English Language Institute - ELI

International Students

English Language Institute

Mission Statement

The Mission of the English Language Institute at Northern Michigan University is to provide
English as a Second Language instruction to non-native speakers of English for their future academic, professional, and personal goals. It is also our mission to provide service learning and other experiences to help internationalize the NMU campus and the Marquette community.

Vision Statement

The Vision of the English Language Institute is to offer international and domestic students the opportunities needed to learn the cultures and values of other people and to foster understanding and tolerance. 


Northern Michigan University’s English Language Institute (NMU's ELI) offers English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to international students who do not meet the minimum score on the TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB in order to be accepted into degree programs at NMU.


ELI Program

The program is offered in 7.5-week blocks (one-half semester) and has six levels of English proficiency. Students will take a placement test during Orientation to determine the best level for them. No TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB test scores are needed to enter the ELI Program. Students may enter the ELI program at one of five times throughout the year (August, October, January, March, and May).

Classes meet Monday through Friday, providing students with a minimum of 21 contact hours per week with an ESL-certified instructor. Classes generally have 10-12 students which allows instructors flexibility to design lessons based on student needs and interests. 

Classes include:

  1. Reading & Vocabulary
  2. Listening & Speaking
  3. Writing & Grammar
  4. Culture
  5. TOEFL Preparation

Program Features

NMU's ELI Program provides students with extra language practice and cultural immersion at no additional cost:

  • Pronunciation Practice -- students meet with trained tutors in NMU's Speech Pathology & Audiology Department for sessions to improve pronunciation.
  • Service Learning - students are involved in the Marquette community to work with children, the elderly, or others in need.
  • W.I.N. Program (Wildcat International Neighbors)-- students are connected with a screened local family to meet with a few times a month.
  • Student Organizations/Clubs: ELI students have access to approximately 300 student clubs at NMU, including the Chinese Club, International Dancer's Club, Spanish Club, French Club, and All Nations Club.
Team Teaching on the beach ESL students hiking in the winter

About Northern Michigan University (NMU)

NMU has approximately 7,000 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students, with over 100 international students currently studying at NMU. There are over 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to choose from.

NMU has free LTE Internet coverage over the entire city and surrounding areas for all students with a NMU laptop. All NMU's ELI students receive a NMU laptop when they arrive on campus.

About Our City

Marquette is safe, friendly city located on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It was recently voted in the top 20 Safest College Towns in the United States.


For more information please contact:

International Programs Office
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave.
Marquette, MI 49855, USA

Telephone: 1+906.227.2510




ELI is a proud member of the American Association of Intensive English Programs