartment style residence building on the Thunder Bay campus

There are many different housing options for international students at Lakehead:

Each housing option offers you a different and unique experience.

Find out more about Lakehead housing options.

Sample Schedule

A typical week in our in-person Academic English Program balances class time learning English with cultural excursions and free time, allowing you to learn about our city and culture as well as practice your English skills. Our online Academic English Program is a combination of synchronous (live lessons) and asynchronous (independent work). A typical day includes 3 hours of synchronous lessons starting at 7:00 am and 2 hours of asynchronous, independent work. Each week in the program introduces you to brand new experiences. Here is just a sample of what you could expect as an Academic English Program student:

Virtual Learning (Online) Model Sample Schedule

Sample Schedule Academic English Program - Virutal

*ELC runs additional custom programming that supports ELC learners to practice their AEP skills in a practical setting. 
* Across Lakehead departments there are an array of events and activities to choose from. Click on the links below to see examples of current events.

Health and Wellness

International Student Events

Lakehead Campus Events Calendar

In-Person Learning Model Sample Schedule 

Sample Schedule Academic English Program - In-Person

Some of the types of cultural excursions you could look forward to include:

  • Canada Day celebration (Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses)
  • A guided tour of the downtown museum or art gallery (Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses)
  • A nature hike at Kakabeka Falls or Scout Valley (Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses)
  • Attending a Thunderwolves hockey game (Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses)
  • Skiing at Mount Baldy or Blue Mountain (Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses)
Apply to the Academic English Program

The application process for our Academic English Program (AEP) varies depending on what academic program (if any) you will be taking:

  • Undergraduate Applicants: If you have already been conditionally accepted to an Undergraduate Program, you do not need to apply for Academic English Program (AEP). You will automatically be considered.
  • Graduate Applicants: If you are accepted to a Graduate Level Program and need to take the Academic English Program (AEP), you will receive instructions in your Letter of Acceptance on how to apply to AEP. 
  • English Language Only: If you would like to apply to Academic English Program (AEP) only, and not any other academic program at Lakehead, please apply online using the Lakehead University Undergraduate Application Form
  • Application Fee: $50 CAD

Click Here for Application Instructions for AEP

If you are unsure or have questions, contact us and we can help:

Phone: +1 (807) 346-7888