KU International Affairs

English Requirements

NOTICE: If you are having difficulty accessing regional test centers in your home country, KU will help you to complete your application! While test centers are closed, you may complete the Duolingo English Test and share your scores with KU through the Duolingo system once you receive them. The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with KU when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.

Admission:  Proficiency in English is not required for undergraduate admission to KU. Therefore, we do not require a minimum proficiency test score. However, applicants must provide a test score to show their current English proficiency level. Several tests (see chart below) are accepted for admission and enrollment purposes. Students are fully admitted to their undergraduate academic program regardless of their test score.

Placement testing at KU: Students who do not meet minimum score requirements for full-time academic enrollment (see chart below) will take the KU test of English proficiency after arrival. Students who pass this test will enroll in full-time academic coursework. Students who do not pass this test will enroll in part-time or full-time English study in the Applied English Center (AEC). The "Time in AEC" chart below estimates the intensive English study time that may be needed after arrival at KU. 

Submitting English test scores: Test scores must be less than two years old and must be submitted at the time of application. Students have until the end of the first day of international student orientation to submit another test score. Late arrivals will be considered on a case by case basis. 


If you have one of the following test scores, you are not required to take the AEC placement test when you arrive on campus and will be qualified to enroll in full-time degree coursework.

Test Type Minimum Overall Score Minimum Subscore
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition 79 18
TOEFL paper-delivered test 60 18
IELTS 6.5 6.0
PTE 53 -
SAT Evidenced Based Reading & Writing section 590 -
ACT English Section 22 -
AP English Grade 4 -
AS and A level English Languages Exams Grade of B on both exams -
C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency 176 169


You do not have to submit English proficiency scores or take the AEC test if one or more of the following are true: 

  • You have taken 4 years of college preparatory English and graduated from high school with a 2.5 GPA in a qualifying region*
  • You are a native speaker of English and a resident of a qualifying region*
  • You have earned a B or better grade in College English Composition 1 and 2 AND Earned 24 or more credit-bearing hours toward a degree at an accredited US institution or at an institution within a qualifying region*
  • You have completed the full IB diploma program with a score of 5 or higher in English HL
  • Earned an associate's degree from a US-accredited post-secondary college with a 2.5 GPA

*Qualifying English Exemption Regions: United States of America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, an English-speaking province of Canada, an English-speaking Caribbean country, or any US-accredited school located abroad


If you do not submit a passing test score or transcripts showing sufficient evidence of English coursework (as detailed above) at the time of admission, you have until the end of the first day of international student orientation to submit test scores or transcripts in order to be waived from the AEC English proficiency test on campus. 

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