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For information related to the COVID-19 outbreak, visit: grad.illinois.edu/covid-19-updates.

English Proficiency Requirement for Admission

COVID-19 English Proficiency Requirement Updates

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition Test

TOEFL launched the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test on March 23rd and this test is now available in all countries except Mainland China and Iran. This will be a proctered online version of the TOEFL iBT that can be taken in test users' homes. Additional information about this new test option and updates on testing center closures, postponements, and rescheduling can be found at www.ets.org/toefl/cv-update. We will accept this test in lieu of the traditional TOEFL iBT with the same score and test date requirements posted below.

TOEFL ITP Plus for China Test

TOEFL has also now launched the TOEFL ITP Plus test for students in Mainland China. This is a paper-based test that can be taken in ATA-operated test centers in China while the iBT is temporarily unavailable. If submitting this test, a minimum score of 550 will be required for admission. Students who submit this test will not be eligible for full status admission and will be required to take the English as a Second Language (ESL) English Placement Test (EPT)* upon arrival to campus. Additional information about this test can be found on the ITP Plus for China website. Note that the TOEFL ITP Plus test does not provide a scored speaking component and cannot be used to satisfy the English proficiency requirement for teaching assistants. Students who submit a TOEFL ITP Plus 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.

Duolingo English Test

In addition and in response to the temporary closings of testing centers in countries impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Graduate College will now temporarily accept Duolingo English Test examination results for tests taken between February 1 and August 1, 2021. The Duolingo English Test will be accepted as an alternative to TOEFL and IELTS for proof of English proficiency for impacted applicants. If submitting the Duolingo English Test, a minimum score of 105 will be required for admission. Students with scores between 105 and 124 will be required to take the English as a Second Language (ESL) English Placement Test (EPT)* upon arrival to campus. In addition to providing a score above these minimums, graduate programs may choose to require students to participate in a zoom or skype interview prior to making an admission decision. 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. Please visit the Duolingo peparing for the exam, scheduling the exam, and FAQs sites for more information. 

Minimum Requirements for Admission

  • All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS as evidence of English proficiency.
  • Official scores are required to be submitted directly from TOEFL/ETS or IELTS (please see instructions below for Submitting Official Scores).
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores must be less than two years old from the first day of class at the proposed term of entry in order to be valid.

IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE:

MINIMUM SCORE REQUIREMENTS:

English Proficiency Test

Minimum for Limited Status Admission*

Minimum for Full Status Admission**
TOEFL iBT 79 103
IELTS (academic exam) 6.5 7.5
TOEFL Revised PDT 60 Not Eligible***
TOEFL ITP Plus (China Only)                             550 Not Eligible***

Duolingo (Accepting tests
taken between Feb. 1 and
Aug. 1, 2021 only)

105 125

*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.

***Students who take the revised paper-delivered test (PDT) or the ITP Plus test 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). Note that not all graduate programs will accept these tests. Also note that the TOEFL ITP Plus exam is only offered in Mainland China. 

Test Information and Instructions for Requesting Official Scores

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

  • TOEFL is owned by Educational Testing Service (ETS). 
  • Website: www.toefl.org
  • Requesting Official Scores: Applicants who have already taken the TOEFL should request ETS to send scores to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using our institution code number 1836.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

  • IELTS is jointly owned by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia.
  • Website: www.ielts.org
  • Requesting Official Scores: Applicants who have already taken the IELTS should upload their score report forms directly to the online application.

Exemptions

Graduate applicants may be exempt from providing a TOEFL or IELTS score if one of the following criteria is met:

  • Completion of at least two years of post-secondary full-time study, as defined by the home institution, in a 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 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Completion of at least two years of professional work experience in a country where English is the primary language within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Completion of a post-secondary degree in a 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.
  • Please click here for a list of countries that qualify for an exemption from the admissions requirement.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this exemption is for admission purposes only. This may not necessarily provide an exemption for international teaching assistants. For more information, please see the English Proficiency Requirement for International Teaching Assistants.