English Proficiency Requirements

All students graduating from non-English-speaking institutions or from programs not taught in English and applying for graduate admission to Azusa Pacific University—with the exception of APU-approved programs in languages other than English—are required to submit proof of sufficient English proficiency. One proof of proficiency is the successful completion of the international Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination. Other options to prove proficiency follow the TOEFL information.

The following minimum scores on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) are required for admission to master’s-level and credential programs:

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 22
  • Speaking: 22
  • Writing: 24

The following minimum scores on the iBT are required for admission to doctoral programs:

  • Listening: 25
  • Reading: 25
  • Speaking: 25
  • Writing: 25

The iBT must be taken no more than two years before the start of an APU program. Specific graduate departments may require a higher score. See specific program areas for more information.

If the applicant scores below the minimum in one or more of the skill areas, the individual can retake the TOEFL test, take the APU American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI) placement test, or consider studying for and passing the highest level in ALCI prior to full-time entry into the graduate program.

An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score can also be used as a verification of English proficiency. For regular admission, a minimum score of 7 is required.

Applicants studying full time and earning 48 units (not including ESL units) in an English-speaking university immediately prior to applying to APU may be eligible to have the English proficiency exam requirement waived. Verification of English as the language of instruction is required.

In addition, students must enroll in TESL 500 during their first term at Azusa Pacific University regardless of English proficiency exam score. During the first class session, students have an opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in English; if they meet this, they can waive the class.

If, while in classes, it is determined that the student’s ability to communicate and participate in English is below the necessary standard, an instructor may refer him/her to the department chair, who may require him/her to seek assistance from the ALCI, which may lead to enrollment in a noncredit program at the student’s expense.