English Proficiency Requirements

Students whose native language is not English must demonstrate or gain English proficiency in order to study at Azusa Pacific University. There are several ways to demonstrate and fulfill the English proficiency requirement:

1. Prior studies in English

Students can demonstrate English proficiency by verifying that their prior studies (secondary or postsecondary school) were conducted in English. Students must verify all of the following:

  • Completed at least 48 academic semester units without ESL support/classes.
  • Studies in English ended no more than two years before applying to APU.
  • The language of instruction was English.

To verify these points, students must provide academic transcripts along with an official letter from the institution where they studied stating that the language of instruction was English.

2. English testing by one of the following two options:

A. International standardized English tests (TOEFL and IELTS)

Students can demonstrate English proficiency by submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score report that meets or exceeds the requirements listed below. The university considers the component scores for admissions.


  Total (Top Score: 9)
Conditional1 5.5
Undergraduate 6.0
Graduate 7
Doctorate 8


Listening (Top Score: 30) Reading (Top Score: 30) Writing (Top Score: 30) Speaking (Top Score: 30)
Conditional1 16 16 18 15
Undergraduate 20 20 22 18
Graduate 22 22 24 22
Doctorate 25 25 25 25
Scores IELTS: 5.5
TOEFL Speaking: 15-17 Corresponding English Course: TESL 100
TOEFL Listening: 16-19
Scores IELTS: 5.5
TOEFL Reading: 16-19 Corresponding English Course: TESL 100
TOEFL Writing: 18-21

B. APU English placement test

Students can also demonstrate English proficiency by taking a placement test through the American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI). This placement test is administered on campus at APU or online. Contact the International Center for schedules, fees, and locations for the APU English placement test.

3. Completion of an intensive English language program at APU

ALCI is an intensive English language program at APU. Those who qualify academically for undergraduate or graduate admission to APU and choose to fulfill the English proficiency requirement through study in the ALCI program are offered conditional admission to the university. Successful completion of Level 4 is the minimum proficiency level for undergraduate students, and Level 5 for graduate and professional students, to continue academic programs after ALCI studies. Students must submit a separate application for ALCI.