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ELS 2 + 2 Program

Combine ELS study with 2 years at one of ELS’ partner community colleges followed by 2 years at a top-ranked university


About the ELS 2 + 2 Program

Are you interested in admission to a top-ranked American University even if you have not yet mastered English? The ELS 2 + 2 Pathway can help you realize your dream of earning a degree from a world-recognized university. By creating a learning pathway that combines ELS study with 2 years at a California community college, followed by 2 years at a top university, you’ll be able to take advantage of tuition savings and a supported learning journey with lots of individualized attention and smaller class sizes. Your community college transfer advisor will help you choose courses that offer transferrable credit so that you can transition into the University of California or California State University systems.

The ELS 2 + 2 Program is for you if:

  • You want to save up to $35,000 per year during the first two years of your degree
  • You’re looking for a more supported learning journey, starting with smaller class sizes, and more individualized attention and professor interaction.
  • You want to earn a degree from one of six University of California (UC) campuses or other highly-ranked, out-of-state universities such as the Illinois Institute of Technology which offer guaranteed admission to community college graduates who meet defined admission criteria.
  • You want to earn a degree at an American university but need to improve your English to meet the English language entry requirement for a higher education program in the USA (no TOEFL or IELTS test score required!).
  • You would like support planning your 2 + 2 pathway, applying for conditional admissions, submitting your English certificate upon completion of your ELS program, transitioning to a California community college, and transferring to the university.

5 Steps to Earning Your Bachelor’s Degree from a Top Ranked University

How it Works:

Send your application to ELS University Admission Services

Consult your Counselor and plan your pathway. Begin the application process with the help of ELS University Admission Services.

Right Documentation
Receive a letter of conditional admission

While still in your home country, you will receive a letter of conditional admission permitting your enrollment at one of our select partner community colleges as well as your I-20 from ELS.

First day class
Complete level 109 of the ELS Intensive program at ELS San Francisco, North Bay, or ELS Los Angeles County

Completion of ELS level 109* fulfills your Community College’s English proficiency requirement. At ELS you will develop the English language skills you need for success, while at the same time experiencing life on a traditional American university campus. ELS’ experienced center staff will also offer you counseling on the American Higher Education system so that you will better understand how to take advantage of all your opportunities, including the possibility of qualifying for scholarships, and the rules on paid work opportunities during and after your degree studies.

We recommend aiming for level 112 to make the transition to community college as easy as possible.

Form DS-160
Years 1 & 2. Enter your chosen ELS California Community College pathway partner & guarantee transfer credit

All universities guarantee transfer credit to admitted students with an adequate GPA. If you plan to transfer to one of the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) system campuses, your community college transfer advisor can advise you specifically which courses to take to be sure that all credits will transfer to your chosen university. Your transfer advisor can also assist you in understanding the guaranteed admission requirements.

Years 3 & 4. Enroll at the university of your choice and graduate with a degree from a top ranked university

The six UC campuses participating in the Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program are: Davis, Irvine, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Merced, and Riverside. Out-of-state universities offering TAGs include Arizona State University and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

ELS 2 + 2 Program &
ELS Intensive English at a Glance

The first step in your 2 + 2 Program is completing ELS’s Intensive English Program in order to reach ELS level 109. Learn more about the Intensive English program here:

  • tefl-certified-teachers
    30 Lessons

    Number of Lessons
    Per Week

    (1 lesson = 50 minutes)

  • appointment
    4+ Weeks
    Program Length
  • class
    15 students
    per class
    Average Class Size
  • levels
    12 levels from
    Beginner (101)
    to Masters (112)
    English Levels Available
  • english-learning-focus
    All language skills
    English learning focus includes listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, and pronunciation.
  • monday
    Session Start Dates
    Start Dates


Intensive English Program Sample Schedule

Students enjoy four 50 minute lessons each Morning, Monday to Friday, and two and a half 50 minute lessons each afternoon, Monday to Thursday** for a total of 30 lessons per week. Schedule is a sample only and may vary depending on your level and location.

(101 - 103)
8:30 - 9:20 AM
Structure and Speaking Practice 
9:30 – 10:20 AM
Structure and Speaking Practice 
10:30 – 11:20 AM
Skills Enhancement Class*
11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
Language Technology Center
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM **
Reading and Writing 
2:40 PM – 3:45 PM **
Reading and Writing 
(104 - 106)
8:30 - 9:20 AM
Language Technology Center
9:30 – 10:20 AM
Structure and Speaking Practice 
10:30 – 11:20 AM
Structure and Speaking Practice
11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
Skills Enhancement Class*
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM **
Reading and Writing 
2:40 PM – 3:45 PM **
Reading and Writing 
(107 - 109)
8:30 - 9:20 AM
Structure and Speaking Practice 
9:30 – 10:20 AM
Structure and Speaking Practice 
10:30 – 11:20 AM
Skills Enhancement Class*
11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
Language Technology Center
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM **
Reading and Writing 
2:40 PM – 3:45 PM **
Reading and Writing 
(110 - 112)
8:30 - 9:20 AM
Language Studies
9:30 – 10:20 AM
Language Studies
10:30 – 11:20 AM
 Language Technology Center
11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
Skills Enhancement*
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM **
Reading and Writing 
2:40 PM – 3:45 PM **
Reading and Writing 

*Skills Enhancement Classes may vary at each location. Examples of Skills Enhancement Classes include Communication Through Video, Conversation and Speaking Skills, Vocabulary Enrichment, Real World Listening, Idioms, and more.
** Afternoon classes take place 4 days per week.

Explore our English course descriptions to discover what you'll learn in the different ELS classes that make up your program.

ELS 2 + 2 Program Assistance

Your ELS 2 + 2 Program journey includes tailored support from ELS and from your Community College Transfer Advisor. Before you even leave home to learn English, ELS will help you secure your conditional admission to one of our California community college partners. A conditional admission means that you have been accepted to your college of choice upon completion of your English language studies. Your admission will be updated to a “full acceptance” once you present the college with your ELS Certificate of Completion as proof of English language proficiency.

Securing a “conditional admission” is very beneficial to your plans to study in the United States! You will have:

  • A full study plan that includes English language studies, and your community college plans (including the intention to complete the last two years of your degree in a top-ranked university) before leaving your home country.
  • A smooth transition to your community college upon graduating with your ELS Certificate of Completion.
  • An estimated college program start date for which semester you will begin your studies.

Once you transition into your Community College program, your Community College Transfer Advisor will take over your continued support, working with you to develop a study plan that includes transferable credits so that you can seamlessly transition to complete the final two years of your degree at your chosen University.

Discover Our
Partner Community Colleges

ELS is partnered with 7 California Community Colleges that offer credit transfer into the University of California and California University system. Explore our partners to see which one might be the best choice for you.

Foothill College
De Anza College
Santa Rosa Junior College
El Camino College
Diablo Valley College
Santa Monica College
Orange Coast College

Where to Start Your ELS 2 + 2 Program

With the ELS 2+2 program, we recommend you take the Intensive English program at one of our ELS destinations in California. Choose your city to start your USA English and College/University Study experience:



International students are permitted to work short-term in the USA after completion of their first academic year or after graduation through Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows international (F-1) students to work up to 12 months in jobs related to their major field of study, either after graduation from their degree program or after completing at least their first full academic year. OPT is not tied to any specific employer. Students who have completed degrees in STEM fields are eligible for up to 3-years (36 months) of OPT.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows international (F-1) students to gain valuable experience directly related to their major through paid or unpaid internships, a practicum, etc. CPT must be completed before graduating, must be part of the program of study or provide course-credit, and is tied to a specific employer.

Start Your Journey to an American University Degree with the ELS 2 + 2 Program!

ELS’s 2 + 2 Program offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop your English skills and build a cost-effective pathway to earning a degree from a top-ranked American University. We’re here to support your English learning journey at ELS and your transition into college and university in the USA.