English Proficiency

International applicants must provide proof of English proficiency. The Graduate College English proficiency requirements are listed below.

Applicants who have received a post-secondary degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction are also exempt. These applicants must provide proof of the language of instruction in order to be exempt.

Beginning in the Fall 2015 semester, applicants may submit either official or unofficial copies of English proficiency scores for initial application evaluation. Applicants should send official scores to UNLV Graduate College through the testing agency, or email your unofficial score reports to internationalgrad@unlv.edu. If you are admitted on unofficial scores, your admission will be conditional upon receiving official exam scores early in the semester of admission.

Test scores must be less than two years old at the time of application.

Acceptable scores that evidence sufficient English proficiency for each test are as follows:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • (Paper-based) Minimum score: 74
  • (Computer-based) Minimum score: 213
  • (Internet-based) Minimum score: 80

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

  • Minimum score: 6.5

Michigan Test of English Language Placement (MTELP)

  • Minimum score: 85

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

  • Minimum score: 65

Note: Graduate departments may require a higher minimum score for admission.

English-Speaking Countries Exempt from Testing

  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Barbuda
  • Belize
  • British Guyana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada (except for Quebec)
  • Dominica
  • Irish Republic
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St. Kitt & Nevis
  • St. Vincent & Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

Policy Exception

Upon the recommendation of the academic department and evidence of academic excellence on the part of the applicant, the Graduate College may accept the following proof of English proficiency scores for applicants with cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher (on a 4.0 grading scale):

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • (Paper-based) Minimum score: 68
  • (Computer-based) Minimum score: 210
  • (Internet-based) Minimum score: 77

Michigan Test of English Language Placement (MTELP)

  • Minimum score: 80

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

  • Minimum score: 55

Any requests for exceptions must be submitted to the Graduate College with support from the academic department/unit chair and graduate coordinator, and a statement explaining evidence of the applicant's academic excellence. Scores lower than those listed above will not be approved. Any students admitted on this type of PEP exception will be required to visit with the UNLV English Language Center (ELC) for an assessment upon arriving on campus and take any courses prescribed by the ELC to remedy any English language deficiencies. Failure to complete prescribed courses within the time frame stipulated by the ELC will result in separation from the university.