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English Language Proficiency Requirements

All non-native speakers of English, whether planning to study online or on campus in Massachusetts, must verify their English language proficiency in one of the following ways. Your application is not considered complete until English language proficiency requirements have been fulfilled.

NOTE: If you are providing proof of English language proficiency based on one of the test scores listed below, the score reports must be less than two years old.

  • SAT written score of 450 or higher; essay score of 7 or 8
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): A minimum score of 80 or better on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) is required along with strong sub-scores in each of the four areas; no sub-score lower than 20. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Scores. Office copies of scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency. Student copies are not considered official. The UMass Amherst TOEFL code is 3917.
  • IELTS score of 6.5 or higher along with strong sub-scores in each of the four areas with no sub-score lower than 6.0. Office copies of scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency. We will not accept paper IELTS test report forms. Student copies are not considered official.
  • Duolingo English Test (DET): minimum score of 115 is required.
  • English Education: Entire secondary education (four years) is at a school where English is the primary language of instruction and the British or American curriculum is followed.

You may request an ESL exam exemption if you have completed two non-ESL English composition courses AND several humanities/social science courses with grades of B or better at a U.S. college or university.
NOTE: Exemption is not automatic but is based on a complete review of the applicant’s academic history. Any applicant whose exemption request is denied will be required to prove English proficiency with one of the above-mentioned exams or their application will be withdrawn.