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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact the Language and Culture Center?

The Language and Culture Center office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Walk-in inquiries are welcome. Our office is located on the University of Houston (main campus) at:

3581 Cullen Blvd.

Science Building (Bldg. 502)

Suite 230

University of Houston

Houston, TX 77204

Telephone: 713-743-3030
Fax: 713-743-3029

Please mail all applications to our office address given above. Applications may also be dropped off in-person during business hours.

What are the admission requirements?

To be admitted to the Language and Culture Center (LCC) intensive English program, students must be at least 17 years of age, have a high school diploma, and be familiar with the English alphabet. Students applying for F-1 visas must also show proof of sufficient financial support.

Does the University of Houston provide conditional admission or concurrent enrollment?

Students who wish to pursue their academic studies at the university must apply directly to the UH Office of Admissions. All LCC courses are non-credit. However, a student will be issued a certificate upon completion.

What is a TOEFL waiver?

Students who have successfully completed Level 6 in the Language and Culture Center are not required to present a TOEFL or IELTS score when seeking admission to undergraduate programs at the University of Houston. While some graduate programs also accept Level 6 in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS, students seeking graduate admission are encouraged to contact advisors in individual departments or colleges to find out what admission requirements might be.

What are the admission procedures?

To apply, please mail the following together to the mailing address above:

  1. The LCC application can be downloaded here. Please remember to print and complete all parts of the application, including the portion that requires both your and your sponsor’s signatures.
  2. Financial Support Form (if applying for an F-1 visa).
  3. An official copy of the student’s transcript and graduation diploma from high school or university.
  4. Certified English translations of the student's full transcript and diploma.
  5. Proof of financial support of at least $22,000.00 USD per student per year- required for all students who plan to apply for and study on an F-1 student visa. 
  6. Copy of the biographical information page of the student’s passport.
  7. A non-refundable application fee of $100.00 (check or money order only, made payable to the University of Houston). Do not send cash. 
  8. LCC Bacterial Meningitis Immunization Compliance Form if under age 22.

Please mail the LCC application, fees, and supporting documents ahead of time so that it arrives at the LCC office on or before the application deadline. 

Upon receipt of all the items listed above, and if the student is found eligible for admission, the LCC will prepare an admission letter, and a pre-departure orientation letter briefly explaining the policies and procedures necessary for securing the appropriate visa, traveling to Houston, getting settled, and registering.  A Certificate of Eligibilty Form (Form I-20) will be issued to students who plan to enter the United States on an F-1 student visa to study at the Language and Culture Center. 

These will be sent to the applicant in a timely manner.

What is the SEVIS Fee?

The United States Department of Homeland Security requires that each applicant applying for a student visa (F-1) pay a $ 350.00 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee. Payment instructions and an I-901 form will be enclosed with the I-20 and the acceptance letter. After the payment is completed and processed, you will be mailed an official receipt (form I-797) from SEVIS that you will need to present to the embassy official at the visa interview. If you complete the payment online, you may also print out the receipt and use that as proof of payment. You will later receive an official receipt by mail.

How do I get a student visa to enter the United States?

You may arrange an appointment for your visa interview online through your local U.S. embassy’s website. Take all required documentation with you. Be prepared to go to the interview alone unless the consular official allows others to be present. Because all consular officers are under considerable time pressure, you should keep your answers short and to the point. If your student visa is denied, keep a calm and positive attitude and do not argue with the officer. Kindly ask him for the reason you were denied and what you can do in the future to overcome the refusal. If your spouse and children will stay in your country, be prepared to state how they will support themselves in your absence. Remember, you must convince the embassy official that you have sufficient funds available to support yourself during your stay in the United States and that you will return to your home country after completing your studies.

Please read the information given under the Student Visa page on which is a website maintained by the U.S. Department of State that gives the most up-to-date information on visas and travel.

You may also look at the U.S. Visas page on for a brief overview on student visas.

If you are entering the United States on an F-1 Visa, you may look at the Study in the States on how to apply for the F-1 Visa.

What are the start and end dates of upcoming terms?

Term Weeks Student Check-In Last Day of Term
Fall 2019 14 weeks Tuesday, Sept. 10 Thursday, Dec. 12
Spring 2020 14 weeks Tuesday, Jan. 14 Thursday, Apr. 23
Summer 2020 13 weeks Tuesday, May 12 Thursday, Aug. 6
Summer II 2020 7 weeks Thursday, Jun. 18 Thursday, Aug. 6

What is the cost of tuition and fees for the program?

Fall 2019 Spring 2020 Summer 2020 Summer II 2020
LCC Program Tuition and Fees* $4,137 $4,137 $4,137 $2,089
LCC Student Health Insurance Fee** $873 $824 $837 $583
Total $5,010 $4,961 $4,974 $2,672

* All program tuition and fees are mandatory.  All costs are subject to change without notice.  

** Student Health Insurance Fee is required for all non-immigrant international students.

When do I pay my tuition and fees?

All students must pay tuition, fees, and medical insurance on the day of Student Check-In held on the University of Houston campus. Students who have not completed payment will not be permitted to attend class.

Tuition, fees, and medical insurance can be paid using cash, traveler’s checks, a certified bank check, or a personal check written on a local Houston bank, a money order, or a credit card (Discover, MasterCard, Visa and American Express). Please be advised that the University of Houston applies a convenience fee to credit card transactions. Checks should be made payable to the University of Houston. Checks drawn on foreign banks for payment cannot be accepted.

Do I have to carry medical insurance while I study in the Language and Culture Center?

To satisfy the University of Houston System (UHS) policy on maintaining acceptable health insurance coverage, each semester all Language and Culture Center (LCC) students in F or J statuses will be automatically enrolled in and charged for the UHS Student Health Insurance Plan. International students in non-F and non-J statuses will not be enrolled in the Plan.

Domestic Students, including U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents, will not be enrolled in the Plan.

Domestic students as well as international students in non-F and non-J statuses may seek coverage by enrolling in the Plan at during the open enrollment period and pay the premium directly to Academic HealthPlans.

For more details, LCC students may visit

May I waive the UHS Student Health Insurance Plan?

It depends. To decline the PLan, you must meet all conditions below:

  • You must have coverage through a government- or U.S. employer-sponsored group health insurance plan. Alternatively, your government sponsor has to provide a letter guaranteeing payment of all health-care expenses.
  • Your alternate health insurance plan must meet of exceed all requirements at
  • You must request a waiver of enrollment in the Plan and submit proof of acceptable alternate health insurance coverage at by the waiver deadline listed below:
    • Fall 2019: October 4, 2019
    • Spring 2020: February 7, 2020
    • Summer 2020: June 5, 2020
    • Summer II 2020: July 10, 2020

What is the refund policy when a student withdraws from the program?

If a student withdraws from the Language and Culture Center, he or she is entitled to a tuition and fees refund according to the following schedule:

Time of Withdrawal Refund
Student Check-In Week 100%
1st Week of Classes 75%
2nd Week of Classes 50%
3rd Week of Classes No Refund

There will be no refund after the second week of classes. Please note that the application fee is not refundable. The medical insurance may be non-refundable after the first week. Using the medical insurance before withdrawing from the program will render the fee non-refundable as well.

What scholarships and financial aid are available to LCC students?

The Language and Culture Center scholarships to the continuing students who best combine academic excellence and leadership with international awareness and cross-cultural understanding. No other form of financial aid is available to LCC students.

How is the intensive English program curriculum structured?

The intensive English program has 6 levels of instruction, from beginning (level 1) to advanced (level 6). Students in all levels have four hours of class (Monday through Friday). The teachers plan cooperatively and teach integrated academic language skills within a curriculum, which includes a focus on intercultural communication. The beginning levels concentrate on communicative and pre-academic skills. The intermediate levels focus on a solid review of English grammar and the techniques of successful academic reading and writing. The advanced levels focus on the development of academic skills-- critical thinking and oral and written self-expression -- that will prepare students for entrance into American colleges and universities. The average number of students in a class is 12.

Note: If your placement scores are low, you may be placed in a Foundation Section of Level 1. This section will prepare you for study in Level 1 and can increase the number of terms it takes to reach Level 6.

What is the daily class schedule (hours of instruction)?

The Language and Culture Center classes are scheduled Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:30 pm. Your classes will be scheduled at various times during the day, and all students must be prepared to attend classes as assigned. You will not be able to change your assigned schedule. Your schedule is based on placement scores, space availability, and balance of nationalities and gender in your classes. 

How long does it take to complete the program?

The LCC offers three terms each year, and there are six levels of study. The length of time and the number of terms of study vary according to your initial level placement, your language learning abilities, and your educational goals.

Note: If your placement scores are low, you may be placed in a Foundation Section of Level 1. This section will prepare you for study in Level 1 and can increase the number of terms it takes to reach Level 6.

What levels of study are offered at the LCC?

There are six levels of study*

Level 1: Lower Beginning

Level 2: Upper Beginning

Level 3: Lower Intermediate

Level 4: Upper Intermediate

Level 5: Lower Advanced

Level 6: Upper Advanced


*- Levels offered each semester may vary.

How do I know which level of study is best for me?

The LCC uses several placement tests (see How does the LCC evaluate student progress and achievement? FAQ below) to tell which level will help you make the best progress. Your level placement is based on your test scores.

Note: All levels may not be offered every semester. If you test into a level that is not offered, you may be advised to transfer to another school or program. Students with very low placement test scores may need to study in the Foundation Section of Level 1. This section is designed to prepare students with very low scores for Level 1. Students placed into the Foundation Section will need extra time to complete their English studies.

How does the LCC evaluate student progress and achievement?

When students enter the program, they are given placement tests:


LCC Speaking Test (administered by two instructors, one asking questions and the other scoring for content and overall fluency)

LCC Writing Sample (graded holistically by two instructors independently according to a grading guide that evaluates grammar, vocabulary, and content)

The CaMLA EPT counts 50 percent, and the Speaking Test and the Writing Sample each count 25 percent toward the placement score. The placement score is a weighted average, which is used as a guide for initial placement.

At the end of the term, students take the MTELP  Test and a Writing Sample on another topic. The student's final average, which is the average of the MTELP score, the Writing Sample score, and the teacher evaluation score, is used as a guide for level progression.

Placement and Progression Score Ranges:

13/14 Week Courses

Level Proficiency Scale Level Proficiency Scale
1 0 - 26 4 59 - 71
2 27 - 43 5 72 - 81
3 44 - 58 6 82 - 100

7 Week Course (Summer II)

Level Proficiency Scale Level Proficiency Scale
1 0 - 35 4 66 -76
2 36 - 51 5 77 - 83
3 52 - 65 6 84 - 100


Students with very low placement test scores may need to study in the Foundation Section of Level 1. This section is designed to prepare students with very low scores for Level 1. Students placed into the Foundation Section will need extra time to complete their English studies.

Where can I get information concerning housing options?

Student housing is available through the University of Houston Residential Life and Housing office, but one needs to apply early, as space is limited. If you would like to stay in University of Houston housing, please see the housing link at the LCC web site or check the University of Houston Residential Life and Housing web site at LCC cannot reserve dormitory space for you. Students who wish to stay in university residence halls must provide their own towels, pillows, bed sheets, and blankets.

Please note that you cannot apply for housing until you have received your acceptance letter and 7-digit UH ID number. Without the UH ID number, you will not be able to submit your housing application. Many students live off campus in apartments. Bus service is available to most apartments. A larger choice of apartments is available for students who have their own transportation.

What other student services are available?

The LCC offeres a wide range of student services. LCC students receive a Cougar Card during the Student Check-In process. This identification card gives LCC students access to all University of Houston student services (the student health center, the various UH libraries, the athletic facilities, the University Center, the Recreation and Wellness Center, and the various forms of entertainment on campus). In addition, the staff in the office of the LCC International Student Counselor (118 and 120 Roy Cullen Bldg.) (1) provides information on housing options, (2) gives professional assistance with personal, academic, and immigration issues, and (3) organizes several all-program events each term, including field trips to area attractions. LCC students also receive a CougarNet account, which authorizes them to use computers on campus.

Do I have to get a bacterial meningitis vaccination?

Texas State Law (SB 1107) mandates that all entering students under the age of 22 provide an official document signed by a health care provider or an official immunization record verifying that a student has been vaccinated against bacterial meningitis, or has received a booster during the five years prior to attending class. Please be advised that new students must provide proof of immunization before attending classes. For more information »