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Admission Standards & English Proficiency

If English is not your native language, you must submit an acceptable score on either the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced) at least one month before enrollment. Otherwise, you can complete the English Conditional Admission program at our English Language Center instead.

  • Testing requirements
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): For regular admission consideration, we require scores of 80 and above, with no individual subsection scoring below 20. The minimum scores for the paper-based TOEFL is 550, with minimum subscores of 55 and a score of at least 4 on the TWE (Test of Written English). The DU TOEFL code is 4842.
    • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): The minimum score on the IELTS is 6.5, with subscores of no less than 6.0.
    • CAE (Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English): The minimum grade on the CAE is C.
    • Transfer students applying from another college or university where English is the universal language of instruction may be waived from proof of English proficiency if they have completed at least 30 transferable semester credits OR have taken both English Composition I and English Composition II.
  • Optional interview

    Though it is not a requirement, we encourage you to complete an interview to help our staff evaluate your English proficiency, as well as get to know you as an individual. Our staff will evaluate each interview individually. We recommend using one of the following services:

  • English Language Proficiency Assessment

    If English is not your native language you are required to take the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA). This test will determine your placement in English courses in the LAUNCH Curriculum. These courses will earn credit towards your degree at DU.

    Transfer students applying from another college or university where English is the universal language of instruction may be waived from the ELPA if they have completed at least 30 transferable semester credits OR have taken both English Composition I and English Composition II and earned at least a C-.

  • Exemptions

    You may be exempted from submitting TOEFL, IELTS or CAE results if you have any of these items:

    • Secondary school diploma from an institution where English is the language of instruction
    • ACT English subscore of 22 or higher
    • For 2018-2019, scores on the SAT will not waive the English proficiency requirement
    • GCSE/IGCSE grade of A, B or C on the English exam
    • HKDSE grade of 5 on the English Language Core Subject exam
    • Completion of the program at DU’s English Language Center, including the LAUNCH curriculum

    If you are a transfer student from another college or university, you may be exempt from English proficiency testing requirements if you have completed 30 semester hours of transferable credit from a school where English is the universal language of instruction. 

  • English Conditional Admission (ECA)

    Are you worried about meeting our English proficiency requirement? You can still apply for Undergraduate Admission and you may be accepted to the University through English Conditional Admission. If you are accepted through ECA, you will be required to study at our English Language Center full-time until you have successfully completed intensive English through the Advanced High Level at the University of Denver's English Language Center. Students who fulfill their English proficiency requirements through the English Language Center will begin their degree program by successfully completing 12 credits in the LAUNCH curriculum. Typically, this means you will need to complete two to four quarters of full-time study in English before you can enroll in a degree program. Each quarter is ten weeks long. 

Admission Standards

  • Academic achievement

    We like to see you’ve challenged yourself and achieved success in subjects like English, math, social studies, science and foreign languages. The best applicants can show they’ve surpassed the bare minimum and taken advantage of their academic opportunities. That’s what you’ll be expected to do here at DU, and we want to see that you have the drive and ability to succeed at the highest levels.
    We don’t have specific subject requirements, but we recommend using the following guidelines:

    • 4 years of English
    • 3-4 years of mathematics
    • 3-4 years of science with at least 2 in a lab setting
    • 3-4 years of social studies
    • 3-4 years of foreign language education
  • Grade Point Average

    We don't have a minimum GPA, but here are some stats to give you an idea of what we’re looking for:

    • Average GPA for students accepted in Fall 2017: 3.70
    • Middle 50%: From 3.48 to 4.0.
    • We’ll accept a weighted GPA if your school offers that option.
  • Standardized test scores

    Although academic performance in high school is the most important factor in our admission process, we also factor in your SAT or ACT scores. Here’s what we’ll need to see:

    • Either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT
    • We’re happy to accept scores on the writing portions of either test, but they won’t be used in admission decisions.
    • We don’t require SAT subject tests.
    • If you’ve taken either test more than once, we’ll combine the best scores from the individual sections of each test to create an ideal “superscore.”

    Some statistics for reference:

    • Average combined SAT score for students accepted in Fall 2017: 1265. Middle 50%: 1180-1340.
    • Average ACT score for students accepted in Fall 2017: 28. Middle 50%: 25-31.
  • Whole person assessment

    We also want to know who you are outside the classroom. Our students are diversely talented and find ways to contribute outside of academia, whether it’s through sports, the arts, community service or student government. We want to know you’ll do more than just attend your classes. We want you getting involved across campus and in the community.

    We place great value on your essays and letters of recommendation, as well as your record of extracurricular activities. This helps us learn how you can make a difference during your time at DU.