Do I Need To Take The TOEFL or IELTS?

By Brianna Burrows

There are over 5,300 colleges and universities in the USA. Each of these schools have different requirements for international students. One of the most common questions from international students is, do I need to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) to get into a school in the USA. The answer to that question strongly depends on the program to which you are applying.

English Language Programs (ESL or IEP)

Generally, TOEFL and IELTS are not required for English language programs where you intend to learn English. For example, ELS Language Centers do not require the TOEFL or IELTS for acceptance. In addition, DePaul University’s English Language Academy does not require the TOEFL or IELTS exam for admissions, but the TOEFL exam is used as a placement test once registered for the course.

Community Colleges

Most community colleges and two year degree programs do not require the TOEFL or IELTS exam. In Washington state, Green River College, Shoreline Community College, and Edmonds Community College do not require the TOEFL or IELTS exam. Again, it’s important to check with the specific community college at which you are planning to study at as each programs will have it’s own requirements.

Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Many universities require the TOEFL or IELTS exam as proof of English language proficiency. However, there are many schools that do not require these exams because of a program called CAP (Conditional Admissions Program). Certain universities will offer admission to eligible international students with a condition that they must improve their English language skills by attending the university’s intensive English language program.The University of Washington Bothell, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and University of Delaware do not require the TOEFL or IELTS exam as part of this conditional admissions program.

Verify with each program, community college and university their requirement for the TOEFL or IELTS test. But, if you don’t have a TOEFL or IELTS score, don’t panic, there are still other options that will allow you to study in the USA!

Brianna Burrows is a freelance marketing specialist and alumna of Northeastern University. She specializes in event management, social media management, and content branding. She can be reached at briannaburrows@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter here.

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