English Language Proficiency Requirement

All admitted undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, and graduate students interested in attending PSU on non-immigrant visas must submit documentation to demonstrate proof of English language proficiency. See below for the specific requirements for each level.

Undergraduate and Postbaccalaureate

All admitted undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students on non-immigrant visas must submit one of the test results below to demonstrate proof of English language proficiency.

If you do not demonstrate proof of English language proficiency, we will place you in the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) pathway.

Minimum Test Score Requirements

TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or SAT with minimum required official score achieved within the last two years. SAT is not required for admission; for use to prove English proficiency only. When ordering test score reports, use Portland State's institutional code: 4610.

Test Minimum Score
TOEFL IBT: minimum overall score of 71; minimum subscore of 15 in reading and writing
Academic IELTS 6.0 overall; minimum 6.0 in reading and writing
Academic PTE 53 overall
SAT 560 or above in the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section
DET (Duolingo English Test) 110 or above

Other Ways to Demonstrate Proficiency

  • Transferable associate degree from a U.S. institution with a minimum GPA of 2.50 and 8 credits of college level writing—including the equivalent of WR 121 and an additional higher level college writing course. Both courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better. (Successful completion of English, Writing, or Literature classes alone is not sufficient to demonstrate English language proficiency.)
  • Transcript with the bachelor's degree posted from the institution granting a 4-year bachelor’s degree, master’s or doctoral degree at a college or university in the United States, English-speaking Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, or Ireland.
  • Passport copy demonstrating that you are a citizen of Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland or English-speaking Canada and proof of entire academic history in one of those countries.
  • International Baccalaureate diploma with final combined score of 30 or more points.
  • Certification of Completion for an English language program through one of PSU's ESL partners: University of California - Davis Extension and Pacific International Academy at Warner Pacific University.


All graduate applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency in one of the ways outlined below prior to enrolling in academic classes. This requirement applies to all students, including permanent residents and U.S. citizens.

Valid Proof of English Language Proficiency

  • Completion of a bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctoral degree in the U.S., Australia, English-speaking Canada, Great Britain, Ireland or New Zealand, or:
  • Completion of Portland State's Intensive English Language Program (IELP) with a 3.5 GPA in all courses and recommendation from the IELP, or:
  • Minimum required official score on the International Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System-Academic (IELTS) exam, or the Pearson Test of English-Academic (PTE); less than two years old at time of matriculation. Test scores more than two years old are accepted if the score exceeded the minimum requirement and you have maintained continuous residency in the United States since the exam date.
  • Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and testing center closures globally, PSU’s Graduate School will accept home based test scores from the following English language exams: TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, IELTS Indicator or Duolingo English Test (DET) during this time.

Minimum Test Score Requirements for Graduate Programs

TOEFL Academic IELTS Academic PTE Duolingo Test of English (DET)
  • IBT: minimum overall score of 80 with minimum subscores of 18 in reading and writing
6.5 overall score with minimum sub-scores of 6.5 in reading and writing 60 overall 120 overall