Academic English Requirements

Minimum English Proficiency Requirement for Admission to a Graduate Program

Academic programs must verify that all applicants, whether domestic or international, who are not native speakers of English, meet the minimum English proficiency requirement to be admitted for graduate study as degree seeking, non-degree seeking or certificate program students. Verification may come in any one of the following forms:

  • Official transcript showing the applicant graduated with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
  • Official transcript showing the applicant graduated with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) from an institution whose medium of instruction is English. This does not apply to degrees earned online. This verification may be from a catalog or program description brochure or an official letter from a department chair, dean, or other university official stipulating English as the language of instruction. Verification of English instruction from the institution must be included unless the degree is from one of the countries on the TOEFL/IELTS Exemption List. The program considering admission should also conduct a phone interview with the prospective student.
  • Receipt of an official copy (not student's copy) of applicant's TOEFL or IELTS scores achieved not more than two years before the semester of admission.

Below are the minimum scores required on the TOEFL or IELTS to satisfy the minimum English proficiency requirement for admission. Individual programs may opt for a more restrictive policy regarding English proficiency for the students they recommend to Graduate Studies for admission.

TOEFL scores (paper) TOEFL scores (iBT) IELTS scores
  • 57 overall minimum
  • 5.0 minimum on essay
  • 23 minimum Reading and Listening
  • 19 minimum on Writing
  • 6.5 overall minimum with no part below 6

If a student does not meet the minimum requirement for admission, the academic program may petition the Dean of Graduate Studies for an exception.  The petition will include a justification for admitting the specific student, including a description of the interview process, and a plan for the student to achieve academic success.  The petition should also describe the metrics that the program proposes for evaluating the academic success of the student and the timeline that will be followed for the plan.

Additional Spoken English Proficiency Requirements for Graduate Teaching Assistants, Medical Center Campus

The Kansas Board of Regents requires that in order to be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), students must first attain a minimum score of 50 on the TSE or SPEAK tests, a minimum iBT speaking score of 24, or a minimum IELTS speaking score of 8.The SPEAK test is administered free of charge by appointment in the Office of International Programs. SPEAK scores from other institutions will not be accepted.

Last modified: Oct 21, 2014
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