• Home
  • English Proficiency Requirements

English Proficiency Requirements

IELTS, SPEAK and iBT score requirements for international students.

Visit the full English Proficiency Requirements for International Students policy

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

Admissions categories and score requirements

Regular Admission and obtain waiver from AEC
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
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.



The following are acceptable means for verifying English proficiency for purposes of admission for non-native speakers of English and/or international students to graduate programs at KU:

Graduation with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education, or from such an institution whose medium of instruction is English. This does not apply to degrees earned online.

Receipt of official copy (not student's copy) of applicant's proficiency scores achieved not more than two years prior to the semester of admission.

All international students are required to check-in at the Applied English Center (AEC) upon arrival to campus.  At that time, the AEC will confirm the student's level of English proficiency and determine if additional 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.

Request more information

Search for a Graduate Program

Apply Now


6871 for KU
6895 for KUMC

Have you created a teaching portfolio? http://ow.ly/vqP4t
Compiling a Teaching Portfolio: An Introduction | Inside Higher Ed
Alessandra La Rocca Link is a guest author and PhD student in history at the University of Colorado, Boulder. You can find her on Twitter...

Have you created a teaching portfolio? http://t.co/Es3whULnXM

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
$275 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times