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English Proficiency Requirements

The university reserves the right to require English testing and/or support classes if your application materials and interviews indicate that your level of English proficiency may not be sufficient for university studies. In addition, faculty at APU may require students to take English support classes if students appear to be having difficulty in their studies. This is for your benefit. APU continues to be recognized annually as one of U.S.News & World Report’s Best Colleges and by The Princeton Review as one of the Best in the West with a reputation for academic excellence. Your ability to communicate in English will be important for success in your studies at APU.

If English is NOT your native language, you will need to demonstrate or gain English proficiency in order to study at Azusa Pacific University. Applicants for the Korean/Spanish Language Theology programs are NOT required to submit a proof of English proficiency. There are a few ways to demonstrate and fulfill the English Proficiency Requirements:

1. Prior studies in English

You can demonstrate English proficiency by verifying that your prior studies (secondary school or post-secondary) were conducted in English. You must verify all of the following:

To verify these points, you must provide academic transcripts along with an official letter from the institution where you studied stating that the language of instruction was English.

– OR –

2. English testing by one of the following two options:

A. International standardized English tests (TOEFL and IELTS)

You can demonstrate English proficiency by submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score report that meets or exceeds the requirements listed below. The university considers the component scores for admissions.

IELTS TOEFL iBT
(Top Score: 9) Speaking (Top Score: 30) Listening (Top Score: 30) Reading (Top Score: 30) Writing (Top Score: 30)
Conditional* 5.5 15 16 16 18
Undergraduate 6 18 20 20 22
Graduate** 7 22 22 22 24
Doctoral 8 25 25 25 25

*The conditional option is applicable only for undergraduate programs. If you score in the range of subsets listed below, you must take the corresponding intensive English courses (and will take other university classes for a maximum of 14 units at the same time), which may count for credit towards your bachelor’s degree. If you don’t meet the minimum requirements for the conditional level, you may re-test at the American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI).

Scores: IELTS: 5.5
TOEFL Speaking: 15–17
TOEFL Listening: 16–19
Corresponding English Course: TESL 101
Scores: IELTS: 5.5
TOEFL Reading: 16–19
TOEFL Writing:18–21
Corresponding English Course: TESL 102

** All graduate-level students proving English proficiency through the TOEFL or IELTS tests must enroll in the TESL 500 English class, regardless of their test score. However, they may later waive this course if they pass an additional English test on the first day of classes.

B. APU English placement test

You can also demonstrate English proficiency by taking a placement test through the American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI). This placement test is administered on campus. Please contact ALCI office at +1-626-812-3069 for schedules, fees, and locations for APU English placement test.

– OR –

3. Completion of an intensive English language program at APU

The American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI) is an intensive English language program at APU. If you are academically qualified for undergraduate or graduate admission to APU and you choose to fulfill your English proficiency requirement through study in the ALCI program, you will be offered “conditional” admission to the university. Successful completion of Level 4 is a minimum proficiency for the undergraduate program and Level 6 is for the graduate program to continue academic programs after ALCI studies. You must submit a separate application for ALCI. Learn more about the ALCI application process.