KU International Affairs

English Requirements

NOTICE: Students who cannot provide an English proficiency test score may request an exemption to this admission requirement. Students who are granted an exemption must take the Applied English Center (AEC) Proficiency Test during the online orientation program prior to the start of their online program or their arrival on campus. 

This test provides an official score and only costs $45 which is less than many other English testing options. Depending on your test results, you might be required to take ESL classes before starting your degree program. Refer to the Placement Testing at KU section below for more information.

Request an exemption to take English test during orientation

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) must take the AEC Proficiency Test online from KU. 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 AEC. The "Time in AEC" chart 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 can submit another test score prior to taking the AEC Proficiency Test.  Once students have taken the AEC Test, they must use the score of that test. 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 Proficiency 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 Proficiency 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 may submit scores or transcripts until the time you complete the AEC Proficiency Test

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