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English Language Proficiency Requirements

English language proficiency: All international applicants and applicants for graduate programs whose native language is not English, must be able to demonstrate their English language proficiency. Such applicants will be required to demonstrate their proficiency by meeting certain minimum standard on any one of the following test: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Duolingo. This is a University and Graduate School requirement. 

Please review the listed link to see what The Graduate School of MSU accepts for TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo scores: English Language Proficiency Information. We encourage all applicants to still apply no matter what their TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo score is.

Proficiency is determined by ONE of the tests below: You must demonstrate proficiency as follows:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)  https://www.ets.org/toefl.html MSU Code: 1465

Internet-based test (iBT): no subscore below 19 for reading, listening, and speaking

no writing subscore below 22

a minimum average score of 80

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Minimum average score of 6.5.

No subscore below 6.0.

Duolingo English Test https://englishtest.duolingo.com/ 110 or higher

Automatic waivers by the MSU Office of Admissions for TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo are received ONLY when:

  • Bachelor’s degree earned in the U.S. (or other English-speaking country). If a copy of the (old) English language competency scores is available, please send to Admissions. The BA or BS program should be a regular 4-year degree the majority of credits earned in the U.S.(or other English-speaking country), not 100% online, not an “experiential” degree that is based on credit for life experiences and/or not earned at a branch campus in a non-English-speaking country.

  • Bachelor’s degree earned at MSU, the majority of credits earned while on our campus.
  • Master’s degree earned ONLY from a listed AAU institution on a U.S. campus (see AAU Member Instituations and Years of Admission).

However; The Graduate School of MSU, may still require that you submit TOEFL scores for graduate school purposes no matter where your degree was obtained.

Citizens from the following countries are usually not required to take the TOEFL. The language of instruction at the undergraduate institution must be English. MSU will notify you if you are from one of these countries but will be required to take the TOEFL.

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • Caribbean
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent
  • Trinidad
  • Tobago
  • Turks & Calcos Islands
  • United Kingdom
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

For students who receive an offer of admittance, we must receive official TOEFL/Duolingo scores through ETS or hardcopies of official IELTS scores must be mailed directly to:

Michigan State University
Hannah Administration Building
426 Auditorium Road, Room 250
East Lansing MI 48824-2604