English Proficiency Requirement for Admission

English Proficiency Requirements for Admission

DOMESTIC APPLICANTS

Proof of English proficiency is not required for admission for domestic applicants. Some domestic applicants may be required to demonstrate proof of spoken English if applying for a teaching assistantship. Please review the English proficiency requirements for teaching assistants.

international APPLICANTS

All international degree-seeking applicants are required to submit the results of an accepted test 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. Acceptable tests and corresponding minimum scores are available below. A student who does not meet the English proficiency requirement for admission 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.

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.
  • Accepted scores and minimums listed above are for admission purposes only. If applying to hold a Teaching Assistantship, please review the English proficiency requirements for teaching assistants.

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 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 the English proficiency requirement for admission:

  • Received a post-secondary degree from a U.S. institution (or an institution within an approved country) within five years of the proposed admission term.
  • Completion of at least two years of post-secondary study in the U.S. (or an approved country) within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment.
  • Completion of at least two years of professional work experience in the U.S. (or an approved country) 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, Bermuda, Canada, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Scotland, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St. Kitts, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, and Zimbabwe.

 

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.