English Proficiency

Applicants seeking regular admission whose native language is not English must submit minimum satisfactory scores on one of the following standardized tests. No other measures of English proficiency are accepted by the University of Arkansas for the purpose of gaining admission.

Score for Admission

English proficiency tests must have been taken within two years immediately preceding the requested semester of admission and be valid at the time of enrollment. Individual departments may have higher requirements.

English Proficiency Test Score Website
PTE-A Pearson Test of English-Academic

58

PTE Academic
TOEFL Internet-Based 79 TOEFL iBT
Institutional TOEFL1 550 TOEFL ITP
IELTS (Academic)2 6.5 IELTS
iTEP 3.9 iTEP
C1 Advanced CAE (Cambridge Assessment English) 176 C1 Advanced
Duolingo English Test (DET)3 See note #3 below DET
  1. Note: The Institutional TOEFL test is only accepted when taken through University of Arkansas' Testing Services.

  2. Note: The IELTS General Training exam is not accepted.

  3. Note: The Duolingo English Test (DET) is authorized as a supplemental measure for use on a case-by-case basis under prescribed circumstances, with the understanding that additional assessments would be required upon the student's arrival to campus. Minimum score requirements must be provided if use of the DET is approved.

English Proficiency Test Exemptions1

Applicants whose native language is English are exempt. Native language is defined as the primary language a person spoke while growing up in their family, community, and nation.2 

Applicants who have an earned bachelor's or master's degree in U.S. institutions or in foreign institutions where the official and native language is English are exempt.

  1. Note: individual departments may require any of these tests for admission. Students who will be in graduate assistantships in which they will have direct contact with students in a teaching or tutorial role must still demonstrate proficiency in spoken and written English, even if they qualify for one of these exemptions.

  2. Note: receiving a bachelor's degree in a country that lists English as an official language of instruction such as India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Nigeria, or Singapore does not exempt an applicant from the English language proficiency requirement.

Some graduate programs will offer conditional admission to applicants who meet all requirements for admission except the required English proficiency. Conditionally admitted students will first attend Spring International Language Center (SILC) for intensive English language training prior to beginning academic studies.

Intensive English classes at SILC focus on all language skills: grammar, reading, writing, and listening/speaking, in addition to offering opportunities for special workshops, seminars and language-enhancement activities. Five nine-week terms are offered throughout the year to enable students to quickly complete their English study. The student's initial I-20 or DS-2019 will be generated by SILC. For further information, you may contact Spring International Language Center (SILC) at silc@uark.edu.

If a conditionally admitted graduate student has spent at least a single nine-week term enrolled as a full-time student in Spring International Language Center, has completed Level 6 with grades of a B or above in each course, and has the recommendation of the Director of Spring International, that student can proceed to full-time graduate enrollment upon Graduate School approval.

Note: Conditionally admitted students are not eligible for graduate assistantships while they are studying at SILC. Upon regular admission to the University of Arkansas, students may begin their graduate assistantship. For Teaching Assistantships, please see Tests and Minimum Scores for TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIPS for more information about additional requirements.

Upon admission, graduate students who are non-native speakers of English will be assessed for written English proficiency.

Students that do not meet the minimum writing requirements listed in Level I below will be required to successfully complete one or more writing support courses or be evaluated for intensive English program enrollment. Assessment is made based on writing scores from the accepted tests in the table below.

English Language Writing Score Requirements for Graduate Students1,2

  • Level I students will not be required to take additional language instruction.
  • Level II students will be recommended to take additional language instruction.
    • ELAC 5033 or ELAC 5043
  • Level III and IV students will be required to successfully complete one or more of the ELAC courses below.
    • Level III: ELAC 5033 or 5043+0011
    • Level IV:
      • Semester I: ELAC 1023+0011
      • Semester II: ELAC 5033 or 5043
  • Level V students will be evaluated for intensive English program enrollment.
Accepted Test Level I Level II Level III Level IV Level V
PTE-A Pearson Test
of English (Academic
Writing)
80-84 71-77 62-68 53-59 0-51
TOEFL Internet-Based
(Writing)
29-30 26-28 23-25 20-22 0-19
IELTS Academic (Writing) 7.0 6.0-6.5 5.5 5.0 0-4.5
GRE General Test
(Analytical Writing)
4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 0-2.5
Graduate Management
Admission Test
(Analytical Writing)
5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 0-3.0
ELPT3 81 75-80 70-74 65-69 0-64
iTEP (Writing) 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 0-2.9
C1 Advanced CAE
(Cambridge
Assessment English)
185 169 162 154 150
Duolingo English
Test (DET) - Pre-approval required
115 95 85 75 70
  1. Note: Students that received a waiver of the test requirement for admission also receive a waiver of this test requirement for enrollment.

  2. Note: Graduate students applying for a Teaching Assistantship are required to submit sufficient speaking and writing scores. Details are provided in Tests and Minimum Scores for TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIPS.

  3. Note: There is a charge for the ELPT that is given during New Student Orientation.

Graduate assistantships with direct student contact require competency in both spoken and written English, even if eligible for a TOEFL waiver or exemption. These requirements must be fulfilled before starting a graduate assistantship that requires direct student contact.

"Direct student contact" involves working with students in a teaching or tutorial role, whether in a traditional classroom setting or via distance education.

Spoken English Requirements

Competency in spoken English may be demonstrated by completing one of the two methods below:

Method 1

Submitting one of the following test scores:

Accepted Test Minimum Speaking Score Website
PTE-A Pearson Test of English - Academic (Speaking sub-test) 71 PTE Academic
TOEFL Internet-based (Speaking sub-test) 26 TOEFL iBT
IELTS Academic (Speaking sub-test) 7.0 IELTS
iTEP (Speaking sub-test) 4.5 iTEP
C1 Advanced CAE (Speaking sub-test) 185 C1 Advanced
Duolingo English Test (DET) - Pre-approval required, based on scores used for Admission 120 DET
Spoken Language Proficiency Test Pass SLPT

OR

Method 2

Successful completion of ELAC 5050 International Graduate Teaching Assistantship Training with an 80% average or above.

Written English Requirements

Competency in written English may be demonstrated by completing one of the two methods below:

Method 1

Submit one of the following test scores:

Accepted Test Minimum Writing Score Website
PTE-A Pearson Test of English - Academic (Writing sub-test) 71 PTE Academic
TOEFL Internet-based sub-test (Writing sub-test) 26 TOEFL iBT
IELTS Academic (Writing sub-test) 6.0 IELTS
GRE General Test (Analytical Writing sub-test) 4.0 GRE
Graduate Management Admission Test (Analytical Writing sub-test) 4.5 GMAT
ELPT 75 ELPT
iTEP (Writing sub-test) 4.0 iTEP
C1 Advanced CAE (Writing sub-test) 169 C1 Advanced
Duolingo English Test (DET) - Pre-approval required, based on scores used for Admission 95 DET

OR

Method 2

Completing both of the following conditions, which must be requested by a Graduate Coordinator or Department Chair:

  1. Enrolling in either:
    • ELAC 5033 Research Writing for the Social Sciences and Education
      OR
    • ELAC 5043 Research Writing for STEM fields
  2. Enrolling in ELAC 0011 Writing Workshop: Grammar through Editing. Placement into these courses is determined by the student's test score (see the table below).

Accepted Test Minimum Writing Score Website
PTE-A Pearson Test of English-Academic (Writing sub-test) 62 PTE Academic
TOEFL Internet-based (Writing sub-test) 23 TOEFL iBT
IELTS Academic(Writing sub-test) 5.5 IELTS
GRE General Test (Analytical Writing sub-test) 3.5 GRE
Graduate Management Admission Test (Analytical Writing sub-test) 4.0 GMAT
ELPT 70 ELPT
iTEP (Writing sub-test) 3.5 iTEP
C1 Advanced CAE (Writing sub-test) 162 C1 Advanced
Duolingo (DET) - Pre-approval required 85 DET