English Proficiency Requirements

IELTS, SPEAK and iBT score requirements for international students.

Visit the full English Proficiency Requirements for Admission to Graduate Study

TOEFL (iBT) IELTS SPEAK Test (AEC) In these categories

Admissions categories and score requirements

Regular Admission and obtain waiver from AEC
Regular Admission to Online and Distance Learning programs
Reading, Listening and Writing part scores at least 23 Minimum overall score 6.5, at least 6.0 in Listening, Reading & Writing


Student will obtain a waiver from the AEC and be able to begin course work immediately
Regular Admission
Reading, Listening and Writing part scores at least 20 Minimum overall score 6.0 with no part score below 5.5


Student will require AEC testing
Provisional Admission (see also exclusions/special circumstances section below)
Reading, Listening and Writing part scores 18-19 Minimum overall score 5.5 with no part score below 5.0


Student will require AEC testing
Deny Admission
Reading, Listening or Writing score below 18 Overall score below 5.5 or one or more part scores below 5.0


Encourage student to apply directly to the AEC or retake TOEFL or IELTS


Reading, Listening and Writing part scores at least 20, Speaking 22 Minimum overall score 6.0 with no part score below 5.5, Speaking 8


English proficiency sufficient for GTA or GRA offer
Reading, Listening and Writing part scores at least 20 Minimum overall score 6.0 with no part score below 5.5


English proficiency sufficient for GRA offer

Download a printable chart with the English proficiency scores and corresponding status.


Exclusions/Special Circumstances:

Provisional admission is not available to applicants who are applying to online programs in the School of Education and are not native English speakers. 

International students seeking F-1 status must meet the standards of Regular Admission. Provisional admission is not sufficient to issue the Form I-20. 


The following are acceptable means for verifying English proficiency for purposes of admitting students – whether domestic or international – to graduate study who are not native speakers of English:

Graduation with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited English-medium U.S. college or university or a college or university in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, English-speaking province of Canada, or an English-speaking Caribbean country, with instruction conducted in English. Degrees earned online may not be used to verify English proficiency.

Receipt of an official copy (not student's copy) of an applicant's English proficiency standardized test scores (e.g. TOEFL) achieved not more than two years prior to the semester of first enrollment.

All students who are not native speakers of English and/or international students and who are admitted to campus-based programs are required to check in at the Applied English Center (AEC) upon arrival on campus.  At that time, the AEC will confirm the student's level of English proficiency and determine if English courses are required.

GTA and GRA eligibility:

Graduate teaching and research assistant eligibility requirements are distinct from admission requirements. Additional information on eligibility for graduate teaching assistants and graduate research assistants may be found in the GTA/GRA Eligibility Guidelines.

The Board of Regents policy on spoken English competency for graduate teaching assistants requires that non-native speakers of English demonstrate English proficiency by obtaining a minimum score of 50 on the SPEAK or TSE, a 22 on the speaking portion of the iBT, or an 8 on the IELTS and that the student must be interviewed by three institutional representatives to determine sufficient English proficiency. More information may be found in the Kansas Board of Regents Policy on Spoken English Language Competency of Faculty and Graduate Teaching Assistants.

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