English Language Proficiency

English Proficiency Requirements

Proof of English language proficiency is required for admission to the college if English is not your country’s primary language*.

This can be demonstrated by submitting at least one of the following with your application to Columbia:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - recommended iBT score of 80 or higher; 550 on paper based TOEFL
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – minimum score 6.5
  • Transcript from a U.S. high school or a high school in which English is the language of instruction and the applicant has completed at least three years with passing grades
  • Transcript showing completion of at least two semesters of university-level coursework in English Composition at an accredited college/university in the United States with a grade of 'C' or better
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma- Completion of the IB diploma program
  • IB score of 5 or higher on the English Language and Literature exam (if applicant hasn’t completed IB Diploma program
  • Cambridge A-Level English (Non ESL) grade of C or higher
  • AP English Language and Composition score of 4 or higher
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) - Minimum score required 60
  • Cambridge Assessment English -  B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a Cambridge English score of 176 or above.
  • Duolingo English Test – Minimum score of 105
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) score of at least 5 in English language
  • Successful completion of an ESL course at a preferred institution

*If you are from an English speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, Ghana, Singapore) you do not need to submit proof. Other countries may be eligible; please contact us via email.

Note: The English Proficiency Requirements cannot be waived for any applicant educated in a country where the native language is not officially recognized as English. Waivers will not be granted to international applicants/nonnative speakers on the basis of U.S. employment or U.S. residency alone, nor solely on completion of an English as a Second Language (ESL) program unless there is a pre-existing partnership agreement between Columbia and the ESL program.