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English Language Proficiency Requirements

All graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, must demonstrate proficiency in English to obtain admission to the university.  To fulfill this requirement, applicants must satisfy one of the following criteria:

  • Baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or at an institution at which English is the medium of instruction in the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, Trinidad, the Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, Turks and Caicos, and English-speaking Canadian provinces.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
    The minimum TOEFL score required is 79 for the internet-based test.  The minimum TOEFL score for the paper-based exam is 550.
    TOEFL scores must be received directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS). The University of Houston's ETS Institutional Code is 6870.
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service)
    The minimum IELTS score required is an overall score of a 6.5. The testing agency should mail the official results directly to the University of Houston. No electronic IELTS are accepted. The address is as follows:
    • University of Houston
      Graduate Admissions
      4302 University Dr., Rm. 102
      Houston, TX 77204-2012
  • UH Language and Culture
    Completion of Level 6 of the University of Houston’s Language and Culture Center. (Not all graduate programs waive the English language requirement based on completion of this program.  Please consult with your admissions advisor)

For admissions purposes, the university will use the highest test score from one test date. Photocopies or other duplication of score reports are not acceptable.

Departments may require a higher minimum TOEFL or IELTS score where previous experience and demands of the discipline warrant it.  Visit the program website to confirm minimum scoring requirements.

Graduate students whose English proficiency is judged inadequate by the department or college may be denied permission to continue work on graduate degrees.