Culture & Intensive English Program

The Culture and Intensive English Program, or the CIEP, was founded in 1982. It began as a summer program for students who were already attending the university academically; it consisted of six instruction hours per day and other field trips and activities outside the class. In August of 1984, the program expanded into a year-round English language program including five eight-week sessions. Reading, speaking, and writing classes were offered to non-native speakers. The CIEP has now been incorporated into the Office of International Engagement, the UCIEP, and the AAIEP. 

The CIEP has serviced a wide range of students since its creation. We have hosted exchange programs, small trips, and pairings with American students. Our participants have represented almost every continent and country in the world. Student map

What we do?

The primary goal of the UNI CIEP is to improve our students’ ability to communicate in English. We do this through speaking and listening practice during class and other program activities. We also work with students to improve specific skills in grammar, writing, and reading. The CIEP does this by teaching students the skills and strategies that will help them use English both academically and socially. There are many opportunities for students to practice these skills outside of the classroom with roommates, conversation partners, other university students, and community members. 

Another important part of the CIEP is learning about American academic culture and popular culture. We closely relate English language instruction with American cultural experiences because you cannot use a language well if you do not understand the society and culture in which it is used. It is also difficult to study and work in the United States if you are not proficient in the English language. The CIEP works very closely with students to find the best opportunities for them to learn about the English language and American culture.

A photo of CIEP

Learn More About CIEP


The Culture and Intensive English Program at the University of Northern Iowa is accredited by the Commission for English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) and UCIEP.