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English Proficiency Requirement for Admission

English Proficiency Requirements for Admission

 

DOMESTIC APPLICANTS

All domestic applicants are exempt from taking the TOEFL or IELTS for admission. However, some domestic applicants may be admitted on limited status and be required to take the English as a Second Language Placement Test (EPT) prior to enrolling at Illinois. Success in your Illinois graduate program depends upon your ability to converse in, write and understand English. The EPT may be required of domestic applicants:

  • who have lived, been educated, or worked professionally primarily outside of the United States or another approved country; or
  • who have U.S. permanent resident, asylee or refugee status and have lived in the United States for less than two years from the first term of enrollment; or
  • who have lived, been educated, or worked professionally primarily within Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Northern Mariana Islands.

 

international APPLICANTS

All international degree-seeking applicants are required to submit the results of an accepted test (see chart below) as evidence of English proficiency unless they qualify for an exemption. Official scores are required to be submitted directly from the testing agency. All scores must be dated within two years of the beginning of the proposed admission term.

Minimum Score Requirements

accepted Tests
limited STATUS ADMISSION MINIMUM
Full Status Admission minimum

TOEFL iBT
TOEFL IBT Home Edition
TOEFL IBT Paper edition

79 103
IELTS academic exam 6.5 7.5

Duolingo
(Accepting temporarily)

105 125

Additional Score Information

  • The English as a Second Language Placement Test (EPT) will be required prior to enrolling at Illinois for all students who score below the full status minimums listed in the chart above. On the basis of the EPT results, applicants are generally required to enroll in non-credit "English as a Second Language" courses and take a reduced academic load beginning the first semester at the University. 
  • Students applying to online programs must satisfy the full status admissions requirement.
  • Individual academic programs may require a higher score, or additional evidence of spoken English language proficiency; please review your proposed program of study's website for program requirements for admission.

Test Information and Instructions for Requesting Official Scores

  • TOEFL iBT: The traditional TOEFL iBT, the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, and the TOEFL iBT Paper Edition tests are accepted for admission. Please review the TOEFL iBT Test Centers and Dates page for more information about these tests. Applicants should send their official scores to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using our institution code number 1836.
  • IELTS: The IELTS Academic Test is accepted for admission. Please review the IELTS Test Takers page for more information about this test. Scores should be sent electronically via your testing center to the following account name: University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Graduate.
  • DUOLINGO ENGLISH TEST: We are temporarily accepting the Duolingo English Test for admission. Please review the Duolingo Applicants page for more information about this test. Examination results for tests taken between February 1, 2020 and August 1, 2022 will be accepted. Scores should be sent electronically to the following account name: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Graduate Admissions. The Duolingo English Test does not provide sub-score breakouts and cannot be used to satisfy the English proficiency requirement for teaching assistants. Students who submit a Duolingo score for admission will need to either take the TOEFL/IELTS at a later date or take the English Proficiency Interview (EPI) upon arrival to campus if planning to hold a teaching assistantship.
  • TOEFL SCORES FORMERLY ACCEPTED: We formerly accepted the TOEFL revised paper-delivered test (rPDT) and the TOEFL ITP Plus for China test for admission. TOEFL has discontinued these two tests and they are no longer available. However, scores may be accepted for admission for up to 2 years from the test date. Since both tests do not include a speaking portion, students using these tests for admissions purposes are not eligible for full status admission and will be required to take the English as a Second Language Placement Test (EPT) prior to enrolling at Illinois (and any subsequent ESL coursework). The minimum score for admission with the TOEFL rPDT is 60, and the minimum TOEFL ITP Plus is 550. In addition, these scores cannot be used to satisfy the English profiency requirement for teaching assistants. Students who submit these scores for admission will need to either take the TOEFL iBT or IELTS at a later date, or take the English Proficiency Interview (EPI), upon arrival to campus if planning to hold a teaching assistantship.
     
  • TOEFL SCORES NOT ACCEPTED: We do not accept the TOEFL Essentials test, nor TOEFL myBest scores. 
     

ENGLISH PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENT EXEMPTIONS

Applicants who meet one of the following criteria are exempt from submitting an approved English proficiency score and from taking the English as a Second Language Placement Test (EPT) prior to enrolling at Illinois:

  • Completion of at least two years of post-secondary full-time study, as defined by the home institution, in an approved country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment.
  • Completion of at least two years of professional work experience in an approved country where English is the primary language within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment.
  • Completion of a post-secondary degree in an approved country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment.

 

APPROVED COUNTRIES WITH ENGLISH AS THE PRIMARY LANGUAGE

Illinois Graduate Admissions recognizes the following countries as having English as the primary language: Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Cameroon-Anglophone, Canada(excluding the Quebec Province), Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Granada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, Malawi, Mauritius, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Scotland, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St. Kitts, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States*, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

*If your educational or professional work experience has primarily been within Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Northern Mariana Islands, you may be required to take the EPT.

 

ENGLISH PROFICIENCY FOR TEACHING ASSISTANTS

Please note that all English proficiency requirements and exemptions listed above are for admission purposes only. Admissions minimums are not equivalent to minimums required for holding a teaching assistantship; and not all exemptions apply for those holding a teaching assistantship. For more information, please see the English Proficiency Requirement for Graduate Teaching Assistants.