Skip to main content
Santa Clara University

English Proficiency Requirements

Welcome! Santa Clara University (SCU) is a global university with a long history of enrolling students from regions around the world and helping them achieve educational and personal goals. SCU’s Jesuit mission includes a commitment to cura personalis; student success of the whole person. Consistent with our mission and values, SCU’s English Proficiency Requirement Policy exists to ensure that all SCU students have a strong command of English language, which is necessary to be successful in a fast-paced rigorous academic environment. 

Who must demonstrate English Proficiency:

All international applicants are required to demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency.  This includes Undergraduate, Graduate, and Non-degree Visiting and Exchange Applicants as well as International Researchers/Scholars.   

There are several ways to demonstrate English proficiency in the application for admission:

  • Attending secondary school in Australia, Anglophone Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States AND
  • Completing 4 years at a school where the sole language of instruction was English OR
  • Proficiency exams. See scores and FAQs, below.
    • TOEFL iBT
    • IELTS
    • Duolingo
  • Earned a degree in Australia, Anglophone Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States within the last 4 years where the sole instruction was English OR
  • Proficiency exams. See scores and FAQs, below.
    • TOEFL iBT
    • IELTS
    • Duolingo

 

Non-Degree International Visiting and Exchange students are required to demonstrate the same English proficiency as degree-seeking Undergraduate and Graduate students. See above.

  • Earned a degree in Australia, Anglophone Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States within the last 4 years where the sole instruction was English OR
  • Proficiency exam meeting the following minimum standards: TOEFL 80, IELTS 6.5, or Duolingo 110; SCU academic department hosts may require higher scores

Proficiency Exam Requirements for entry 2022-23:

Scores must be submitted as follows:
  • Test scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency.
  • SCU will accept English Proficiency test scores up to 2 years prior to the application deadline.

Students taking an exam to demonstrate language proficiency are required to earn the following minimum score:

Admission Office Contacts TOEFL iBT* Duolingo English Test IELTS* Interview recommended or required?
Undergraduate 90 115 6.5 Recommended
Graduate Business 100 120 7 Required for some programs
Graduate Engineering 80 105 6.5 None
Graduate Education & Counseling Psychology 90 110  6.5 None
Graduate Jesuit School of Theology 79 105 6.5  None
Graduate Arts & Sciences - Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries 90   6.5 None
Graduate Law - JD 90    6.5  None
Graduate Law - LLM 90    6.5  None
Researcher/Scholars 80 110 6.5  
Non-degree Undergraduate Exchange and Visiting Students See score above  See score above  See score above  None
Non-degree Graduate See area above  See area above  See area above  See area above

 Last updated May 12, 2021

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Unless otherwise indicated by the school or academic program to which you are applying, SCU accepts the  TOEFL iBT, IELTS and Duolingo.  SCU does not accept:

  • TOEFL ITP® Plus Test being offered in China
  • MyBest scores
  • TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition
  • IELTS Indicator
  • IELTS Online

Students on non-immigrant visa statuses, for example F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, H-4, L-2, E-2, R-1, TD are considered international applicants. Refugees and asylees are not considered international applicants.

Santa Clara University works to ensure its students sponsored by a non-immigrant visa status are advised to follow federal guidelines for government requirements for English Proficiency.

Santa Clara University delivers “a liberal arts education” which emphasizes writing, communication and the ability to synthesize understanding across disciplines. “Writing” and “Thinking” are often considered synonymous. Most classes include what is called continuous assessment, i.e., many small graded assignments, and grades for participating in class, rather than only one large exam at the end.

If you have questions about this policy and how it may apply to you please contact your admissions office.