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English Proficiency for International Undergraduate Admission, Policy on

Policy
Purpose: 

To provide English language proficiency guidelines for undergraduate admission to the University of Kansas.

Applies to: 

International undergraduates at the University of Kansas.

Campus: 
Lawrence
Policy Statement: 

Every international undergraduate applicant whose native language is not English will be required to submit either an official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examination score as a part of the admissions application. Official scores must be less than two years old and submitted directly from the testing agency to the University of Kansas. Students who are unable to present official scores (with some exceptions; see below) may apply directly to the Applied English Center (AEC) as a non-degree seeking student.

Regular Admission

  • TOEFL iBT (internet-based test): 70 or higher overall score
  • TOEFL (paper-based test): 530 or higher overall score
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS), academic format: 6.0 or higher overall score

Provisional Admission

  • TOEFL iBT (internet-based test): overall score below 70
  • TOEFL (paper-based test): overall score below 530
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS), academic format: overall score below 6.

Proficiency Required for Enrollment

Upon arrival, all international students admitted to KU must report to the AEC for an evaluation of their English proficiency. The English proficiency requirement to receive a waiver from the AEC English proficiency test is higher than the English proficiency requirement for regular admission. Students achieving the TOEFL or IELTS scores listed below will not be required to take the AEC English proficiency test or AEC courses.

  • TOEFL iBT (internet-based test): 23 or higher on the Reading, Writing, and Listening sections.
  • TOEFL (paper-based test): 57 or higher for each section score and 4.5 or higher on the Test of Written English (TWE)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS), academic format: 6.0 or higher for each part and a total score of 6.5

Students with the TOEFL and IELTS scores listed above must come to the AEC to have the scores verified and receive a waiver of the AEC English proficiency test. Other students will register for the AEC English proficiency test. If English proficiency is satisfactory as demonstrated on the AEC proficiency test, a student will be permitted to enroll in university courses full-time. If English proficiency is not satisfactory as demonstrated on the AEC proficiency test, students will be required to enroll in AEC courses or a combination of AEC courses and university courses.

Students who submit TOEFL or IELTS scores and receive regular admission but whose TOEFL or IELTS scores are not high enough for a waiver may enroll in a minimum of six credit hours of regular university coursework in their first semester. Students with provisional admission do not receive such a guarantee. All admitted students will receive a personalized statement outlining AEC projections — based on the submitted TOEFL or IELTS scores — regarding how many ESL courses they may need to take in order to meet the English proficiency requirement.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Applicants in these categories, who otherwise meet requirements for regular undergraduate admission, may be admitted with an exemption from the requirement to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score with their application:

  • Sponsored international undergraduate applicants.
  • Native speakers of English.
  • Participants in official KU reciprocal exchange programs and students currently enrolled in the KU Applied English Center.
  • Other requests for exemption from the requirement to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Contact: 

International Programs
785-864-6161
oip@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Associate Vice Provost for International Programs
Approved on: 
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Effective on: 
Monday, August 1, 2011
Review Cycle: 
Biennial (Every Two Years)
Background: 

This policy will allow the University to better inform international applicants as to additional English language study that may be required before commencing academic coursework. This policy does not change the level of English proficiency required for admission.

Keywords: 
English proficiency; international admission; TOEFL; international undergraduate, IELTS, Test of English as a Foreign Language, admission, International English Language Testing System, Applied English Center, AEC, international programs
Review, Approval & Change History: 

01/27/2015: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).

05/12/2014: Updated Contact, minor technical/formatting edits.

11/12/2009: Approved by Faculty Senate.

Academic Categories: 
Admission to KU

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