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English Language Proficiency

What Level of Proficiency is Required for Admission?

Part of the application process for international students at both the graduate and undergraduate level is documentation of their proficiency in the English language.

Minimum Requirements

All international applicants whose education has been primarily outside the United States of America must provide objective evidence of proficiency in the English language. However, the following exceptions apply:

1. Applicants primarily educated in the following countries/territories:

Anguilla Guyana
Antigua & Barbuda Ireland
Australia Isle of Man
Bahamas Jamaica
Barbados Jersey
Belize Liberia
British Virgin Islands Montserrat
Canada (except Quebec) New Zealand
Cayman Islands St. Kitts & Nevis
Dominica St. Lucia
Falkland Islands St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Ghana Trinidad & Tobago
Gibraltar Turks & Caicos Islands
Grenada United Kingdom
Guernsey United States Territories

2. Applicants who have recently completed three years of full-time study at a secondary institution in the U.S. may be exempted from this requirement after supporting academic records have been reviewed by the Admissions Office.  Or, International Baccalaureate (IB) applicants to Kent State may satisfy this requirement by attaining a minimum score of 5 in the Diploma Programme higher level or a minimum score of 6 in the standard level English language examinations.

3. Applicants who have recently completed two years of full-time study at a post-secondary institution in the U.S. may be exempted from this requirement after supporting academic records have been reviewed by the International Admissions Office.

Any request for a waiver of the English language proficiency requirement must be submitted in writing to the Admissions Office with any supporting documentation.

Kent State University reserves the right to require evidence of English language proficiency for all applicants, the adequacy of which shall be at the sole discretion of Kent State University.

All undergraduate applicants must obtain a minimum TOEFL score of 525 (71 on the Internet based version), minimum MELAB score of 77 or IELTS score of 6.0, or PTE Academic score of 48.

Applicants whose scores do not meet the above criteria may enroll in Kent State University's English as a Second Language program. Kent State’s English as a Second Language Center offers quality intensive English instruction that prepares students to succeed in an English-speaking academic environment.

Specific Graduate Program Requirements

All graduate applicants must obtain a minimum TOEFL score of 525 (71 on the Internet-based version) or a minimum MELAB score of 77 or IELTS score of 6.0 for full-time academic admission, with the following exceptions: 

General Graduate Program Exceptions to the Minimum English Proficiency Requirement

College/School

TOEFL (Paper-based)

TOEFL (Internet-based)

IELTS

MELAB

Pearson Test of English

Conditional Admission

College of Education, Health and Human Services
550
80 with no subscore below 20
6.5 80 N/A
  • Cultural Foundations
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Administration
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Sport and Recreation Management
College of Communication & Information (PhD programs) 600

580 - Conditional 100

90 - Conditional 7.0 80 N/A

Graduate School of Management (College of Business Administration) 550 - Master's

600 - PhD 79 - Master's

100 - PhD 6.5 - Master's

7.0 - PhD 80 - Master's

88 - PhD

68 - PhD
N/A

Specific Graduate Program Exceptions to the Minimum English Proficiency Requirement

Program

TOEFL (Paper-based)

TOEFL (Internet-based)

IELTS

MELAB

Arabic Translation
550 80 6.5 77
Architecture 550 79 6.5 80
Biological Sciences 580 92 7.0 88
Biomedical Sciences
600 100 7.0 85
Communication Studies
(MA program)
580
92
6.5 88

English
600
100
7.0
88

Fashion 560 83 6.5 80
Journalism & Mass Communications
600
100
7.0
N/A

Library & Information Sciences
600

550 – conditional admission
100

80– conditional admission
7.0

6.5 – conditional admission
88

80 – conditional admission

Nursing (MSN Program)
560
83 6.5
80

Nursing (PhD Program)
550

525 – conditional admission 79

71 – conditional admission 6.5

6.0 – conditional admission 80

77 – conditional admission
Philosophy 600 100 7.0 88
Physics
560
83
6.5
80

Political Science
550
79
6.5
80

Public Administration
550
79
6.5
80

Public Health
600
100
7.0
88

Teaching English as a Second Language
575 89 7.0 88
Translation (PhD level)
600
100
7.0
88

English as a Second Language (ESL) at Kent State

An English program is offered for the non-native speaker through Kent State’s English as a Second Language Center. The ESL intensive program is unique and individualized, offering well-designed courses tailored to each student’s linguistic and professional needs.
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