Admission Requirements & Deadlines

International Application Requirements

In addition to meeting the requirements of your program, you must prove English proficiency (if English is not your first language) by submitting official test scores. 

We allow these tests with minimum scores: 

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 
    • Score: 80 (iBT) or 550 (paper-based)
    • Institution Code for TOEFL: 4842
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    • Score: 6.5
  • Cambridge English: C1 Advanced
    • Score: 169

Please note that we cannot process your application until your TOEFL, IELTS or CAE score is received. Scores are valid for two years.

Your academic unit may have additional language requirements. Please visit your program requirements to receive those details. 

  • English Language Exemption

    Students are generally exempt from the English 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 (cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher) from a university or college where English is the sole language of instruction and examination.
    • Successful completion of the appropriate level of intensive English at the University of Denver's English Language Center.
  • 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. To apply for a program in an academic department that offers ECA, applicants must indicate on their application to the degree program 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 meet one of the following requirements:

    • Successfully complete intensive English courses through the advanced level at the University’s English Language Center (ELC). English language training at centers outside of the University of Denver will not be counted toward meeting English language proficiency requirements.
    • Present a departmental qualifying minimum TOEFL, IELTS or C1 Advanced score before the start of their program.

    If admitted with ECA, the student’s English language proficiency will be tested by the ELC. The student will be placed in the appropriate class level based on this test. Testing for ELC class levels will take place after a student arrives at the University of Denver’s campus and before the beginning of ELC classes.

    Students who are admitted under the ECA option are not eligible for Graduate Teaching Assistantships until they have met the minimum ECA requirements, have been changed to regular status students, and have met minimum GTA eligibility requirements.

    International students seeking F-1 immigration status must be issued an English study-only I-20 until they complete their full course of study at the English Language Center. A degree-seeking I-20 will be issued after the student is has regular admission to their degree program.

    Financial aid awards for the degree program cannot be applied to the costs for English language training.

    NoteSome units may not accept students under English Conditional Admission. Those units would not accept ELC completion to meet English language proficiency requirements. Graduate departments may require ELC graduates to submit a TOEFL/IELTS/C1 Advanced score for admission consideration.

    Learn More

  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships

    As our graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) deliver lectures and communicate often with students, you need to demonstrate fluency in spoken English to obtain an assistantship.

    • Minimum TOEFL Speaking Section Score: 26 (iBT)
    • Minimum IELTS Speaking Section Score: 8
    • Minimum C1 Advanced 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, has an additional 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.

  • Transcript Release Info

    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 your transcripts can be evaluated before your program deadline.

  • Passport

    Prior to receiving an offer of admission, 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. If a sponsor or government office is financing your education, you will need to supply a student financial guarantee letter (FGL) from your sponsoring agency or government office.

    You are required to submit these forms and statements in order to be provided with an I-20. We encourage you to submit this form with your application.

    Download the Form

  • 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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Contact Our Office if You Have Any Questions

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Additional Steps


1-20 & DS-2019

You must present the certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) at a U.S. consulate or embassy when applying for a U.S. visa.

Download the Form


Immigration Information

Unless you currently hold another immigration status that permits you to study in the United States, you will need to apply for either an F-1 or J-1 visa before beginning your program at DU. 

Learn More