English Language Proficiency Requirement - University of Houston
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All graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, must demonstrate proficiency in English to obtain admission to the university. The test scores that you submit must be valid and reportable at the time you submit your application (within the last two years for the TOEFL,  IELTS, Pearson, or Duolingo).

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:
American Samoa Ghana Saint Kitts & Nevis
Anguilla Gibraltar Saint Lucia
Antigua and Barbuda Grenada Saint Helena
Australia Guam South Africa
Bahamas Guyana St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Barbados Ireland Trinidad & Tobago
Belize Jamaica Turks & Caicos Islands
Bermuda Liberia United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales)
Canada (except the Province of Quebec) Micronesia Islands, Federated States of United States
Cayman Islands Montserrat Virgin Islands
Dominica New Zealand Zimbabwe
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) Nigeria

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

The minimum TOEFL scores required based on the type are mentioned below,
  • Internet based Test (iBT): An overall score of 79 or higher.
  • Paper-based Test (pBT): An overall score of 550 or higher.
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. IELTS scores should be sent electronically to "University of Houston". Please do not use "University of Houston - Graduate Admissions".

Duolingo English Test

For international graduate applicants, the University of Houston Graduate School has approved the Duolingo English Test for English proficiency exams. Duolingo English Tests are valid for two years from the date the test was taken.

The exam costs $49 (USD) and may be taken from any computer that has a camera, audio and reliable internet. The exam portion of the Duolingo English Test contains a series of speaking, reading, writing and listening exercises. Following the exam, there will be an interview portion that will ask you to respond to various prompts in 30 to 90 seconds. The exam will take about 45 minutes to complete and you will need either a passport, driver license, or national or state ID to show the camera. The score results are generally received within a few days of exam completion.

Duolingo English Test access information:

Information on preparing for the exam | Take the exam or practice exam
A verification email will be sent to you a few days after completing the exam containing a link to send your score to UH.
For additional information, please review the frequently asked questions.

A minimum score of 105 is required.

Pearson Test of English PTE

The minimum required score for PTE is an overall score of 53 or higher.

UH Language and Culture Center

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.