English Language Proficiency and Exemptions
English Language Proficiency Requirement
It is highly recommended that international freshman applicants take the SAT test to fulfill the English language proficiency requirement. Submitting SAT scores will also assist in determining scholarship eligibility and providing an early admissions decision.
All applicants who did not graduate from native English-speaking countries will be required to provide adequate proof of English Language Proficiency. The University of Houston considers the countries listed below to have English as their native language. If you country is not listed, your proof of English Language Proficiency must be received by the University by the application deadline.
The English language proficiency requirement may be fulfilled by one of the following:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) www.toefl.org
The minimum TOEFL score required is 550 (paper-based test) or 79 (internet-based test). TOEFL scores must be received directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS). The University of Houston's ETS Institutional Code is 6870.
- IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) www.ielts.org
The minimum IELTS score required is an overall band score of a 6.5. The testing agency should mail the official results directly to the University of Houston.
- UH Language and Culture Center www.lcc.uh.edu
Completion of Level 6 of the University of Houston’s Language and Culture Center.
- Freshman ONLY - SAT I - Minimum SAT I Total (Critical Reading + Math) = 1100, with minimum Critical Reading = 500, and minimum Math = 500. Scores should be sent through The College Board (code 6870).
ExemptionsApplicants are exempt from the English Language Proficiency Requirement if they meet any of the following criteria:
- Earned a high school diploma, Associates of Arts, Associates of Science or bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited U.S. high school, college or university. Please note that completion of a GED does not waive the English Language Requirement.
- Completed the equivalent of a high school education or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree* in one of the following countries:
Recognized English-speaking Countries
Anguilla Fiji Islands St. Vincent & the Grenadines Antigua Grenada St. Kitts & Nevis Australia Guyana Bahamas Barbados Jamaica Trinidad Belize Liberia Trinidad & Tobago Bermuda Montserrat United Kingdom British Virgin Islands New Zealand U.S. Virgin Islands Canada (English-speaking provinces) Sierra Leone West Indies Cayman Islands South Africa Zimbabwe Dominica St. Lucia
* Associate's degrees earned from the above countries do not apply to the English Language Proficiency Requirement exemption.