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Official policies of St. Mary's University

English Proficiency

Approver(s):

Academic Council

Authorizes release:

Vice President for Administration and Finance

Responsible office:

Academic Affairs

Review cycle:

Annually or as required

Adopted:

Unknown

Last update:

September 2017

Next review:

June 2016

Overview

All international students applicants, whose first language is not English, must demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English by submitting the results of one of the following tests with the indicated minimum scores. The scores must be within six months of the application date. Official scores must be sent directly to St. Mary’s from the testing agency.

English language proficiency exams are not required for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a non-U.S. university in a country* where the primary language of instruction is English, or from those who have earned a high school, college or university degree in the United States.

Note that application of any exemption from or waiver of the exam is done on a case-by-case basis and the University has the discretion to require an English language proficiency exam from any student at any time before or after admission if the facts reasonably lead the University to believe that such is necessary to determine the student’s actual level of English proficiency.

Minimum Scores

For applicants who are not exempt or who have not obtained a waiver the following are the required minimum scores:

Undergraduate

  • PB TOEFL 550
  • CB TOEFL 213
  • IB TOEFL 80
  • IELTS 6

Graduate

  • PB TOEFL 550
  • CB TOEFL 213
  • IB TOEFL 80
  • IELTS 6

Law

  • (See law school admission requirements)

Exceptions to published minimum test scores must be approved by the appropriate Dean and/or the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as applicable.

Students shall be placed into English language classes based upon scores on standardized tests of English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS).

Undergraduate Students

  • IELTS 6-6.4 or TOEFL iBT 60-79 EN 0301*
  • IELTS 6.5-6.9 or TOEFL iBT 80-93 EN 1313**
  • IELTS > 7.0 or TOEFL iBT > 93 EN 1311***
  • International undergraduate students accepted with IELTS scores below 6.0 will be placed in EN 0301

Graduate Students

  • If students are admitted with IELTS scores below 7.0, the following courses will be required
  • IELTS 5-5.9 or TOEFL iBT 80-85 EN 1314**
  • IELTS > 6.0 or TOEFL iBT > 86 no additional coursework
  • It is recommended that no international graduate students be accepted with IELTS scores below 5 or TOEFL iBT scores below 80

Students who cannot be admitted to St. Mary’s because of low test scores on English language proficiency exam shall be referred to a St. Mary’s Program of Intensive English but there is no guarantee of admission to St. Mary’s after completion of the program.

*EN 0301 is a 3-credit hour academic course, but does not count towards an academic degree. If an undergraduate student is placed in EN 0301, he or she must successfully complete the course before continuing to EN 1313, a required course for all undergraduate students.

**EN 1313 is a 3-credit hour academic course that does count towards an undergraduate academic degree, but does not count towards a graduate or law degree. EN 1314 is a 3-credit hour academic course, but does not count towards a graduate or law degree.

***EN1311 is 3-credit hour academic course that does count towards an undergraduate academic degree, but does not count towards a graduate or law degree.

Exempt Countries

The following is a list of the countries that qualify for an exemption from English language proficiency requirements. Students must be a citizen of a country listed below to qualify.

  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Cameroon-Anglophone
  • Canada (All provinces except Quebec)
  • Dominica
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Samoa
  • Scotland
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
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