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English proficiency requirement

Undergraduate students

All undergraduate applicants to the University of Washington Tacoma for whom English is a non-native language must provide proof of English language proficiency. This includes international applicants and domestic applicants whose first language is not English or who completed primary and secondary education outside of the U.S. Applicants can fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of four ways:

1. Submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores at or above the following minimum scores

Test

Minimum score 

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (Internet-based)*

83

TOEFL (paper-based)

558

TOEFL (computer-based)

220

International English Language Testing System (IELTS - academic only)

6.5

The TOEFL institution code for University of Washington Tacoma is 9965. (Note: Graduate students should send TOEFL results to code 4854).

2. Submit official SAT or ACT scores at or above the following minimum scores

Test

Minimum score 

SAT: Critical Reading (SAT CR) or Writing (SAT W)

500

ACT: Combined English/Writing (ACT E/W) score

22

3. Transfer students can fulfill the English proficiency requirement based on classes if ALL of the following apply:

  • Enter as a transfer student at UW Tacoma with at least 30 transferable college-level credits from another accredited U.S. higher education institution; AND
  • Earn a 2.75 or higher overall grade point average in transfer coursework (GPA); AND
  • Complete two college-level English composition classes with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in each course.

 

4. Successful completion of the University of Washington Intensive English Program

  • Achieved a minimum grade of 80 percent for each upper division academic preparation course; AND
  • Obtained recommendation from the senior director of the UW International and English Language Programs.

Exceptions:

  • International students whose primary and secondary education took place in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States are exempt from this requirement. Students who were born in one of these countries but were educated elsewhere are still required to satisfy the English proficiency requirement.
  • The university reserves the right to request TOEFL or IELTS scores in cases where the admissions office determines that more information regarding an applicant’s English language proficiency is needed.
  • These are pre-major requirements and academic departments may have additional requirements. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the admissions requirements for their chosen major: http://www.tacoma.uw.edu/about-uw-tacoma/academics

Milgard School of Business applicants:

Undergraduate transfer applicants to the Milgard School of Business are required to submit at least one test score to apply to the business major:

  • Writing Skills Assessment (WSA) test – can take on any UW campus
  • TOEFL (minimum 83 ibT, 558 paper-based, 220 computer-based)
  • IELTS (minimum 6.5 overall)

The TOEFL or IELTS test results can be submitted to the Office of Admission with the general application, and the Milgard School will be able to review the results when they consider an application to the major.

Graduate students

Students applying to a graduate (master's level or higher) program at UW Tacoma must follow the UW Graduate School guidelines for English proficiency.