The Graduate School
G-1 Communications Building
Seattle, Washington 98195-3770
Memo 8: Graduate School English Language Proficiency Requirements
Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following four ways:
- A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom.
- Official documentation from the institution verifying that the applicant’s undergraduate degree is from an institution (in a country other than those listed in #1 above) where all instruction is in English. The undergraduate degree must be equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree. Documentation must be presented to the Graduate School.
- The following minimum English language proficiency test scores1 will exempt students from Academic English Program (AEP) requirements:
An applicant may be admitted with an English proficiency test score within the range of scores listed below.7 In such cases, the applicant will be required, when starting the graduate degree program, to take designated Academic English Program (AEP) courses through UW English Language Programs , unless an exempting test score is subsequently submitted. Placement in these courses will be based upon the applicant’s English proficiency test scores
- 7.0 on the IELTS2
- 92 on the TOEFLiBT3
- 237 on the TOEFLC3
- 580 on the TOEFL3
- 90 on the MLT4
- 65 on the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic5
- Successful completion of the UW Intensive English Program prior to admission to the University of Washington.6
- 6.0-6.9 IELTS
- 61-91 TOEFLiBT
- 173-236 TOEFLC
- 500-579 TOEFL
- 80-89 MLT
- 50–64 PTE
- Students are expected to register for any required AEP classes beginning their first quarter. Those who do not complete their English language proficiency requirement will not be permitted to graduate.
- Test scores are valid for two years and must be valid on the date the application is submitted.
- Graduate students whose native language is not English and who wish to be appointed as teaching assistants (TAs) must meet the conditions for appointment specified in Graduate School Memorandum 15, “Conditions of appointment for TAs who are not native speakers of English.”
- Questions should be directed to the Office of Graduate Enrollment Management Services.
- Link to information about EPT tests: http://www.grad.washington.edu/admissions/englishtest.shtml
- A DELNA test score cannot be used to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. The IELTS is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. The official IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) must be received by the University of Washington within two years of the test date.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). It is currently offered in the three formats: internet- based (TOEFLiBT), computerized test (TOEFLC), and written, paper- based test (TOEFL). Please note that not all test formats are available in all countries. Official test scores must be sent by ETS directly to the University of Washington and must be received by the University of Washington within two years of the test date.
- Michigan Language Test (MLT). The institutional version of the MLT is no longer offered at the University of Washington. However, official MLT test scores are still valid for two years from the test date.
- Pearson Test of English (Academic). The PTE is an international computer-based academic English language test developed by Pearson plc in collaboration with Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Students must assign the University of Washington to receive scores. Scores are valid for two years from the test date.
- Provide official letter from UWEO International & English Language Programs, stating student had successfully completed academic preparation courses in upper division (level5) in the UW Campus Intensive English Program.
- In rare cases, an applicant who scores below this range (indicated in item 4) may be admitted upon the recommendation of the department. The department’s petition to the Graduate School must state that the applicant has demonstrated extraordinary academic merit by prior performance and that the applicant’s English language proficiency level is adequate for full participation in a graduate program. Note that an applicant admitted by petition must fulfill the English language proficiency requirement before graduation.
Revised: March, 2006; July, 2009; May 2010; March 2011