Mini FAQ on English proficiency requirements for international students

If you are an international applicant, English proficiency is critical. English proficiency is critical not only for classroom interactions but also when you are involved in the recruiting/interviewing process. Below are common Qs we receive on English proficiency for international applicants:

Do you accept the IELTS?

The Ohio State University accepts the TOEFL, IELTS, and MELAB. For your scores to be valid, they must be no older than two years at the time of your application.

I scored XXX on the TOEFL or I scored X.X on the IELTS. Can I gain admission to your program?

First, we do not make admission decisions based on a single criterion. EVERYthing in your application is reviewed as part of an admission decision. Second, see a previous blog post on recommended scores on the TOEFL or IELTS to be minimally competitive on this criterion.

My entire instruction at the undergraduate level was in English. Do I need to submit English test scores (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB)?

You are exempt from taking an English proficiency test, such as, TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS, if you have established citizenship in one of the following countries: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean, British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, and the United States. US Green Card holders (“permanent residents”) are exempt from taking an English proficiency test if they have held permanent residency status for at least one year prior to their quarter of enrollment.

If you are eligible to receive a 4 year bachelor’s degree or higher from one of the countries listed above, then you are exempt from taking an English proficiency test. Please note: It is not required that you must have your degree completed from one of the exempt countries at the time you are applying for admission. However, you must have completed your degree prior to your quarter of enrollment.

If your country is not listed as any of the exempt counties, you must take the English proficiency test.

May I be conditionally admitted before receiving an acceptable score on the TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB tests?

No. The Ohio State University does not admit applicants who have not met the requirement for proof of English proficiency. Those applicants required to submit TOEFL, MELAB or IELTS scores must do so before they will be reviewed for an admission decision and can be officially admitted.

I hope this information helps. If you have any questions, please let us know!


4 Responses to “Mini FAQ on English proficiency requirements for international students”


  1. 1 mehenni samir January 23, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Hi,
    could you please explain me how I can be accepted in the department of English in OSU.I have got bachelor of English literature in Algeria university.I am living in columbus and i have come to USA since last September.I want to continue my study .
    I am so interested by this subject,so please reply as soon as possible.
    Thanks

  2. 2 Rob February 1, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Thank you for your interest in Ohio State. Unfortunately, we can only answer Qs about the master of finance program – the graduate programs in English are administered through the Department of English. Its website is http://english.osu.edu/students/grad/prospectivegrads.cfm. Also, you should also call the Grad School at 614-202-9444 for additional admissions info. Good luck!

  3. 3 Nhieu Bui February 25, 2013 at 5:45 am

    I have few question about the English proficiency requirement. My problem is: I apply as the international student transferring to your undergraduate program. I have a diploma in US high school, AS in US community college and BA in US university on August 2013. The admission counselor requires me to take a toefl before the deadline because I don’t have the BA degree in my hand at that time. (More over if I have the BA degree my I-20 will be invalid because I completed my study, and can’t stay in US any more). But as you said above it’s okie to apply while earning the BA degree (that’s more sense to me). So, which one will be the right track for me?

  4. 4 Rob March 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    The Ohio State University Graduate School does not require international applicants to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores as part of their applications IF those applicants have or will earn a degree from an accredited four year university in the U.S. prior to the start of the graduate program for which they are applying. Below is the official policy of the OSU Graduate School:

    You are exempt from taking an English proficiency test, such as, TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS, if you have established citizenship in one of the following countries: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean, British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, and The United States. US Green Card holders are exempt from taking an English proficiency test if they have held the Green Card at least one year prior to their quarter of enrollment.

    If you are eligible to receive a 4 year bachelor’s degree or higher from one of the countries listed above, then you are exempt from taking an English proficiency test. Please note: It is not required that you must have your degree completed from one of the exempt countries at the time you are applying for admission. However, you must have completed your degree prior to your quarter of enrollment.

    If your country is not listed as any of the exempt counties, you must take the English proficiency test.

    If you have any additional Qs on the TOEFL/IELTS policy for the university, please contact the Graduate School directly at +1-614-292-9444.

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