Carnegie Mellon University

Business English and Cultural Immersion (BECI) Summer Program

Presented by the Tepper School of Business
June 3 - August 2, 2024

The purpose of this nine-week (eight weeks of instruction and one week dedicated to travel to campus) hybrid program is to help new international MBA students in the Tepper School of Business at CMU get acclimated to U.S. academic culture and life before starting their academic program in the fall of 2024. The course is designed to enhance English language proficiency while focusing on business-specific communication skills and terminology as well as provide essential skills and knowledge to adapt to U.S. academic culture and life.

Program Overview

  • Who: Newly admitted international Tepper MBA students, and other CMU grad students admitted for Fall 2024
  • What: An nine-week immersion in business English and U.S. culture summer program.
  • When: June 3 - August 2, 2024
  • Where: Hybrid: The first six weeks of the course will be online learning. The following two weeks will be in-person at the main campus of the Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • Why: Business English skill development, network and community building, and cultural immersion


Note - All student travel costs to and from CMU and accommodations are the responsibility of the student.

  • The cost of the program is $10,000 per student
  • Modified schedule options are available
  • Scholarships are available and will be awarded on a case by case basis
  • All books and materials are covered by the program
  • Selected meals are covered by the program
  • Transportation, entry tickets, and meals for the planned group outings are covered by the program

How to Apply

Students interested in applying to the BECI program must submit an online application form. Once the application is received the student will be provided with a link to a payment website and an assessment interview will be scheduled.

What to Expect

Program participants will attend six weeks of online sessions and spend two weeks at Carnegie Mellon's campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, engaged in an intensive program that provides opportunities for increasing business and professional language proficiency, communication, and U.S. culture and life skills. 

Key features of the BECI Summer Program include:

  • Business English and Professional Language Proficiency: Develop reading comprehension, business writing proficiency, and oral communication.

  • Business Communication skills: Professional email correspondence, business presentation competence, negotiation and persuasion techniques, interpersonal and cross-cultural communication.

  • U.S. academic and life skills: understanding U.S. academic culture, adaptation to U.S. campus life, cultural competence, cultural activities, campus tours, and events. 

  • Career Advancement Networking Opportunities: Connect with peers, professors, and community resources, and engage in co-curricular activities/field trips designed to help you develop professional leadership skills, as you advance your post-MBA career.

The registration deadline is May 15. Tuition will be due on the first day of your program. If there is room in the program, spouses, or partners of matriculants may be considered for a reduced cost after May 15, 2024.

For questions or consideration, please contact Tad Brinkerhoff, Assistant Dean of Masters Programs, at

Program Flexibility

We recognize that students may need flexibility to participate in the program, so we are offering three different options and the possibility of scholarships.

Full Program (online and in-person)

  • Six weeks of online instruction from June 3 - July 12 and two weeks of in-person instruction in Pittsburgh from July 22 - Aug. 2. 
  • Online instruction for the six-week portion will be from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday to Friday, with three hours of homework per day.
  • In-person instruction will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday, which includes experiential and cultural events and activities.
  • Cost is $10,000 with scholarships available.
  • Tuition includes all costs associated with the course such as materials, entry fees and food during the in-person course.

In-Person Only

  • Two weeks of in-person instruction in Pittsburgh from July 22 - Aug. 2.
  • Classes will be held Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and include experiential learning activities and cultural events.
  • Lunch will be provided every day.
  • Homework will be 1-2 hours per day.
  • The cost is $2,500 with scholarships available.
  • Tuition includes materials, entry fees, and food.

Modified Online and In-Person Program

  • This option is best for those who are required to work full time until the in-person portion in Pittsburgh.
  • The modified option is a shortened version of the online class held from June 3 - July 12, from 7-8:30 p.m., Monday to Thursday, with one hour of homework per class period.
  • Students will then begin the in-person portion from July 22 - Aug. 2.
  • The cost is $6000 with scholarships available.
  • Tuition includes all materials, entry fees, and food during the in-person portion of the program.

Sample Course Program

This is a look at the course program for online and in-person option. A detailed program agenda will be provided upon registration.

Week 1


Introductions and program overview; English assessment; setting goals; team building; business case study

Week 2


Managing money; banking and housing in Pittsburgh; team building; business case study

Week 3


Transportation, travel, and relocation; transportation and DMV in Pittsburgh; team building; business case study

Week 4


Careers; resources; soft skills; presentations; team building; business case study

Week 5


Diversity; discovering more about other cultures; American culture; team building; business case study

Week 6


English for specific careers; business management and administration; marketing; effective relationships at work; team building; experiential learning activities

Week 7

Virtual/On Campus

Prepare for travel and travel to Pittsburgh!

Optional on-campus activities for those who have arrived.

Week 8

On Campus

Welcome reception; health and safety; healthcare, emergencies, and internet safety; Pittsburgh healthcare and insurance; team building; business case studies; experiential learning activities.

Week 9

On Campus

Community resources; community services; Pittsburgh resources and services; team building; business case studies; experiential learning activities; family picnic

Meet Your Instructor: Kristen Williams

Kristen Williams brings extensive expertise to the realm of higher education. For the past 17 years, she has served as an ESL practitioner at the English Language Learning Institute (ELLI) within West Virginia University (WVU). Holding an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) along with a certificate in university teaching from WVU, she demonstrates a profound commitment to academic excellence. Currently pursuing her EdD in Higher Education Management at the University of Pittsburgh, with an expected graduation date of June 2024, Kristen is dedicated to advancing her knowledge and skills in the field.

Beyond her instructional roles, Kristen possesses adeptness in various facets of university administration, particularly in the recruitment, admissions, and enrollment processes for international students within U.S. higher education institutions. Moreover, she has garnered experience in managing programmatic accreditation, responding to requests for proposals, and orchestrating specialized programs. Her upcoming venture with the Tepper School team this summer marks an exciting new chapter in her career journey.