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English proficiency requirements

Success at Ohio State depends upon your ability to converse in, write and understand English. To assure such competence, the university requires any applicant whose native language is not English, and who has been educated primarily outside of the U.S., to submit official TOEFL, MELAB or IELTS scores. To be considered “official,” scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to Ohio State.

Minimum English proficiency requirements are as follows:

  • TOEFL:
    At least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL
    At least 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)
    Official score results must be sent directly from ETS. Ohio State’s institutional code is 1592.
  • MELAB:
    At least 82 on the MELAB
    Official score results must be sent directly from Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments.
  • IELTS:
    At least a 7.0 on the IELTS exam
    Official score results must be sent directly from IELTS. Designate The Ohio State University as a Test Report Form recipient.

Many graduate programs require a score above these minimums. Check your program's score requirement by finding your program and looking under the Criteria tab or by visiting the program's website.


Applicants who are citizens of or who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher from one of the following countries are exempt from the English proficiency requirement: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, the United States and Wales.

Conditional admission

In rare instances, conditional admission may be granted for international applicants whose English language proficiency is marginally below the university’s required levels (all other admissions requirements must be met). Such conditional admission is premised on program and Graduate School approval, and the applicant’s successful completion of Ohio State’s American Language Program (ALP).

American Language Program

Ohio State has an intensive English program for students who wish to improve their language skills called the American Language Program. A separate application is required for this program.

Read about English language support at Ohio State on the Welcome page.