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English proficiency for international transfer applicants

International students are required to submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score that meets the UW’s minimum English proficiency requirement. Strong 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 is considered in the holistic review of applications.

Exams must be taken on or before February 15 of the year of application, and scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to the UW. Plan ahead—test dates and locations are limited and fill quickly.

Test score requirement

TOEFL (iBT) IELTS
Minimum score required 76 6.0
Recommended score 92 or higher 7.0 or higher

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

Alternatives to TOEFL or IELTS: Using SAT or ACT scores for English proficiency

The UW will consider the English proficiency requirement met for students who satisfy both of the following statements:

  • A minimum average grade of B in all high-school-level English writing or literature courses where English was the primary language of instruction for all grade 10-12 classes taught at the school and
  • A minimum SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score of 580 or ACT English score of 22. Official scores must be sent to the UW directly from ACT or the College Board to satisfy this requirement.

Deadline for submitting exam scores

International transfer applicants for autumn 2020 are required to have official test scores sent to the UW from any TOEFL or IELTS taken on or before February 15, 2019.

Applicants should list the UW as a score recipient when you register for the exam so official scores will be sent from the testing agency to the UW as soon as they become available. We will accept all test scores from exams taken on or before February 15, 2019 as meeting the deadline.

How to request scores

The UW must receive your official TOEFL or IELTS scores directly from the testing agency. You may request scores be sent to the UW at the time you register for the test. If you have already taken the exam, you may request official scores by contacting TOEFL or IELTS directly. Scores should be sent to the UW electronically.

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

Frequently Asked Questions about English Proficiency

I completed English coursework at my high school. Do I need to submit an English proficiency test score?

Previous ESL coursework or English composition courses, even when taken in the U.S. or an English speaking country, do not satisfy the English proficiency requirement.

Will the UW consider TOEFL’s MyBest score to meet the minimum English proficiency score requirement? Does the UW superscore English proficiency exam scores

  • We will not consider TOEFL’s MyBest score to meet the minimum English proficiency requirement for freshmen admission at this time. Although we are reviewing our policy and collecting data about the MyBest scores, applicants applying for autumn 2020 should plan on meeting the minimum English proficiency requirement for admission with scores from a single test date.
  • The UW does not superscore English proficiency exams at this time for transfer applicants. We are reviewing our policy and will update this information if any changes are made.

If my score is below the minimum proficiency requirement, is that okay? Can I still apply if my score is too low? Do you offer conditional admissions?

  • Applicants who have not met the minimum English proficiency requirement by the February 15 deadline or who have not taken an English proficiency exam will not be considered for admission.
  • The UW does not offer conditional admissions. All applicants must submit qualifying English proficiency exam scores by the February 15 deadline. Applicants who do not meet the requirement by the deadline will not be considered for admission.

There are no open registration dates left before February 15, what should I do? The testing center nearest where I live is full, what should I do?

We strongly recommend you plan ahead and register early for a TOEFL or IELTS exam. We will not consider exams taken after February 15. Test centers fill up quickly and space is limited. If a test date or center is full, keep checking the test site since space may open up when other students cancel. Be safe and plan ahead so you can take the test well before the deadline.

I know I sent my test scores to the UW but I don’t see my scores when I check my application information through MyUW. Is there a problem? Do I need to send the scores again?

  • Always use your legal name as it appears on your passport when registering for any exam. Review your name as it appears on your exam report to confirm whether there are any differences between how that name appears and the name on your UW application. If you find any differences, please email the Office of Admissions at intladm@uw.edu and include a scanned copy of your exam report.
  • The UW considers self-reported test scores from the UW application, so you do not need to send scores again unless the UW asks you to send them again. Official scores will be required for any applicant who is offered admission, but we will use unofficial or self-reported scores to complete our evaluation and holistic review of applications.

How long are TOEFL and IELTS valid? I took the TOEFL/IELTS more than 2 years ago, do I need to take an exam again? Will my scores be considered official if they will expire after February 15?

  • The UW requires official test scores for all applicants. TOEFL and IELTS exams 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 to be considered for admission.
  • If your scores are valid through February 15 but will expire before classes begin in September, be sure to have TOEFL or IELTS send official scores to the UW before they expire. We will consider your scores official as long as they are sent to the UW before they expire.