Academic English Program (AEP) and Intensive Academic English Program (IAEP)


The Academic English Program (AEP) is a rigorous program consisting of five levels that is aimed at those learners who wish to attain knowledge of the English language and the academic skills necessary to succeed at the university level. These skills include but are not limited to identifying features and structures of abstracts, evaluating objectivity in a text, identifying types of sources, recognizing a writer’s stance, using navigational language to understand a lecture, understanding visual data in a presentation, using lecture notes and visuals effectively, preparing and participating in seminar discussions, planning, researching and delivering academic presentations and writing academic research essays on a variety of topics.

A wide range of academic topics are covered in the program and learners are encouraged to apply the course content to their chosen discipline. Using Kolb’s (1984) Cycle of Experiential Learning (concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation), the program introduces learners to an experiential approach to learning to engage learners in direct and meaningful experiences to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, and develop their capacity to contribute to the wider community.

In the same way, a portfolio-based approach to assessment is used in the program to allow learners to reflect and improve upon their performance in assessment tasks, assignments and projects based on their instructors’ ongoing feedback.

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 University, please apply online using the Lakehead University Undergraduate Application Form
  • Application Fee: $50 CAD

Application Instructions for AEP

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

Phone: +1 (807) 346-7888

Academic English Program (AEP) - 13 Weeks

Learners 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 into 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)

Learners who have a conditional Offer of Admission and have the equivalent of IELTS 6.0 overall with no band lower than 6.0 may be admitted to the Intensive Academic English Program (IAEP). This compressed course takes nine weeks (July and August) and runs Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm (36 hours per week). This program will allow learners to start their academic program in September upon successful completion of IAEP.

Review the AEP and IAEP Student Handbook

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

Application Fee: $50 CAD

Academic English Program Tuition:
Tuition for full-time AEP is $5,200 and part-time is $3,400.

Placement Test Fee (if required):
iTEP Academic Plus - AEP $85 CAD
The 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 learners in Level 5 AEP.

Auditing Fees:
$322.79 CAD per class per semester. Learners do not obtain 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 Passes:
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 learners at Lakehead University:

Each housing option offers you a different and unique experience.

Find out more about Lakehead University housing options.

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 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 learner:

Virtual Learning Model Sample Schedule

Sample Schedule Academic English Program - Virutal

*ELC runs additional custom programming that supports ELC learners in practicing 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.

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)
Credential Earned
Certificate of Completion
Instructional Method
Web Based
AEP 25 hrs/week, 13 weeks, IAEP 36 hrs/week, 9 weeks
September 5 - December 12, 2023
January 15 - April 19, 2024
May 6 - August 2, 2024
IAEP: June 24 - August 23, 2024
September 9 - December 13, 2024

Contact Lakehead University's English Language Centre

If you are unsure or have questions, contact us using the form below, and we can help.

Contact Form
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