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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.

English testing requirements for admitted international students
  • English composition testing: With few exceptions, international students (including those who were exempted from English proficiency requirements) are required to sit for an ESL Composition Placement Test upon arrival. Please read about score minimums, exemptions and other details for graduate or post-baccalaureate professional students or for undergraduate students.
  • Oral Proficiency Assessment for Graduate Teaching Associates: Graduate students for whom English is not their first language must certify their proficiency in spoken English before assuming Graduate Teaching Associate duties. Learn about score minimums, exemptions and other details of the Oral Proficiency Assessment.
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.