Office of Admissions

Additional requirements for international transfer students

English proficiency

English Proficiency Requirement

International students are required to submit an official TOEFL or IELTS 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 and in general, are not required for transfer students.

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 satisfy both of the following:

  • A minimum grade of B in all high-school-level English writing or literature courses where English is the 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 an ACT English score of 22. Official scores must be sent to the UW directly from ACT or the College Board 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


Transfer applicants for 2018 must submit English proficiency test scores from any exam taken on or before February 15, 2018.

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 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 transfer applicants are required to submit an unofficial high school transcript to verify that College Academic Distribution Requirements have been completed. Students applying online must upload a scanned copy of their high school transcript with their online application. In assessing your application for admission, the Office of Admissions will not consider any high school level grades, marks, and scores if you have earned more than one year of college credit at the time of application. If you have earned less than one year, the high school record will be considered.
  • International transfer applicants attending Washington State community colleges are encouraged to submit an updated transcript with winter quarter grades and credits posted once available. Although this is not a requirement for admission, the updated transcript may help in the review of your application.

Plan your transfer

All students who require a F-1 visa should apply as international students, not as transfer students.

Admission priority will be given to international transfer students who are directly admissible to their academic department or major. Consequently, it is very important for international transfer students to complete as many prerequisites as possible for their intended major before starting at the UW.

International transfer students must satisfy the College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADR) in addition to preparing for their intended major. To learn about the prerequisites for majors offered by the UW, download an Academic Planning Worksheet.

International transfer students applying to competitive majors are strongly recommended to have an alternate (second-choice) major and to have completed some prerequisites for the alternate.