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Memo 8: Graduate School English Language Proficiency Requirements

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant or enrolled student whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency.i Proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following four ways:

  1. 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, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus.

  2. Official documentation from the applicant’s undergraduate degree-granting institution (if the institution is in a country other than those listed in #1 above) verifying that all instruction is in English. A minimum of three years of enrollment at the undergraduate institution is required. Documentation must be presented to the Graduate School; credential service reports are not acceptable.

  3. Acceptable documentation must be one of the following:
    • Official or attested letter from the undergraduate college, university registrar, or Controller of Examinations office.
    • Official transcripts, attested mark sheets or degree statements, are also accepted if English is stated as the medium of instruction.

  4. An official English language test score as follows:
  5. An applicant or enrolled student whose test scores are below the scores indicated above may be accepted into a graduate program, but is required to enroll in the designated UW Academic English Program AEPii courses during the first quarter of enrollment. Students enrolled in AEP courses will pay additional fees. Students who do not successfully complete their English language proficiency requirements will not be permitted to continue enrollment as a graduate student.

  6. An official letter stating successful completion of one of the following UW Intensive English Programs (IEP). The letter must be submitted to the Graduate School.


  • 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 concordance information about EPT tests:


i Each prospective graduate student indicates on his/her graduate application whether or not s/he is a native speaker of English.

ii Information about how students are placed into AEP courses is found here:

Revised: March, 2006; July, 2009; May 2010; November 2010; March 2014; February 2015; January 2016