International graduates raise aloft the flags of their countries

English Proficiency for International Students

English Proficiency Requirements

St. Thomas policy requires international students to prove a minimum level of English proficiency for university level studies.

Native English speakers from the following countries are exempted from this requirement: English-speaking Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Commonwealth Caribbean Countries.

Applicants must meet at least one of the following qualifications. Score reports must be sent to St. Thomas directly from the testing center and must not be more than 2 years old.

  • TOEFL iBT: Total score of 80 or higher for direct admission.
  • IELTS: Total score of 6.5 or higher for direct admission.
  • Duolingo English Test: Score of 105 or higher for direct admission.
  • Minnesota English Language Program (MELP): Successful completion of all required Level 4: Advanced ESL classes.
  • ELS Language Center: Level 112 completion certificate with minimum GPA of 2.25 for direct admission.
  • SAT: 500 or higher on Evidence Based Reading and Writing for direct admission.
  • ACT: 21 or higher on both English AND Reading sections for direct admission.
  • Pearson PTE Academic: Score of 53 or higher.
  • Oxford Test of English: Total score of 135 or higher for direct admission.
  • Cambridge English (B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 proficiency, C1 Business Higher, B2 Business Vantage): Total score of 176 or higher for direct admission.
  • GTEC CBT: Score of 1200 or higher
  • International Baccalaureate (IB): HL English score of 4 or higher
  • AP exam: score of 4 or higher in English Literature/Composition
  • Transfer of 28 credits or more from an accredited U.S. college or university with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.
  • West African Exams Council Senior School Certificate: B3 or higher on English for direct admission.
  • Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE): B+ on English for direct admission.
  • National Senior Certificate (South Africa): 4 or higher on English Home Language OR 6 or higher on English as Additional Language for direct admission.

Other Ways to Be Admitted

  • Conditional Admission
  • ELS Language Center
  • Conditional Admission

    Conditional admission is offered to applicants whose academic credentials meet the standards for admission but have not yet met the English proficiency requirement. Conditionally admitted students must meet one of the qualifications above before enrolling and before qualifying for an I-20 from St. Thomas.

    If you plan to attend an ESL program in the U.S. prior to enrolling in the University, you should obtain a document I-20 from the ESL provider and bring the St. Thomas conditional admission letter with you to your F-1 student visa interview.

    ELS Language Center

    ELS Educational Services, Inc. is our recommended English as a second language training provider. ELS has more than 70 study locations around the United States, including a center here on the University of St. Thomas campus.

    Students who successfully complete ELS level 112 with a 2.5 GPA have met our undergraduate language proficiency requirement and do not need to take an additional English proficiency exam.

    Conditional Admission

    Conditional Admission

    Conditional admission is offered to applicants whose academic credentials meet the standards for admission but have not yet met the English proficiency requirement. Conditionally admitted students must meet one of the qualifications above before enrolling and before qualifying for an I-20 from St. Thomas.

    If you plan to attend an ESL program in the U.S. prior to enrolling in the University, you should obtain a document I-20 from the ESL provider and bring the St. Thomas conditional admission letter with you to your F-1 student visa interview.

    ELS Language Center

    ELS Language Center

    ELS Educational Services, Inc. is our recommended English as a second language training provider. ELS has more than 70 study locations around the United States, including a center here on the University of St. Thomas campus.

    Students who successfully complete ELS level 112 with a 2.5 GPA have met our undergraduate language proficiency requirement and do not need to take an additional English proficiency exam.

    English Composition Placement Testing

    All undergraduate international students are also required to take a placement test for English composition classes upon arrival to St. Thomas.

    Exceptions to this requirement are those who have a verifiable TOEFL score of 100 ibt or above, an IELTS score of 7.5 or above, or a bachelor’s degree (not an online degree) from an accredited U.S. college or university.

    The University of St. Thomas reserves the right to require additional testing of any incoming student’s English skills.