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English Language Proficiency Policy

Students who apply for academic admission are expected to take all of their courses alongside native English speakers. This includes:

  • Participating in class discussions
  • Writing multiple-page essays
  • Reading and understanding assigned textbook and course material
  • Comprehending lectures

To show English proficiency, international applicants must submit an official qualifying English Proficiency score for one of the following:  

Students may be required to enroll in one or two English language support courses administered by the English Language Institute. For more information, please see UA’s English programs for new students page.

 ELC Coursework Requirements

  • Enrollment in the Undergraduate Academic Writing or Speaking courses will count toward your overall minimum full-time enrollment requirement and carries 3 hours of academic credit.
  • If your TOEFL iBT Writing sub-score is lower than 18 or IELTS writing score is lower than 6.0 or your overall Duolingo Score is lower than 120, you must enroll in the Undergraduate Academic Writing course (ELC 111) in addition to your other undergraduate courses. 
  • If your TOEFL iBT Speaking score is lower than 18 or IELTS speaking score is lower than 6.0 or your overall Duolingo Score is lower than 120, you must enroll in the Undergraduate Academic Speaking course (ELC 110) in addition to your other undergraduate courses.

Exemptions from the English Course Requirement

You are exempt from the Undergraduate Academic Writing (ELC 111) course requirement if:

  • Your Writing sub-score is 18 or higher on the TOEFL iBT
  • Your Writing sub-score is 6.0 or higher on the IELTS
  • Your Duolingo overall score is 120 or higher on the new DET scale for tests taken after July 15, 2019 (61 DET for tests taken prior to July 15, 2019)
  • You have completed ELI Reading/Writing 6.

You are exempt from the Undergraduate Academic Speaking (ELC 110) course requirement if:

  • Your Speaking sub-score is 18 or higher on the TOEFL iBT
  • Your Speaking sub score is 6.0 or higher on the IELTS
  • Your Duolingo overall score is 120 or higher on the new DET scale for tests taken after July 15, 2019 (61 DET for tests taken prior to July 15, 2019)
  • You have completed ELI Speaking/Listening 6

You are exempt from both the Undergraduate Academic Writing (ELC 111) and Undergraduate Academic Speaking (ELC 110) course requirements if you have an ELI Proficiency Certificate or if you were admitted to UA with an English proficiency waiver. English proficiency Exemption Options Exemptions are granted to applicants who:

  • Graduate from a U.S. high school
  • Have earned a “C” or better in a university-level composition course level 101 or higher (ESL courses do not qualify). This must be an in-person class, not online.
  • Are a citizen or resident of one of these English-speaking countries or regions: 
    • American Samoa
    • Anguilla
    • Antigua
    • Australia
    • Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Bermuda
    • Belize
    • Botswana
    • British Virgin Islands
    • Canada (except Quebec)
    • Cayman Islands
    • Christmas Islands
    • Cook Islands
    • Dominica
    • Falkland Islands
    • Federated States of Micronesia
    • Fiji
    • Gibraltar
    • The Gambia
    • Guyana
    • Ghana
    • Grenada
    • Guam
    • Hong Kong
    • Ireland
    • Jamaica
    • Kenya
    • Kiribati
    • Lesotho
    • Liberia
    • Malawi
    • Malta
    • Marshall Islands
    • Mauritius
    • Montserrat
    • Namibia
    • Nauru
    • New Zealand
    • Nigeria
    • Niue
    • Norfolk Island
    • Northern Mariana Islands
    • Palau
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Pitcairn Islands
    • Saint Helena
    • Saint Kitts and Nevis
    • Saint Lucia
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Samoa
    • Sandwich Islands
    • Sierra Leone
    • Singapore
    • Solomon Islands
    • South Africa (English-speaking, i.e. not Afrikaans)
    • South Georgia Islands
    • Swaziland
    • Tanzania
    • Tonga
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Turks and Caicos Islands
    • Tuvalu
    • Uganda
    • United States
    • United Kingdom
    • US Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John)
    • Zambia
    • Zimbabwe

Applicants who have not met these requirements, but have high SAT/ACT reading and/or writing scores, can petition to waive the TOEFL requirement.