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English Proficiency Requirements

Demonstrate your English proficiency skills.



The University of Denver accepts either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) as proof of English proficiency. Students whose native language is not English must either present an acceptable test score (at least one month prior to enrollment) or successfully complete the requirements of English Conditional Admission (ECA) before they may enroll in University classes. 


Undergraduate students seeking Regular (non-English Conditional) Admission must present a minimum TOEFL score of 80 (Internet-based TOEFL) and achieve at least 20 on all TOEFL subscores. Acceptable test scores must be submitted at least one month prior to enrollment. Those submitting the Paper-based TOEFL should present a minimum score of 550, minimum subscores of 55 and a minimum TWE (Test of Written English) score of 4.


Undergraduate students seeking Regular (non-English Conditional) Admission must present a minimum of 6.5 on the IELTS, with no less than 6.0 on each individual band score. Acceptable test scores must be submitted at least one month prior to enrollment.


Undergraduate students seeking Regular (non-English Conditional) Admission must present a minimum grade of C on this certificate as sufficient proof of English proficiency. Please supply us with your Candidate’s ID Number and Candidate’s Secret Number and we will be happy to verify your results. Acceptable grades (A, B or C) on the CAE must be verified at least one month prior to enrollment.

Interview (recommended)

Applicants who submit a qualifying TOEFL or IELTS exam are encouraged to complete an interview. To help us better assess your English proficiency and interest in enrolling at the University of Denver, we recommend that applicants contact InitialView or Vericant, both available globally. Because there is no formal scoring system, interviews will be evaluated by our staff to determine appropriate placement. To learn more about the interviews, please visit or

English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA)

As part of the Common Curriculum at DU, most students must complete a foreign language requirement. Based on their language assessment scores, students must complete 4, 8, or 12 language credits in order to fulfill the requirement. If you are a non-native speaker of English, regardless of TOEFL or IELTS test scores, you will be required to take the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA). The results of the assessment will determine your placement into English language credit courses in the LAUNCH Curriculum for which you will receive credit toward your degree and fulfill the language requirement. The LAUNCH courses are designed to help students be more successful in their academic programs by improving their proficiency in English, learning about being part of an American institution of higher education, and learning more about U.S. culture.


First year students are generally exempt from submitting TOEFL or IELTS if they have any of the following:

  • Secondary/high school diploma from a school where the language of instruction is English
  • SAT Critical Reading score above 500 on the old SAT. Scores on the new SAT will not waive the English proficiency requirement for students applying for Fall 2017.
  • ACT English subscore of 22 or higher
  • GCSE/IGCSE grade of A, B or C on the English examination
  • HKDSE grade of 5 on the English Language Core Subject examination
  • Successful completion of the appropriate level of intensive English at the University of Denver's English Language Center

Transfer Students: Applicants who have earned at least 30 semester hours of transferrable credits are exempt from submitting TOEFL/IELTS scores and taking the English Language Placement Assessment (ELPA). Students may also be exempted from these requirements if they have completed a year of college English (typically English Composition I and II) and earned C grades or better. Applicants must have attended a college or university where English is the universal language of instruction and examination.

English Conditional Admission (ECA)

Academically admissible applicants who do not meet the University of Denver's English proficiency requirements may be offered English Conditional Admission (ECA).  ECA students are accepted with the condition that they study at the University's English Language Center full-time until they have successfully completed the program.  Depending on placement, students typically must complete two to four quarters of intensive English before they can begin their academic degree programs.