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English Proficiency Requirements

Undergraduate English Proficiency Guidelines

Taking the TOEFL and/or IELTS test is not required for admission for most undergraduate programs.

If you have taken these exams, please send us your scores in order to be exempt from most, but not all, placement tests. Please read the policy below carefully in order to understand our testing requirements.

Your application is evaluated on how well you have performed academically in your educational system at home, not on English proficiency. Upon arrival at Duquesne, you will be required to take English Language Placement Tests. If test results indicate a need for English instruction, you will be enrolled in appropriate courses with the on-campus ESL program. The number of academic courses taken together with any assigned ESL classes will depend upon placement test results. Students with low levels of English should be prepared to take all ESL classes their first or second semesters here.

This system allows you to receive an acceptance to a degree program. If you are interested in a year of ESL classes without applying to a degree program, please visit our ESL website.
The following students will take only the writing test. All other students will take the Writing Test and a standardized test of Listening, Reading, and Grammar.

  • Students who submit a TOEFL score of at least 90 (Internet-based) or 575 (Paper-based)/ taken within one year of admission

  • Students who submit an IELTS score of at least 6.5;

  • Students who have achieved an education in an English-speaking country (subject to review by the English as a Second Language Program).

All international students, including transfer students from American universities, must be cleared by the ESL department before registering for classes.

Graduate Student English Proficiency Guidelines

Duquesne University requires submission of TOEFL or IELTS scores for all applicants whose home language is not English. Additionally, the English as a Second Language Program conducts a review of all students upon arrival to determine individual needs for English instruction to support success in his/her chosen degree program.

The University requires the following minimum scores in each area to be considered for admission. Please note that certain academic programs may require higher scores. Prospective students should consult their program of choice for more information about specific degree requirements.

Graduate students should consult their own departments on the TOEFL or IELTS requirements.

TOEFL: a minimum of 80 on the Internet-based Test (iBT) with no sub-score less than 17, or 550 on the paper-based test. NOTE: The minimum scores may vary according to the academic department.

IELTS: a minimum of 6.5 with no sub-score less than those listed for each area. NOTE: The minimum scores may vary according to the academic department.

Minimum required subscores:

Reading 17 6.5
Writing 17 5.5
Speaking 17 5.5
Listening 17 6.0


Accuplacer- (Grammar, Vocabulary, Reading and Listening - 90 minutes): New undergraduate students without a documented TOEFL score of iBT 90 or higher must take this test upon arrival

Duquesne University ESL Program Writing Test (45 minutes): All new students are required to take this test.

SPEAK Test (Test of Spoken English) (1 hour): New graduate students and all new students in Health Sciences and Nursing must take this test.