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English language requirements


We expect international students to know English well enough to:

  • comprehend oral lectures
  • participate in discussions
  • read textbooks with full comprehension
  • write effectively in English

International students are required to take either the Test of English As a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Every applicant whose native language is not English is required to take the TOEFL. Your TOEFL score cannot be more than two years old. For the paper-based written test, our minimum TOEFL score requirement is 500, with no part score lower than 50. For the Internet-based test, our minimum TOEFL score requirement is 61, with no part score lower than 15. Many departments have higher requirements.

Undergraduate Academic Division Minimum total TOEFL score
  Paper-based Internet-based
College of Arts and Science 500 61
College of Agriculture 500 61
College of Business and Public Administration 550 79
College of Education
600 100
College of Engineering 500 61
School of Health Professions 600 100
College of Human Environmental Sciences 500 61
School of Journalism 600 100
School of Natural Resources 500 61
School of Nursing 600 100

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

All international students admitted to MU undergraduate programs are required to take an English proficiency test administered by the English Language Support Program (ELSP). Plan to arrive on campus a few days before regular registration to take the ELSP test. Even if you have been admitted based on your TOEFL or IELTS scores, your English ability will be re-evaluated.

If your ELSP score is satisfactory, you’ll be permitted to begin full-time academic enrollment immediately. If the score is not satisfactory, you will be required to enroll in ELSP courses along with a reduced academic course load. You must pass these courses within the first two semesters of enrollment.

Undergraduate Academic Division IELTS
  Overall No band below
College of Arts and Science 6.5 6.0
College of Agriculture 6.5 6.0
College of Business and Public Administration 6.5 6.0
College of Education 7.0 6.5
College of Engineering 6.5 6.0
School of Health Professions 7.0 6.5
College of Human Environmental Sciences 6.5 6.0
School of Journalism 7.0 6.5
School of Natural Resources 6.5 6.0
School of Nursing 7.0 6.5

The Intensive English Program

MU offers a full-time Intensive English Program (IEP) for any student who cannot meet minimum language requirements for admission to U.S. colleges or universities, or for any student who wishes to study English as a second language.