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International Student & Scholar Services


Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
Fax: 202-885-3354
Butler Pavilion, Room 410

ISSS office walk-in advising hours: Mondays: 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Bakar, Senem S
Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
410 Butler Pavilion
Washington, DC, USA 20016-8041

English Requirements

English Proficiency Requirements

Regardless of citizenship, applicants whose first language is not English must generally take one of the following exams and achieve the indicated scores in order to demonstrate English proficiency.

Undergraduate Applicants

All applicants (including US citizens) whose first language is not English can prove English proficiency by one of the following:

·         TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - TOEFL code 5007

·         Internet based test (iBT) score of 80 or higher.* (Sub-scores for each section of the TOEFL should be 20 or higher.)

·         Paper-based test score of 550 or higher

·         IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

·         Composite score of 6.5 or higher. (Sub-scores for each section of the IELTS should be 6.0 or higher.)

·         Pearson Test of English (PTE)

·         Score of 53 or higher

·         SAT Critical Reading score of 530 or higher

·         TOEFL/IELTS is not required of non-native English speakers who are educated in US or IB secondary schools inside or outside the US, or in countries** where English is the native language, for at least 4 consecutive years (grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 or equivalent) where English is the only medium of instruction and no ESL courses have been taken.

·         Undergraduate Transfer applicants who have completed two academic English writing courses from a U.S. college or university with a grade of "C" or better from regionally accredited, AG rated institutions or a "B" or better from provisionally accredited, AP rated institutions, are exempt from submitting scores from these examinations.


*To be considered competitive, a 90 iBT score or above is recommended. Sub-scores for each section of the TOEFL should be 20 or higher.

**English speaking countries include: UK, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec).

Graduate Applicants

The general English Proficiency requirements for graduate study at American University are given below.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) iBT: Score 100 or higher (600 on the paper-based test)
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) - Score 7.0 or higher
  • Applicants who have completed a bachelor's or master's degree from a US-accredited institution in the United States (or abroad) may be exempt from the English-language proficiency test requirement.

Please see your individual school or college for more information on the English Proficiency Requirement.  Please click on the relevant link below:

English tests:

For more information or registration forms for the following tests, please contact:

  • TOEFL Educational Testing Service
    P.O. Box 6151Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 USA Phone: + 001-609-771-7100 E-mail: toefl@ets.orgWeb:
  • IELTS Registration Office
    International House/San Francisco49 Powell StreetSan Francisco, CA 94102 USAPhone: + 001-415-989-4473E-mail: