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English Proficiency Requirements for Admission to Graduate Study

Policy
Purpose: 

To define the language proficiency requirements for incoming graduate students who are international students or domestic non-native English speakers.

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) have other requirements indicated in the policy on Spoken English Language Competency of Faculty and Graduate Teaching Assistants.

Applies to: 

International and domestic applicants to graduate study who are not native English speakers

Campus: 
Lawrence
Edwards
Policy Statement: 

The following are acceptable means for verifying English proficiency for purposes of admitting international students and domestic non-native English speakers:

  • Graduation with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited English-medium U.S. college or university or a college or university in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, English-speaking province of Canada, or an English-speaking Caribbean country, with instruction conducted in English. Degrees earned online may not be used to verify English proficiency.
     
  • 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.
     
  • In exceptional cases, a department, with written support from the appropriate School or College, may petition the Dean of Graduate studies to consider alternative documentation of English proficiency. In consultation with the Director of the Applied English Center, the Dean of Graduate Studies will determine whether the alternative documentation demonstrates English proficiency at the level expected for regular admission to graduate study at KU. 

Regular Admission Minima for Campus-based Programs*

TOEFL (paper)

TOEFL (iBT)

IELTS-Academic

PTE

All part scores at least 53

Reading, Listening, and Writing part scores at least 20

Minimum overall score 6.0 with no part score below 5.5

Minimum overall score 55 with no part score below 50

Regular Admission Minima for Online and Distance Learning Programs

TOEFL (paper)

TOEFL (iBT)

IELTS-Academic

PTE

All part scores at least 57, TWE 5.0

Reading, Listening, and Writing part scores at least 23

Minimum overall score 6.5, at least 6.0 in Listening, Reading, & Writing

Minimum overall score 58 with no part score below 53 in Listening, Reading, & Writing

Provisional Admission Minima for Campus-based Programs

(see also exclusions/special circumstances section of this policy)

TOEFL (paper)

TOEFL (iBT)

IELTS-Academic

PTE

All part scores 51-52

Reading, Listening, and Writing part scores 18-19

Minimum overall score 5.5 with no part score below 5.0

Minimum overall score 45 with no part score below 40

Deny Admission & Recommend Applying to Applied English Center (AEC)

TOEFL (paper)

TOEFL (iBT)

IELTS-Academic

PTE

One or more part scores below 51

Any of these part scores below 18: Reading, Listening, or Writing

Overall score below 5.5 or any part score below 5.0

Overall score below 43 or any part score below 36

*All students admitted to campus-based programs, who are international students and/or are not native speakers of English, are required to check in at the Applied English Center (AEC) upon arrival on campus. At that time, the AEC will confirm the student's level of English proficiency and determine whether English courses will be included as a requirement of the student’s academic program. In order to graduate, students who are required to complete AEC courses must meet KU’s English proficiency standards as demonstrated by their performance in AEC coursework and evaluations.

For information on the spoken English requirements for GTAs, please see the policy on Spoken English Language Competency of Faculty and Graduate Teaching Assistants.

Any U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents who have declared that their native language is not English must report to the AEC for verification of English proficiency before enrolling.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Provisional admission is not available to students who are applying to online programs in the School of Education and are not native English speakers.

International students seeking F-1 status must meet the standards of Regular Admission. Provisional Admission is not sufficient to issue the Form I-20. 

Contact: 

Graduate Studies
785-864-8040
graduate@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Graduate Studies and the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Approved on: 
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Effective on: 
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Background: 

This policy outlines the acceptable means of verifying English proficiency for purposes of admitting students who are not native English speakers.

Keywords: 
English proficiency, Admission, International students, Non-native English speakers, TOEFL score
Review, Approval & Change History: 

01/25/17: Minor copy edits - removed repeated word and updated plural agreements

07/06/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.

04/28/2016: Revised score tables to clarify acceptance of IELTS-Academic and PTE tests, as well as acceptable score ranges for the PTE. Revised Exclusions and Special circumstances to clarify relationship of this policy to federal immigration regulations.

03/31/2016: Revised acceptable means for verifying English proficiency and clarified the AEC check in requirement

1/28/2015: Revised policy language to clarify that test scores are required for international students and domestic non-native English speakers

11/26/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (table display)

10/15/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing)

This policy pre-dates the KU online Policy Library. The dates listed in the approval and effective date fields reflect the date it was moved into the Policy Library.

Academic Categories: 
Admission to KU

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