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:

  • Official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)—Recommended score of 80 on the iBT (Internet Based TOEFL) or 553 on the pBT (Paper Based TOEFL)
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)—score of at least 6.5
  • ACT (American College Testing)—Recommended score of 18 or higher on the English and Reading sections
  • SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)—Recommended score of 430 or higher on the Critical Reading section
  • 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
  • Evidence of 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) – Completion of the IB diploma program, or completion of IB higher-level or standard-level English, or if you’ve studied fewer than three years, your final grade in IB English must be 5 or higher.
  • GCSE and IGCSE Cambridge O-levels at least 5 subjects with grades A-C, one must be English (non ESL)
  • Cambridge A-levels – final scores A-C in A-level English (non-ESL)
  • AP English - Achieve a final grade of 4 or better on Advanced Placement (AP) English Language & Composition or AP Literature & Composition
  • Common European Framework (CEF) – FCE (B2) with a pass grade of A or CAE (C1)
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education HKDSE score of at least 5 in English language.

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.

* Citizens of the following countries who have undertaken secondary and/or tertiary study in English in the national education system (or equivalent) have met the English Language Requirements

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Botswana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cameroon
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • England
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland, Northern
  • Ireland, Republic of
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • Namibia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Scotland
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • Vanuatu
  • Wales
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe