English Proficiency Requirements

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.
  • 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 (who have not yet earned 30 transferrable semester hours in a university where the language of instruction is English) will be required to take the ELPA.

  • 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
    • A score of 500 or above on the old SAT will exempt you from the English proficiency requirement.
    • Scores on the new SAT will not waive the English proficiency requirement.
    • ACT English subscore of 22 or higher
    • 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, you may be exempt from English proficiency testing requirements if you have completed 30 semester hours of transferable credit at an English language institution.

  • English Conditional Admission (ECA)
    Are you worried about meeting our English proficiency requirement? You can still 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 the LAUNCH Curriculum (see ELPA description above). 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.


Office of International Student & Scholar Services