English language proficiency requirement

Having a strong understanding of the English language is important for success at UC. That’s why we want to make sure you can demonstrate English proficiency before you attend one of our campuses.

How do I know if I need to meet this requirement? 

If all of your high school/secondary school education was completed in English, you are considered proficient and do not need to satisfy this requirement.

However, if you've completed some high school or secondary school in a country where English was not the language of instruction, you will be required to demonstrate English proficiency if you have had less than 3 years of instruction in English.

How do I demonstrate English proficiency?

You can demonstrate proficiency by meeting any of the following exam benchmarks. Keep in mind that you must complete one of these exams by December of your final year of high school/secondary school and submit scores by the following January.

  • Score 24 or higher for the ACT combined English/Writing or English Language Arts (ELA)
  • Score 560 or higher on the Writing section of the SAT Reasoning test or a score of 31 or higher on Writing and Language in the SAT with Essay (the new SAT, taken March 2016 or later)
  • Score 3, 4 or 5 on the AP examination in English Language and Composition, or English Literature and Composition
  • Score 6 or 7 on the IB Standard Level examination in English: Literature, or Language and Literature
  • Score 5, 6 or 7 on the IB Higher Level examination in English: Literature, or Language and Literature
  • Score 80 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a score of 550 on the paper-based test
  • Score 6.5 or higher on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Information for international students

You are an international student if you are not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident. 

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