Additional requirements for international freshman students

English proficiency

English Proficiency Requirement

International students are required to submit an exam score that meets the UW’s minimum English proficiency requirement. The most competitive applicants will demonstrate a higher level of English proficiency and will have attained the recommended score to be exempt from the UW’s Academic English Program (AEP). English proficiency will be considered in the holistic review process.

The SAT and ACT are not required for international students but we encourage you to submit scores as additional evidence of your academic performance if you have taken either exam.

Exception: International students whose primary and secondary education took place in Australia, Canada (English-speaking provinces), United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, or the U.S. are exempt from this requirement. Students born in one of these countries yet educated elsewhere are still required to satisfy the English proficiency requirement.

Test Score Requirement

TOEFL Internet-based International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Minimum Score Required 76 6.0
Recommended Score 92 or higher 7.0 or higher

Using SAT or ACT Scores as an English Proficiency Alternative

The UW will consider the English proficiency requirement satisfied for students who have both:

  • A minimum grade of B in all high school level English writing or literature courses where English is the primary language of instruction and
  • A minimum score of ACT English 22, SAT Critical Reading 550 (old), or SAT Reading score of 30 (new). Official scores must be sent to the UW directly from the College Board or ACT to satisfy this requirement.

How to Request Scores

The easiest way is to request that the UW receive scores at the time you register for the test. After you have taken the exam, you may still request official scores by contacting the test agency directly. Both TOEFL and IELTS should be sent electronically to the UW from the testing agency.

    The UW’s four-digit code is 4854
    School information for electronic IELTS submission:
    University of Washington, All Campuses
    Undergraduate & Graduate Admission
    Box 355850
    Seattle WA 98195


Freshman applicants for 2017 must submit English proficiency test scores from any exam taken on or before December 31, 2016.

Additional Information

  • Previous ESL coursework or English composition courses, even when taken in the United States or an English speaking country, do not satisfy the English proficiency requirement.
  • Applicants who have not met the minimum English proficiency requirement by the application deadline or who have not taken one of the English proficiency exams by the deadline will not be considered for admission.
  • The University of Washington does not offer conditional admission to students who have not yet met the minimum English proficiency requirement.
  • Plan ahead to take the English proficiency exam since test dates and locations are limited and fill quickly.
  • Use your legal name. If there are any differences in the name on your exam report and your UW application, please notify the Office of Admissions by email and include a scanned copy of your exam report.
  • Official TOEFL and IELTS exam scores are valid for two years from the date of the original exam. If your scores are more than two years old, you will need to take a new exam for admission consideration.

Useful Links

Academic Transcripts

If you are applying online, you should attach an electronic copy of your high school transcript(s) to the online application. Do not mail high school transcripts or mid-year school reports to the Office of Admissions. If you complete a paper application, please mail all transcripts in the same envelope as your application.

How to submit transcripts

Request a paper copy of your transcript or academic record from each high school or secondary school attended for grades 9, 10, and 11 or the equivalent years in your country. Include grade 9 even if it was part of junior (middle) high school in your country. Please do not ask your school for an electronic version of your transcript as most schools cannot provide this. After receiving the transcript, you will need to make an electronic copy yourself using the paper copy provided by your school.

  • Does your school use Naviance or Parchment Exchange? If your high school sends transcripts electronically using Naviance or Parchment Exchange, indicate this on the application by checking “Yes, my high school sends transcripts electronically using Parchment Exchange.” All documents received electronically through Naviance or Parchment Exchange are considered official. If you select this option on the application, you will not be required to attach a copy of your transcript.
  • Already graduated high school? Request a paper copy of your final high school transcript that includes grades 10, 11, and 12 or the equivalent years in your country. You are not required to submit a transcript for grade 9 if you have already graduated high school.
  • Completed secondary school exams (GCSE, O-level, SPM, etc.)? Upload a scanned copy of your final exam certificate or diploma that shows all coursework completed and grades received. Students educated in the British system or other educational systems in which grades are based on comprehensive national exams — GCSE, O-Level, SPM, etc. — must submit a copy of the official exam certificate by the published application deadline.
  • International freshmen who are offered admission will be instructed to send official high school transcripts to the Office of Admissions at a later time. Official transcripts will be carefully reviewed against previously submitted transcripts, and an offer of admission will be rescinded in the case of altered, modified, or falsified documents.

Academic performance

An applicant’s overall academic performance is a major factor in the admissions decision. We do not consider applicants with grades below a C average (2.0 on a 4.0 scale). Although a C average is the minimum requirement for admission consideration, a much stronger academic record is required to be competitive.

  • International freshmen who have taken the GCSE, O-Level, or SPM exams must have an official exam certificate by the December 1 application deadline. Students with preliminary results or predicted grades or those who will not receive the official exam certificate until after December 1 will not be eligible for admission consideration until the following year (2018).
  • Students who are completing advanced-level exams (A-levels, IB Diploma, etc.) may be given priority in admission over candidates who meet only minimum qualifications. Students submitting official advanced-level exam certificates may, upon enrolling at the UW, receive college-level credit for successfully completed exam subjects.