English Proficiency Requirements

Students whose native language is not English must meet Washburn's English Proficiency Requirement. Any of the following can be used to satisfy this requirement.

  1. English Test Scores
    • TOEFL iBT score of 72 (18 average of Listening and Speaking, 17 for Reading, and 19 for Writing)
    • IELTS of 6.0 or above with no section score below 6.0
    • PTE of 49 or above with no section score below 40.
    • SAT of 480 on the Evidence-based Reading/Writing section and an interview (can be online) with IEP Coordinator, International Programs Director, or International Programs Coordinator of Recruiting and Retention
    • ACT English section score of 22 or above and an interview (can be online) with IEP Coordinator, International Programs Director, or International Programs Coordinator of Recruiting and Retention
    • Duolingo English Test (DET) – Overall Score of 95 with no placement scores below 95 being calculated according to the following chart:

Writing Placement

Reading Placement Speaking/Listening Placement
Average of Literacy and Production scores Average of Literacy and Comprehension scores Average of the following sets of scores: (Conversation + Compression)/2 and (Conversation + Production)/2

  1. English test scores for graduate students:
    • TOEFL iBT score of at least 80 or 6.5 on the IELTS with balanced sub-scores for students from non-English speaking countries. Please note that certain departments may have higher TOEFL/IELTS requirements. Graduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree at a U.S. institution may be required to take a reading and research course.
  2. Completion of both Level III of all the Intensive English courses at WU with grades of "C" or better.
  3. Completion of an Intensive English Program at another U.S. institution comparable to Washburn's program. Washburn's IEP staff determine the compatibility.
  4. Proof of citizenship from one of the countries on this List of English Speaking Countries.


Please take one of the above tests before or at the time of application to WU.  Send scores directly to WU through the testing website or at the time of the test. If you send unofficial scores to our office by email, you will need to send original soon after test or bring it with you and show upon arrival at WU.  For Duolingo English Test scores, please log in and send your results directly to Washburn University. English proficiency test results are sent to WU before arrival. Students who do not have test scores upon arrival will enter the Intensive English program at Level 1 of the 3 levels.  

Please also note

  • Students who cannot meet the English proficiency requirements will be admitted to the Intensive English Program and placed in classes according to test scores and transcripts. Intensive English course requirements must be taken first before other academic courses. Certain departments may have higher TOEFL requirements needed when you apply to admission for their programs, such as Nursing.
  • Students meeting some but not all section score requirements, see the IE Student Guide for more details.
  • Students who have completed Freshman Composition at another U.S.- based institution are not automatically exempt from Intensive English courses. They may be required to take the reading or speaking/listening course if needed.


Table of Scores needed for direct undergraduate admission (Students not meeting these scores can take Intensive English classes first)



Duolingo 95+

PTE - 49+

Average of Listening and Speaking Subtest Scores





Reading Subtest Scores





Writing Subtest Score





A more detailed table can be found in the IE Student Guide.

Apply Now

After you have read and understood the admission information and are ready to submit an application, you may apply online by choosing an application below. 

Application Deadlines:

Fall (beginning mid-August) -- June 15
Summer (beginning end of May) -- April 1
Spring (beginning mid-January) -- November 15

GET IN TOUCH WITH International Programs

Office of International Programs
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

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