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English Proficiency Requirement for Non-Native English Speaking Teaching Assistants

Non-native speakers of English who wish to be considered for teaching assistantships must provide evidence of spoken English language proficiency.

For more information about the English proficiency requirement for non-native English speaking teaching assistants, please contact your program of study office or refer to the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) website.

Minimum Score Requirements for Assistantship Consideration*

The following chart provides minimum score requirements for Non-Native English Speakers applying for Teaching Assistantship consideration*:

English Proficiency Test Minimum score required for Non-Native English Speaking Teaching Assistants
TOEFL iBT speaking sub-section score: 24
IELTS (academic exam) speaking sub-section score: 8

* Please note: TOEFL iBT and 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. In addition, individual academic programs may require a higher score; contact your proposed program of study office for the minimum TOEFL iBT or IELTS requirement.

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.


Students may be exempt from demonstrating spoken English proficiency if:

  • they have attended English-medium schools continuously since age 13 (or younger) in any of the following countries: Australia, Anglophone Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States (excluding Puerto Rico);
  • they are hired as Graders and have no oral interaction with students. Graders who have oral interactions with students (e.g., through office hours) must demonstrate oral English proficiency.