University Preparatory Program (UPP)

Welcome from the Director

Welcome to the University Preparatory Program (UPP) at the International University of Grand-Bassam. Our program provides students with an English language foundation as well as study skills they will need in their undergraduate career, graduate studies, and beyond.

New students at IUGB are facing a whole new world. Not only do they need to master a new language, they must adjust to a new educational system that is very different than what they experienced in high school. Those students who spend time in the program have the advantage of practicing skills crucial for success in the American system. They have a chance to become more comfortable with group work, classroom discussions, and use of technology in education. We welcome you to join us for this adventure.

Julie Reimer Beda, Director
University Preparatory Program


UPP at IUGB is a serious and rigorous program that equips students with the skills required for academic success. Students take intensive English courses geared to their English level: basic, intermediate, or advanced.  Advanced students can also take a university-level math or computer science course for credit.

The purpose of the program is to provide a solid foundation in English, as well as the academic skills necessary to succeed in the U.S. style academic system, such as research, academic writing, use of online tools, and test taking strategies.

Our Mission
The program provides students with skills necessary for successful university studies in an English-speaking setting, using a curriculum that promotes cross-cultural awareness, critical thinking, social equality, and learner autonomy.

Our Vision
The vision is for the UPP to be a center of excellence for English language and academic skills education in West Africa, using stimulating, innovative, student-centered teaching methods.

About Our Faculty

UPP has full time instructors from such countries as the United States, Côte d’Ivoire, the United Kingdom, and Mauritania. We also have several part-time instructors each semester. All are also committed to continuing professional development in order to keep up-to-date on best teaching practices.

Program Highlights

  • Small course sizes (generally 12 to 18)
  • Highly qualified faculty members
  • A modern language lab for reinforcing listening and speaking skills
  • Emphasis on academic English skills
  • Diverse classroom activities


When a student applies, his or her level is determined by an Entrance Placement Test. In following semesters, student placement is determined by the grade point average (GPA) earned in the student’s respective level. The number of semesters spent in the program varies depending on the student’s initial entry level and their course grades.


Level Semester GPA: direct to fresh Semester GPA: stay in UPP
Advanced 2.0 – 4.3 1.99 or less
1.7 – 1.99: repeat courses with D or F1.69 or less, repeat Advanced
Intermediate 3.3 – 4.3 3.29 or less

(1.7 – 3.29, go to Advanced;
1.69 or less, repeat Intermediate)

Basic 3.8– 4.3 3.79 or less

(3.0 or more, go to Advanced;

1.7 -2.99, go to Intermediate;

1.69 or less, repeat Basic)