English Proficiency Requirements
Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency in the skill areas of reading, writing, and listening to gain admission to a graduate program. Please review our updated 2020 requirements and categories for English proficiency below.
There are five ways to prove English profiency
- Graduation with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited English-medium U.S. college or university or from a foreign university which conducts all instruction in English and which maintains substantially equivalent bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree requirements. Applicants with one of these degree options demonstrate full proficiency, and will not be required to complete Applied English Center (AEC) testing.
- Degrees earned online may not be used to verify English proficiency
- Satisfactory completion of the entire AEC curriculum with a final university designation of "Proficiency Obtained." Applicants who complete the curriculum will be considered to demonstrate full proficiency and will not be required to do any further English-language testing or coursework.
- Employment as an officer in the U.S. military with documentation of selection or promotion to the rank of Major or higher (or the equivalent U.S. Navy or Coast Guard rank). These applicants will be considered to demonstrate full proficiency and will not be required to complete AEC testing.
- Official scores from an English proficiency standardized test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS-Academic, or PTE), sent by the testing agency to the University of Kansas. Official scores must be less than two years old at the time that Graduate Admissions processes the application.
- Scores demonstrate Provisional, Admission, or Full Proficiency in accordance with the table below.
- In exceptional cases, a department, with written support from the appropriate school or college, may petition the Vice Provost for Graduate studies to consider alternative documentation of English proficiency. In consultation with the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty and the Director of the AEC, the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies will determine whether the alternative documentation demonstrates English proficiency at the level expected for regular admission to graduate study at KU.
Proficiency Bands and Score Requirements:
Applied English Center Testing
- Provisional admission is not available to applicants who are applying to online-only programs and are not native English speakers.
GTA and GRA eligibility:
Graduate teaching and research assistant eligibility requirements are distinct from admission requirements. In other words, GTA and GRA positions are governed by separate policies and have different English proficiency requirements than graduate admission. Additional information on eligibility for graduate teaching assistants and graduate research assistants may be found in the GTA/GRA/GA 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.
|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|