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English Proficiency

English proficiency is one of the conditions for admission for all international applicants whose native language is not English. Any of the following tests are accepted as proof of English Proficiency:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) minimum score of 79 internet based (iBT) or 550 paper based (PB)
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) minimum composite score of 7 (no subject area below a 6)
  • Pearson PTE Academic minimum score of 60

Individual departments may require a higher score and may have minimum score requirements by test module that must be met to qualify for admission.  Please review our English Proficiency Requirement list to verify your need to submit an English proficiency test.

Applicants submitting TOEFL scores may request that Educational Testing Service (ETS) send an official TOEFL score report directly to The University of Arizona. Contact ETS's TOEFL Services to request the submission of your score report. The University of Arizona institution code is 4832.

Results from the IELTS test will be sent to the addresses of the academic institutions provided by the candidate on their application form. The address for Graduate Admissions at The University of Arizona is:

The University of Arizona
Graduate College Admissions
Administration Bldg. Room 322
P.O. Box 210066
Tucson, Arizona 85721

An international student's application is not admissible until acceptable scores are received by the Graduate College Admissions Office. The test date must be within two years of the intended term of enrollment to be considered valid.

Conditional Admission

Graduate departments may recommend a student for Conditional Admission if the prospective student meets all Graduate College requirements except the minimum English proficiency requirement. Conditional admission students are not permitted to enroll in courses until their English requirement is met.

Conditional Admission requires that the student apply to and enroll at the UA Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) at their own cost (or their sponsor's) with the expectation of achieving English proficiency within one year. Once CESL certifies that the student has achieved English proficiency, he or she will be formally admitted to pursue graduate studies. The student's initial I-20 or DS2019 will be generated by CESL. At the time of formal admission into the Graduate College, the student's visa must transfer from CESL to the University of Arizona. Once all financial guarantee requirements have been met, a new I-20 or DS2019 will be issued by the Graduate College.

If English proficiency is not achieved within one year of the conditional admission, the applicant would need to re-apply to the Graduate College. Prospective students have the option to continue their study at CESL (at an additional cost to themselves or their sponsor) or apply to Undergraduate Admissions (where the TOEFL requirement is 500). Under current U.S. State Department Homeland Security requirements, international students cannot attend the university in Non-Degree status.

Further information on English language training can be requested from

The Center for English as a Second Language (CESL)
The University of Arizona
P.O. Box 210024
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0024

The new iBT TOEFL test has 4 sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Each will have scores from 0 to 30 for a total score from 0 to 120. Based on the new scoring, students who score 24 on the speaking portion of the iBT need no further evaluation for English speaking proficency. Students who scored less than a 24, took a different version of the TOEFL, or did not take the TOEFL at all should contact their departmental program coordinator or advisor for further instructions. Refer to the GA Hiring Manual for further information.


Exempt from submitting English proficiency scores are:

  • Applicants whose native language is English.
  • Applicants who have completed two years of full time academic study in the United States, English-speaking Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand or other official English speaking countries at an accredited institution, culminating in the receipt of a bachelors or graduate degree that is awarded within two years of the term of enrollment. Students must have 48 graded, semester hours of upper division, undergraduate work or 30 graded, semester hours of graduate work.
    • Note: If the student has been residing outside the English speaking country for more than 2 years since completing studies and earning a degree, he or she will be required to submit current TOEFL or IELTS scores as part of the admissions process.
  • Review our English Proficiency Requirement list to verify your country requirement.

For further questions regarding the TOEFL test, including test locations and availability, please visit the TOEFL web site listed below or contact:

Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151

For more information on the IELTS, please refer to IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations.

For more information on the Pearson PTE Academic test, please refer to

English Proficiency Requirement By Country

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Last updated 14 Apr 2015