Concurrent Enrollment

The ESL Academy at the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) is designed not only to prepare students in English language fluency, but also to help them succeed as a CU Denver student upon completion of the ESL Academy program.

As an ESL Academy student reaches level 4, the student may elect to enroll in one or two “main campus” credit-bearing ​courses at CU Denver as a non-degree student. Concurrently enrolling in a main campus course while completing the program at the ESL Academy provides students with an opportunity to get a head-start on integrating into the university classroom, to learn American academic cultural standards first-hand, and to build social ties to the main campus, among many other benefits – and all while continuing to receive support from the ESL Academy staff. While these benefits are important, it is critical for each student to consider​ carefully how they will manage being a full-time ESL Academy student (20 hours per week) and studying in a main campus credit-bearing course.

Because concurrent enrollment is academically challenging and because grades earned in credit-bearing courses will be part of a student’s official transcript, these steps must be followed.

  • Discuss this option with the faculty before applying. Students will need a letter from the ESL Academy in order to be accepted for concurrent enrollment.
  • Be aware that enrollment in a graduate program is at the discretion of the graduate schools.
  • Enroll in one or two classes.
  • Complete level 5 at the ESL Academy. Students who participate in concurrent enrollment cannot take the TOEFL or IELTS to enter the university early. 
  • Speak with an Academic Advisor.
  • Meet with our International Services Specialist.
  • Be in level 4 at the ESL Academy.
  • Choose a class in his/her major
  • The student chooses classes that meet in the evening or otherwise during times when there are no ESL Academy classes scheduled.

Following these important guidelines will help to ensure a student’s success.

In order to pursue concurrent enrollment on main campus while being enrolled full-time at the ESL Academy, a student must make an application to the university as a non-degree student. The application instructions are outlined below.

Non-Degree Undergraduate Application Instructions

International applicants must file the international undergraduate non-degree online application, which provides detailed instructions on how to make your application complete unless an exception is noted that applies to you. Here is a brief summary of what is detailed in our online application instructions. To make your application complete, you need to submit:

  • Online application (
  • Your original or certified secondary academic records from grades 9-11 (if you are still enrolled in secondary school) or grades 9-12 (if you have graduated), including certified translations if they are not in English.
  • Transfer students and freshmen who have taken university credits should also submit official post-secondary records, including certified translations if they are not in English.
  • $75 application fee (Fee is waived for ESL Academy graduates).