UW Graduate School

Memo 8: Graduate School English Language Proficiency Requirements

The Graduate School is temporarily accepting official test scores for both the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL ITP Plus For China to assist international students with remote testing options. This policy is currently in effect through the autumn 2021 admission cycle (i.e., students enrolling in autumn 2021).

The following guidelines apply:

Duolingo English Test

  • Applicants must have a minimum score of 105 for admission.
  • Programs may require a higher score, but may not petition a score below 105.
  • Some programs may not accept Duolingo scores. Students must confirm specific requirements with the admitting program.
  • Students admitted with a score below 120 will be required to take all sections of the UW AEP Placement Exam or register for English 102, 103, and 104.

TOEFL ITP Plus for China

  • Applicants must have a minimum Level 1 test score of 627 (C1) for admission.
  • Programs may require a higher score, but may not petition a score below 627.
  • Some programs may not accept TOEFL ITP scores. Students must confirm specific requirements with the admitting program.
  • Students admitted with the TOEFL ITP Test will be required to take all sections of the UW AEP Placement Exam or register for English 102, 103, and 104.

Students who will receive a Teaching Assistantship will also be required to satisfy additional requirements described in Memo 15: Conditions of Appointment for TAs who are not Native Speakers of English.

End of temporary policy statement

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Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency.i

Proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following five ways. A graduate program may set additional standards or qualifications in any of these categories. Students must confirm specific requirements with the admitting program.

  1. A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution located in the United States and where English is the medium of instruction.
  2. A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom and where English is the medium of instruction. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus.
  3. Official documentation from the applicant’s undergraduate degree-granting institution (if the institution is in a country other than those listed in #2 above) verifying that all instruction is in English. A minimum of three years of enrollment at the undergraduate institution is required. Documentation must be presented to the Graduate School; credential service reports are not acceptable. Acceptable documentation must be one of the following:
    • Official or attested letter from the undergraduate college, university Registrar, or Controller of Examinations office.
    • Official transcripts, attested mark sheets or degree statements, are also accepted if English is stated as the medium of instruction.
  4. An official letter stating successful completion of the UW Intensive English Program (IEP): University Track. The letter must be submitted to the Graduate School.
    • The UW Intensive English Language Program (IEP): University Track is no longer offered. Students who have successfully completed this program may request that the UW International English Language Programs submits a letter of completion to the Graduate School.
  5. Official English Language Test Score (sent electronically to the University of Washington via testing center). Note: Graduate programs may require a higher minimum TOEFL score for admission than listed below.
  TOEFL iBT TOEFL MyBest Duolingo
Minimum Required Score
(ELP Required)
80 80 105
Recommended Score
(ELP Satisfied)
92 or higher 92 or higher 120 or higher
  • The Graduate School also accepts the TOEFL paper-delivered test, which is available only to students in areas without internet testing access. Contact Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) for special instructions if you have taken this test.
  • Applicants using TOEFL test scores must submit official scores electronically via ETS, using the University of Washington’s institution code 4854.  An offer of admission cannot be extended prior to the receipt of official scores.
  • An applicant who does not meet the minimum required score will not be considered admissible by the Graduate School. The Graduate School does not offer conditional admissions to students who have not yet met the minimum English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement.
  • An applicant who has attained the recommended score has satisfied the Graduate School’s ELP requirement.
  • An admitted applicant below the recommended score will be required to satisfactorily complete 1 to 3 UW Academic English Program (AEP) courses to fulfill the ELP requirement.
  • Admitted applicants who are required to take ENGL 102 and ENGL 104 may choose to fulfill this requirement before the start of their graduate program by successfully completing the Graduate Preparation Program through the International & English Language Programs. Students enrolled in the Graduate Preparation Program pay additional fees.

IMPORTANT:

  • Students are expected to register for any required AEP classes beginning their first quarter.
  • Test scores are valid for two years and must be valid on the date the application is submitted.
  • Graduate students whose native language is not English and who wish to be appointed as teaching assistants (TAs) must meet the conditions for appointment specified in Graduate School Memorandum 15: Conditions of appointment for TAs who are not native speakers of English.
  • Contact Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) with questions.

i Each prospective graduate student indicates on his/her graduate application whether or not s/he is a native speaker of English.

Revised: November 2020