Evidence of English Language Proficiency

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Evidence of English Language Proficiency (Non-Native English Speakers)  

Applicants residing in countries where English is not the official language or applicants whose native language* is not English, even if they are U.S. citizens or permanent residents with international credentials, are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. English Language proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following ways.

  • The applicant holds (or will earn before starting at Howard) at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in the United States; or 
  • The applicant holds (or will earn before starting at Howard) at least a bachelor’s degree from a foreign university where English is the language of instruction AND the official language of the country where the university is located. View a list of English-speaking countries here; or  
  • Submission of an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report with a minimum score of 233 CBT (computer-based test) or 90 iBT (internet-based test). Howard University’s institutional code is 5297. Send your TOEFL score report via the TOEFL website; or 
  • Submission of an official International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) score report with a minimum overall band score of 6.5, with no individual band score below 6.0.

*Native language is a person's primary language while growing up in their family, community, and nation.
 

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Sending TOEFL or IELTS Scores to Howard 

The TOEFL and IELTS scores are the only standard measures of English proficiency accepted by Howard University for admission consideration.  Your scores are valid only if earned within two years of your intended first term at Howard. It may take a few weeks from the time you submit your ETS order for test scores up until the date your applicant record is updated, so do make every effort to order your scores earlier on in the application process. Special Accommodations: The Educational Testing Service (TOEFL) and the British Council (IELTS) provide accommodations for students with disabilities.  

⇲ Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 

Applicants should send their official TOEFL score electronically through ETS to Howard’s institution code 5297 (No department code is required).  The Educational Testing Service administers TOEFL. You can obtain detailed information from the TOEFL website or contact TOEFL Services, Educational Testing Service, (609) 771-7100. 

⇲ International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 

For applicants submitting the IELTS, select “Howard University” from the available institutions when you register to take the IELTS test. Howard’s Office of Admissions receives IELTS scores using the IELTS Results Service E-Delivery. Applicants should contact their test center and request that their scores be sent to the “Howard University” account.  To register for the IELTS, consult the IELTS website to locate the office of the test center where you plan to take the test. 

Minimum TOEFL and IELTS Scores 

To establish English proficiency, you are required to submit an official qualifying score meeting the minimum Graduate School requirements noted below. The Graduate School's English Language Proficiency requirements are a minimum score standard. Graduate programs can set more stringent minimum scores than the Graduate School. You are expected to learn and meet the requirements set by your program of interest.  

TOEFL iBT TOEFL CBT IELTS
Minimum Required Score 90 233 6.5

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Exemptions from TOEFL or IELTS Scores 

The following applicants are exempt from submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores. Applicants meeting any of the following conditions, do not need to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.  

  • The applicant holds (or will earn before starting at Howard) at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in the United States; or 
  • The applicant holds (or will earn before starting at Howard) at least a bachelor’s degree from a foreign university where English is the language of instruction AND the official language of the country where the university is located. View a list of English-speaking countries here.

English Language Proficiency FAQ 

Do I need to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score if I have earned or am currently earning my bachelor's/master's/doctoral degree from a U.S. university? 


If you hold (or will earn before starting at Howard) a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, you are not required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score as a part of your application.  

I have not earned a degree from a U.S. university, but my university did offer instruction in English. Am I still required to take the TOEFL or IELTS? 


We will waive the English language testing requirement for applicants who attended a foreign university that offered instruction in English. Howard University’s Office of Admissions will review and approve requests made on this basis.  

I have not taken the TOEFL/IELTS exam yet. When do I have to take it so that I can still be considered for admission? 


Graduate program application review committees meet at various times to review the applications they have received. Please check with the Director of Graduate Studies in the graduate program to which you are applying to determine when your application must be complete for consideration. Please note that it can take several weeks for official scores to be issued. We recommend applicants for whom the TOEFL/IELTS is required take the TOEFL or IELTS and submit scores to Howard’s Office of Admissions as early as possible to avoid delays.  

I already sent in my official TOEFL/IELTS exam scores, but I have retaken the exam and earned new scores. Can I send in the new scores to be added to my application? 


If you request that ETS provide Howard University Office of Admissions with a new official score report, your new scores will be added to your application record. However, consider contacting the graduate program first to make certain that your new scores will arrive in time to be considered. 

If I apply to more than one graduate degree program in Howard’s Graduate School, do I need to send more than one TOEFL/IELTS score? 


No. Test scores are matched to your applicant record. If you have sent your scores and they have been matched to your record, they will be added to all applications you submit.