English Language Proficiency Requirements
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities requires students who meet certain criteria to demonstrate a command of the English language. This is necessary for success in college-level classes taught in English. Applicants who are required to submit English language proficiency test results when they apply for undergraduate admissions are:
- International students (temporary visa holders) except for those from an exempt country.
- Non-international students whose first language is not English and/or who have been studying in schools in the U.S. for less than 4 years by the time of enrollment at the University of Minnesota.
Please note: an English proficiency test may be waived if applicants meet the English proficiency requirements in an alternate way; for instance, ACT or SAT results, transfer courses from other U.S. institutions, specific high school curriculums, or country of origin. See below for more information on ways to meet this requirement.
Applicants can find out if they need to take an English proficiency test by checking their Application Tracker.
English Proficiency Test Options
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities accepts the results from the English language proficiency tests listed below. Registration information is available at each test's website.
Minimum Required Scores for Admission
|Test||Test Score||Writing Subscore|
|Pearson Test of Academic English (PTE Academic)||59||59|
|Cambridge Assessment English (CAE) C1 Advanced||180||180|
All undergraduate programs at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities require a specific minimum score for admission. The Carlson School of Management will not admit applicants who have not met both the Total Score and Writing Subscore requirements. Some undergraduate programs may admit students with lower scores.
Exemption by Country
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Canada (except Quebec)
- Cayman Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland
- Shetland Islands
- St. Kitts-Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- U.S. Territories including American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands
High School Curriculum
Students that have enrolled in and completed accelerated English coursework such as AP English, A-level English or IB English Language and Literature within or outside of the United States may be exempted from providing an English proficiency test.
ACT or SAT
Applicants who have exceeded the following minimum required scores on ACT or SAT may be exempted from the English proficiency test. (Submitting an ACT/SAT score is not required for applicants through fall 2025.)
|ACT||Minimum Required Score|
|Both English & Reading||21|
|SAT||Minimum Required Score|
|Evidence Based Reading & Writing||540|
|Writing & Language||28|
U.S. Transfer Coursework
Transfer applicants may be exempt from the English proficiency test if they have successfully completed one of the following:
- 26 or more transferable semester credits at a two or four-year post-secondary institution in the United States AND the equivalent of the U of MN first-year English writing course requirement with a grade of C or better; OR
- 60 or more transferable semester credits at a two or four-year postsecondary institution in the United States
The English proficiency test exemption may be granted on a case-by-case basis upon successful completion of one full year of transferable credits from a U.S. institution even if the applicant has not met one of the requirements stated above. Contact the Office of Admissions with questions.
Current MELP Students
Students who currently enroll in the Minnesota English Language Program (MELP) Intensive English Program (IEP) may use their grades, coursework and End of Term Assessment (ETA) scores or the Minnesota Battery (MNBat) in lieu of other English proficiency test results. This is for students who are applying for degree admission while enrolled in MELP. Students who leave the program and apply for admission for a later term may need to submit other evidence of English proficiency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I exempt from the English proficiency test requirement?
Applicants will know if an English proficiency test is required via Application Tracker.
An English proficiency test may be waived if applicants meet the English proficiency requirements in an alternate way; for instance, ACT or SAT results, transfer courses from other U.S. institutions, specific high school curriculums, or country of origin. See above for more information on Other Ways to Meet English Proficiency Requirements.
I’m a US citizen or permanent resident. Do I need to take an English proficiency test?
If you have been studying in the United States for less than 4 years, you may be required to submit the results of an English proficiency test. An English proficiency test may be waived if you meet the English proficiency requirements in alternate ways. Review “Alternate ways to meet English Proficiency Requirements > Exemption by Country.”
How do I know whether or not I have completed more than 26 transferable semester credits and the course equivalent to the U of M first-year writing course at a U.S. institution?
To determine if your classes will transfer to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and if your class is the equivalent of the U of M first year or freshman writing requirement, please visit transferology.com. Transferology is a transfer credit database that lists all transfer courses previously evaluated by the U of M Twin Cities.
You will need to create an account, and place the credits you are inquiring about into the "Will My Courses Transfer" section. Once these courses are entered, click search for matches and find the University of Minnesota Twin cities. Select the percentage rate that is shown. Transferology now will bring up a list of what courses will transfer, and what they will transfer as. For the English proficiency requirement, you will check if the course is listed as a First Year Writing Course.
Note: Currently, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities does not provide international transfer credit evaluation through Transferology.
What if my English proficiency score does not meet the minimum required scores?
All undergraduate programs at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities require a specific minimum score for admission. The Carlson School of Management will not admit applicants who have not met both the Total Score and Writing Subscore requirements.
Some undergraduate programs and colleges may admit students with lower scores. After they are admitted and confirm their enrollment, they can fulfill the University of Minnesota English proficiency requirements. We place an AZ hold on these student's University of Minnesota accounts.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are otherwise eligible for admission to the President's Emerging Scholars (PES) Program in the College of Education and Human Development may study English through the College English Transitions program. International students on visas are not eligible for this program.
College English Transitions is a freshman program at the U of M for students who are non-native speakers of English. The program is designed to help students build academic English skills while taking a sequence of typical President's Emerging Scholars Program courses, including: freshman writing, speech, and reading courses connected to biology, sociology, chemistry, and psychology. All courses offer college credit and fulfill U of M requirements. For more information regarding the College English Transitions program, contact 612-625-0772 or cehd.umn.edu/trio/cet.
Some international freshman applicants whose English proficiency test scores do not meet the University's minimum requirements are automatically considered for Conditional Admission to the University of Minnesota based on a review of their completed application for admission. Review "Conditional Admissions for International Freshmen” below.
What is an AZ hold on my student account?
The AZ hold is a reminder that degree-seeking undergraduate students who did not meet the University of Minnesota's English proficiency requirements at the time of admittance still need to fulfill the requirements. The AZ hold does not mean you have been offered Conditional Admission.
You can clear your AZ hold by doing any one of the following:
- Enroll in the required English language course during your first semester in addition to your other academic courses. Before your orientation, an advisor from the Minnesota English Language Program (MELP) will reach out to you with more information on which course to register for. You will then register for the course when you register for the other courses in your major during orientation. Contact MELP at [email protected] for more information.
- Take an English proficiency test administered by the University’s Minnesota English Language Program (MELP) upon arrival to campus. If you feel your English has improved since your last exam, you have the option of taking the Minnesota Battery Test when you arrive on campus. There is a $45 fee for the test. Depending on your test results, you may still be required to take an English language course during your first semester in your degree program, in addition to courses in your major. Contact MELP at [email protected] for more information.
- Submit a more recent English proficiency test score if you have one that meets the University of Minnesota standard, you can submit the official test score to the Office of Admissions. Both total score and writing subscore must meet or exceed the minimum required scores.
- If you are a transfer student and have completed more than 26 transferable semester credits at a U.S. school as well as a freshman writing course equivalent to the U of M freshman composition course or have completed 60 or more total transferable credits, submit your official transcript to the Office of Admissions.
Conditional Admissions for International Freshman
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities offers conditional admission to a limited number of academically qualified fall term international freshman applicants who require additional English language instruction in order to be successful degree-seeking students at the University of Minnesota. This program is intended for students whose English language proficiency test scores indicate they would benefit from an entire year of intensive English language instruction.
Students accepted to this program complete one year of intensive English language study at the University's Minnesota English Language Program (MELP). After one year, program participants who have demonstrated high enough English proficiency are admitted for the following fall semester as a degree-seeking student.
For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions about Conditional Admission.
Note: The University of Minnesota Twin Cities does not offer Conditional Admission for transfer applicants. Transfer applicants may apply for a later term after they have completed the English proficiency requirement.
What is the minimum required English proficiency test score for Conditional Admission?
|Test||Minimum Total Score|
|TOEFL iBT (U of M test code: 6874)||53|
|CAE C1 Advanced||160|
These scores have been determined by experienced English Language instructors and researchers within the University's Minnesota English Language Program (MELP), and they reflect how much progress can be expected in one year of intensive English language study.
Can I be considered for Conditional Admission? How do I apply for Conditional Admission?
Conditional Admissions may be available for an international freshman applicant. To be considered for Conditional Admission, submit a complete application for freshman admission to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities by the application deadlines.
We offer Conditional Admission to a limited number of academically qualified international freshman applicants who require additional English language instruction in order to be successful degree-seeking students at the University of Minnesota. Conditional admission is offered for fall semester only. This program is intended for students whose English language proficiency test scores indicate they would benefit from an entire year of intensive English language instruction.
For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions about Conditional Admission.
Can I study English language at the University of Minnesota before applying for freshman or transfer admission?
Yes. The University's Minnesota English Language Program (MELP) offers an Intensive English Language program for international students wishing to improve their English skills before applying for admission. Students who take English language courses at the MELP have access to the University's many resources and facilities. Classes are small, instructors are highly qualified, and students will receive advising and support services designed specifically for them. More information on the MELP is available below.
Minnesota English Language Program (MELP)
University of Minnesota
College of Continuing & Professional Studies
20 Nicholson Hall
216 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Email: [email protected]