Admission Requirements for International Applicants

Before you apply: language requirements & more

If English is not your native language, you must prove English proficiency by submitting official test scores. 

We accept these tests with minimum scores: 

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 
    • Minimum score: 80 (iBT)
    • Institution Code for TOEFL: 4842
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    • Minimum Score: 6.5
  • Cambridge English: C1 Advanced
    • Minimum Score: 176
  • Duolingo English Test
    • Minimum Score: 115
    • Duolingo scores DO NOT meet the GTA eligibility requirement for non-native English speakers.

Your application will not be considered complete until your TOEFL, IELTS, CAE or Duolingo score is received. Scores are valid for two years.

Some programs may require higher minimum scores for admission than those listed above. Please visit your program requirements or contact your academic program of interest for specific information.

  • English Language Exemption

    Students are generally exempt from the English language proficiency test requirement if they have any of the following:

    • Secondary/high school diploma from a school where the language of instruction is English.
    • Have earned a baccalaureate degree or higher from a formally-recognized/accredited university where the institution's sole language of instruction and examination is English.
    • Last 30 semester credits (45 quarter credits) of coursework were successfully completed with a 3.0 GPA or better from a formally-recognized/accredited university where the institution's sole language of instruction and examination is English.
    • Successful completion of the appropriate level of intensive English at the University of Denver's English Language Center.


    Submit transcripts or other supporting documents with your application materials. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your eligibility for exemption.

  • English Conditional Admission

    Some graduate programs may offer English Conditional Admission (ECA) to academically qualified non-native English speakers who do not meet the University's minimum English language proficiency requirements during the application process. To apply for a program in an academic department that offers ECA, applicants must indicate on their graduate program application that they wish to be considered for ECA.

    ECA students cannot enroll in any regular degree courses prior to meeting the University’s English requirement. In order to be granted regular status in their graduate degree program and become eligible to take academic classes, ECA students must present a departmental qualifying minimum TOEFL, IELTS, C1 Advanced or Duolingo score at least six weeks before the start of their program.

    Students who are admitted under the ECA option are not eligible for Graduate Teaching Assistantships until they have met minimum GTA eligibility requirements.

    NoteSome units may not accept students under English Conditional Admission.

  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships

    As our graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) deliver lectures and communicate often with students, you need to demonstrate fluency in English to become a GTA.

    • Minimum TOEFL Speaking Section Score: 26 (iBT)
    • Minimum IELTS Speaking Section Score: 8
    • Minimum CAE Speaking Section Score: 200


    Prospective GTAs may be exempted from submitting TOEFL/IELTS/CAE scores if they have earned a baccalaureate degree or higher from a formally-recognized/accredited university where the institution's sole language of instruction and examination is English and have four or more consecutive years of work/instructional experience in countries with an official native language of English and the language of employment/instruction is English.

    Note: GTA awards may be revoked or restricted to non-teaching assistantship responsibilities at the discretion of the division if the GTA does not demonstrate sufficient English fluency in the classroom.

  • Transcripts

    Transcripts from institutions outside of the U.S. may be released to Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. to identify U.S. equivalencies of educational qualifications. The transcript review process can take two to three weeks. Be sure to complete your application ahead of time so that your transcripts can be evaluated before your program deadline.

  • Passport

    Prior to receiving an admission offer, we encourage non-U.S. citizens to upload or submit a copy of the photograph and legal name page of your passport. We cannot issue your I-20 or DS-2019 without your passport.

  • Financial Verification Form

    We ask that all international students submit a financial verification form. You will need to submit this form along with a bank statement or certificate of deposit showing sufficient liquid funds for your estimated cost of attendance.

    You are required to submit these forms and statements in order to be provided with an I-20. You will be prompted to submit this information upon admission.

  • SEVIS Supplement Form

    You need to submit your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Supplement Form. We use this form to verify your information so your I-20 or DS-2019 is accurate. We cannot issue your I-20 or DS-2019 without your SEVIS Supplement Form.

    We encourage you to submit this form with your application.

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Go to our online application and begin submitting your materials. 

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After You Are Admitted: Immigration and Enrollment

Once you are admitted to your program of choice, you must take several steps to successfully immigrate to the United States and enroll in our university.

Required Paperwork

1-20 & DS-2019

The I-20 is the "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status". DS-2019 is the "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status". Either an I-20 or a DS-2019 is required by the U.S. government as part of your visa application.

We can only issue an I-20 or DS-2019 once you have been admitted and submitted all necessary paperwork. You will also need to show you have sufficient funds for your degree program to receive an I-20 or DS-2019. You can speed up this process by submitting your financial verification form with your application.

Download the Form


You will need to take several steps to immigrate to the U.S. after admission. You can speed up this process by submitting your financial verification form and SEVIS Supplement Form with your application.

Your immigration process:

  • Receive your I-20 or DS-2019
  • Pay your SEVIS fee
  • Schedule your visa interview
  • Enter the U.S. with J-1 or F-1 status

Immigration Information

Office of International Student & Scholar Services

If you have any questions regarding your visa, housing or employment, our Office of International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) can provide information and support.

  • Maintaining your visa
  • Your health and wellness
  • Life at our University

Visit ISSS