English proficiency for international undergraduate applicants

English proficiency exam update

For students affected by center closures

For international students affected by testing centers closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), Arizona State University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English test in addition to the in-person TOEFL, IELTS and PTE English proficiency exams. Duolingo English tests will be accepted for students seeking program admission for the 2020 and 2021 semesters (spring, summer and fall).

The exam cost $49 (USD) and may be taken from any computer that has a camera, audio and reliable internet. The exam portion of the Duolingo English test contains a series of speaking, reading, writing and listening exercises. Following the exam, there will be an interview portion that will ask you to respond to various prompts in 30 to 90 seconds. The exam will take about 45 minutes to complete and you will need either a passport, driver license, or national or state ID to show the camera. The score results are generally received within a few days of exam completion.

Should you choose to take the Duolingo English test, the access information is below.

Information on preparing for the exam   | Take the exam or practice exam

A verification email will be sent to you a few days after completing the exam containing a link to send your score to ASU.

For additional information, please review the frequently asked questions.

An applicant who is not a U.S. Citizen or is not a permanent resident of the U.S., or a citizen of a country listed on the "English Speaking Country" list must demonstrate English proficiency.

English language proficiency requirements

You must meet one of the following English language proficiency requirements.

Pass the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE* or Duolingo English test

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL iBT (internet-based test)

For the general requirement programs, the minimum score is 61 (iBT). ASU’s institutional code is 4007. ASU accepts only electronic copies of the TOEFL score report.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: minimum score of 76.

Ira. A Fulton Schools of Engineering (higher admission requirement programs only): minimum score of 79.

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication: minimum score of 100.

Learn more about the TOEFL.  

TOEFL pBT (paper-based test)

For the general requirement programs, tje TOEFL paper-based tests (pBT) minimum score is 57. 

Bachelor of Science in Nursing is minimum score is 63. 

Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering (higher admission requirement programs only) minimum score is 63.

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication minimum score is 72. 

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The overall band score requirement for the academic test is at least 6.0. The general training exam is not accepted. No institutional code is needed.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: minimum score of 6.5.

Ira. A Fulton Schools of Engineering (higher admission requirement programs only): minimum score of 6.5.

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication: minimum score of 7.0.

Learn more about IELTS.  

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

ASU requires a score of at least 53.

This test is not accepted for admission to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Ira. A Fulton Schools of Engineering (higher admission requirement programs only): minimum score of 58.

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication: minimum score of 73.

Learn more about PTE.  

Duolingo English test (accepted for students seeking admission for 2020 and 2021 semesters)

General requirement programs: minimum score of 95.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: minimum score of 100.

Ira. A Fulton Schools of Engineering (higher admission requirement programs only): minimum score of 105.

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication: minimum score of 120.

Learn more about the Duolingo English test.  

An IELTS, PTE or TOEFL must have been taken no longer than two years prior to the student’s start date at ASU. Applicants who have scores that are more than two years old (or will be more than two years old by the time of ASU’s start date) may be requested to submit updated test scores or demonstrate English proficiency through one of the other listed options.

Complete Global Launch courses at ASU*


English language program
Complete the highest level of the Campus or Online Immersion English language program with a passing grade of B- (80%) or better.

Online self-paced English course
Complete the English for Undergraduate Admission and Achievement online course with a passing score.

Learn more about Global Launch

*Individual academic units may have higher requirements for English proficiency. Review your degree program of interest for details. Visit ASU's degree search to find your program.

Other ways to demonstrate English proficiency

  • U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.
  • Citizen of an English-speaking country or territory.
  • Junior and senior year of high school completed in the U.S. AND ACT English score of 23 or higher or SAT EBRW score of 580 or higher, AND two years English.
  • Four years of high school in the U.S. with four years of English.
  • 48 transferable credits from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university with a GPA of 2.50 or higher, of which six credits are in first-year English (comparable to ASU ENG 107 and 108).
  • Undergraduate applicants who have earned a secondary or high school degree or higher from an international institution that is officially recognized by that country, and whose sole medium of instruction for the degree program was in English. If the transcript does not indicate language of instruction, the applicant should email asuinternational@asu.edu to request exemption and include a letter from the institution on letterhead indicating language of instruction or provide information on the institution website to verify language of instruction.

Note: English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are not accepted as proof of English proficiency.