English Proficiency

English Alternatives Due to Standardized Test Suspension

For undergraduate and graduate students residing in countries where testing, such as TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, ACT, etc., has been suspended, or in locations where test centers are closed, we will consider the following at-home alternatives for proof of English proficiency:

Please contact us with any other questions or concerns regarding testing options at international.admissions@uni.edu.  We understand that as circumstances continue to change, we may need to adjust or expand our policies to accommodate arising challenges.   



Undergraduate international students who are not native speakers of English must provide evidence of English language proficiency. The following are accepted by the University of Northern Iowa as measures of English proficiency:

  1. Obtain a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum score of 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL, iBT paper-based and TOEFL Home edition for unrestricted admission.   TOEFL Essential (8.0) also accepted.  
  2. Obtain an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum overall band score (academic track) of 6.0 for unrestricted admission.
  3. Obtain a Certificate in C1 Advanced English score of 169 or higher for restricted admission.
  4. Obtain a 52 or above on the Pearson Test of English (PTE) for unrestricted admission.  
  5. Obtain a score of 4 or 5 for unrestricted admission of 3 for restricted admission on the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition exam.
  6. Obtain an International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE O-Level) pass in English with a grade of A, B, or C. 
  7. Obtain a General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE A-level) pass in English with a grade of A, B, or C from one of the five British-based examining boards.
  8. Obtain an ACT Assessment English Test minimum score of 20.
  9. Obtain an SAT I Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score of 480. 
  10. Obtain an SAT Literature Subject Test minimum score of 460.
  11. Obtain an International Baccalaureate (IB) grade of 4, 5, 6, or 7 in English A1 or A2 at the Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL).
  12. Complete Level 7 of the UNI Culture and Intensive English Program (CIEP) with a recommendation from the Director of CIEP.
  13. Complete 24 or more semester hours of transferable credit with required grade point average from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

Graduate applicants must meet the requirements set by their respective departments. A list of graduate programs and their requirements can be found here: https://intladm.uni.edu/graduate-majors.

Conditional admission may be considered for undergraduate students who are academically qualified but have low or no proof of English proficiency. These students will be tested upon arrival on campus and will be required to enroll in intensive English courses as necessary. You can view our conditional admission policy here: https://intladm.uni.edu/admission-policies