Skip navigation

English Proficiency Requirements

Demonstrate your English proficiency skills.



Click here to view in Chinese

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.

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 complete one of the following interview options:

  1. CIEE Applicant Interview (CAI), available in China (14 sites); Seoul, South Korea; and Taipei, Taiwan.  Applicants who earn a score of at least a 3.0 on the CAI are most likely to be offered Regular Admission. To learn more about the interview click here.
  2. InitialView, available globally.  Because there is no formal scoring system for the InitialView, interviews will be evaluated by our staff to determine appropriate placement.  To learn more about the interview click here.

English Language Proficiency Assessment

For students who are offered Regular Admission: If you are a non-native speaker of English, and have not yet completed 30 transferrable academic semester college/university credits at an institution where English is the language of instruction and examination, you will be required to take the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) during International Student Orientation. The results of the assessment will determine your placement into one of the required First-Year Seminars and, if necessary, placement into additional bridge courses for which you will receive elective credit toward your degree. IMPORTANT: Your ELPA results may also require you to enroll in the full-time intensive English program at DU's English Language Center (ELC), regardless of your TOEFL or IELTS scores. In that case, you will remain enrolled in the ELC program until you have successfully completed the program, after which you may enroll in your degree program. (Note: each Level of English at the ELC corresponds to one quarter.) Click here for additional information.  


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
  • ACT English subscore of 22 or higher
  • GSCE/IGCSE grade of A, B or C on the English examination
  • HKCEE grade of A, B or C on the English examination, syllabus B
  • 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).  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. For a description of the new (2014) English Language Credit Courses, click here.