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ESL Bridge Program


What documents do I need to prepare in order to register for the ESL Bridge Program?

You will need to prepare three documents:

If I already have other degrees from my home country, do I need to submit all of my certified transcripts from high school to graduate school?

  • No, this will happen when you apply to Graduate School, not to the ESL Bridge Program.
  • A high school transcript is required only if you have not completed an undergraduate degree in your country.
  • If you have completed an undergraduate degree in your country, you need to submit either a course-by-course evaluation or a credential evaluation via a NACES member organization.

How do I get an F1 visa?

  • After your degree seeking application has been approved, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas will issue you an I-20. This happens in 7-10 business days and depends on the Admission's office.
  • You will need to schedule an interview and present your I-20 to the U.S. Embassy in your home country and apply for an F1 visa. If you are approved, the U.S. Consulate will issue you your F1 visa.

Do I need to take an English placement exam such as TOEFL, IELTS, or MTELP?

  • If you are not currently in the United States, you can take Duolingo English Language Test, which uses face recognition software, and present this as an official test score.
  • When you arrive on campus, the English Language Center will administer a second test called Accuplacer, which will determine the final level placement.

How many levels does the ESL Bridge Program have?

  • The ESL Bridge Program has 6 levels. Level 6 (Academic) is the only exit level into UNLV undergraduate majors except Nursing.

What is the cost of the ESL Bridge Program?

  • Fall 2019 tuition and fees are $6,335.55 and tuition and Spring 2020 tuition and fees are $7,108.62. Please note that tuition and fees are subject to change without prior notice.
  • Tuition is paid per semester as a one-time transaction. There is no payment plan for the ESL Bridge Program.

What does my tuition and fees cover?

  • Tuition and fees cover tuition, mandatory health insurance premium, Student Wellness fee and other student fees. Tuition and fees do not cover the Rebel Card fee ($20), the Recreation Center Fee ($25/month), textbooks, dining, or housing.

What are my Housing options and how much do they cost?

  • On-campus residence hall housing options include: Dayton Community, Tonopah Community, South Complex, and Upper Class Complex. On-campus housing costs can be up to $2,940 ($735 per month).
  • Off-campus housing complexes include: Echo1055, LegacyLV, The Degree, and the Rebel Place. U-District’s Legacy LV housing costs range from $406 to $600 monthly depending on the floor plan, furnished vs. unfurnished and gated vs ungated options.

Why should I enroll in the Bridge Program instead of your other ESL programs?

Affordable Cost

  • Tuition for international students for credit-bearing programs or certificates is approximately $12,000 per semester. While the ESL Bridge Program is non-credit bearing, it is almost half the cost at approximately $7,000 per semester and can be completed in as little as one semester.


  • 20 face-to-face hours of ESL Instruction per week.
  • 320 face-to-face hours of ESL Instruction per semester.

Waiver for the Standardized Language Tests

  • Upon re-applying to UNLV, successful Bridge Program graduates who have earned a 3.0 GPA in all four Level 6 courses enter their programs of study (except Nursing) without submitting an English language proficiency test score.


The ESL Bridge Program is a non-credit, intensive English program which offers 20 hours of instruction per week at six proficiency levels

  • beginning
  • higher beginning
  • lower intermediate
  • higher intermediate
  • advanced ESL
  • academic ESL

This program is open to international, domestic, and transfer non-native speaker undergraduate and graduate students.

If you require an F-1 visa to study in the US, you are considered an international student. For further details contact the International Admissions Office directly, or visit the International Applicants page.


  • The ESL Bridge Program sessions follow UNLV’s academic calendar.
  • Fall and Spring sessions run for 16 weeks each.
  • Summer II and Summer III sessions run for 5 weeks each.
  • There is no Summer I session.

Program Overview

The ESL Academic Bridge Program provides expert scaffolded ESL instruction in reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, and standardized test preparation to develop students’ inquiry, critical thinking, and communication skills in order to exit into their major of choice at UNLV.


All incoming ESL students take the Accuplacer ESL test for final placement purposes in each level prior to the beginning of each semester even if they have presented a valid language test score (Michigan, TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, etc.)


All ESL Bridge Program classes are built in the Educational Outreach system. Each level - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 - consists of four classes.

Completion and Progression

Undergraduate students who successfully complete the ESL Bridge Program with a 3.0 GPA in all four classes in level 6 may advance to UNLV without the TOEFL, IELTS, or Michigan test language proficiency requirement.

Disclaimer: The ESL Bridge Program at UNLV is not designed for international students on probation or college/university suspension because it is non-credit and as such cannot positively affect a student's GPA.

Any requests of incoming ESL Bridge students on probation/suspension will be addressed on an individual basis by the Director of the English Language Center.


International students qualify for the following scholarships:

ESL Bridge Program Checklist

  1. To Be Admitted
  2. To Register for Classes

    Contact to obtain the registration link for each semester.

  3. To Exit
    • Earn a B average in all Level 6 classes.
    • Re-apply to UNLV if you have spend more than one semester in the ESL Bridge Program. The $95 application fee will be waived.
    • Contact your advisor, fill in the change of major form, and register for classes in MyUNLV.
  4. Timeframe

    Students may take from 1 semester to 6 semesters to complete the ESL Academic Bridge Program depending on their placement test or standardized English test scores at the time of enrollment.

Program Costs*

  Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Summer 2021
Tuition & Fees $6,444 $6,978 TBD

*All costs are subject to change without prior notice.

Part-time study options are available for permanent residents (green card) holders and U.S. citizens.

For tuition and fee information for the current semester, please email or call 702-895-3925

  • On-campus residence hall housing costs can be up to $2,940 ($735 per month).
  • U-District’s Legacy LV housing costs range from $406 to $600 monthly depending on the floor plan, furnished vs unfurnished, and gated vs ungated options.
  • UNLV Dining Services offer different meal plans to fit any budget.
  • Health Insurance: All international students are required to have a health insurance.

International Health Insurance Coverage Dates

  Fall Spring/Summer
Start Date


End Date 1/11/2021 8/15/2021


Level CEFR Band Level Description ESL Bridge Class Title
6 C2 Proficient  Academic Listening and Speaking
Academic Reading and Vocabulary
Academic Writing
English for Specific Purposes (e.g. ESL for Hospitality)
5 C1 Advanced Advanced Listening, Speaking, and Accent Reduction
Advanced Extensive Reading & Vocabulary Acquisition
Advanced Composition
Advanced Integrated Grammar
4 B2 Vantage Higher Intermediate Grammar
Higher Intermediate Listening & Speaking
Higher Intermediate Reading & Vocabulary
Higher Intermediate Writing
3 B1 Threshold Lower Intermediate Grammar
Lower Intermediate Listening & Speaking
Lower Intermediate Reading & Vocabulary
Lower Intermediate Writing
2 A2 Waystage Higher Beginning Grammar
Higher Beginning Listening & Speaking
Higher Beginning Reading & Vocabulary
Higher Beginning Writing
1 A1 Breakthrough Beginning Grammar
Beginning Listening & Speaking
Beginning Reading & Vocabulary
Beginning Writing