Admission Requirements & Deadlines

International Application Requirements

If English is not your native language, you must prove English proficiency by submitting official test scores. 

We accept these tests with minimum scores: 

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 
    • Minimum score: 80 (iBT)
    • Institution Code for TOEFL: 4842
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    • Minimum Score: 6.5
  • Cambridge English: C1 Advanced
    • Minimum Score: 169
  • Duolingo English Test
    • Minimum Score: 115
    • Duolingo scores DO NOT meet the GTA eligibility requirement for non-native English speakers.

Your application will not be considered complete until your TOEFL, IELTS, CAE or Duolingo score is received. Scores are valid for two years.

Some programs may require higher minimum scores for admission than those listed above. Please visit your program requirements or contact your academic program of interest for specific information.

  • 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.
  • 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 during the application process. To apply for a program in an academic department that offers ECA, applicants must indicate on their graduate program application 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 present a departmental qualifying minimum TOEFL, IELTS, C1 Advanced or Duolingo score at least six weeks before the start of their program.

    Students who are admitted under the ECA option are not eligible for Graduate Teaching Assistantships until they have met minimum GTA eligibility requirements.

    NoteSome units may not accept students under English Conditional Admission.

  • 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 up to three weeks. Be sure to complete your application ahead of time so your transcripts can be evaluated before your program deadline.

  • 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.

    You are required to submit these forms and statements in order to be provided with an I-20. You will be prompted to submit this information upon admission.

    Visit International Student & Scholar Services for more information and to download the form.

    International Student & Scholar Services


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