Center for English Language Programs

NMSU’s Intensive English language program is called the Center for English Language Programs (CELP) Intensive English, and allows applicants to NMSU with low or no TOEFL/IELTS scores to be admitted to the university ‘tentatively,’ subject to additional testing (the NMSU English Placement Test) and coursework upon arrival at NMSU. CELP has five levels of study, and upon satisfactory completion of the academic level students are able to attend regular NMSU degree courses as regular students.

The CELP English Placement Test:

The CELP English Placement Test is offered at the start of each session and is required for all new students. Level placements may vary following the test (which evaluates students’ abilities in speaking, writing, grammar listening, reading and vocabulary).

CELP Level Placement:

Level placements following the NMSU English Placement Test (which evaluates students’ abilities in speaking, writing, grammar listening, reading and vocabulary): 

  • Introduction to English: This level focuses on survival English and is intended for those with little or no fluency in English.
  • Beginning English: This level focuses on survival and social English. It is intended for those beginning fluency in English.
  • Intermediate English: This level emphasizes social and some academic kills. It is designed for students who speak, write, and understand some English.
  • Advanced English: This level prepares students to communicate effectively in the academic environment of the university.
  • Academic English: This level emphasizes more complex academic skills in areas of specialization students will face.

As a general rule, students should plan for eight weeks of CELP Intensive English enrollment for each level of intensive English study needed, therefore intensive English students should not plan to begin their study at NMSU for at least one semester.

Intensive English Students and Regular NMSU Course Enrollment:

Intensive English students may not enroll in any other course at the university (for credit or for audit).


For more information, please see our FAQs, and visit the CELP webpage.


  • NMSU International & Border Programs: ISSS
  • (575) 646-2834
  • Garcia Annex, Room 246
  • MSC 3567 / P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001