English Proficiency Requirement

We require all applicants who attend a school in a country where English is not the native language or whose language of instruction in high school (secondary school) was not English to adequately demonstrate English competency as a part of the application process. In most cases, if less than three years of your secondary schooling was with English as the language of instruction, you must meet UCSC's English proficiency requirement.

Freshmen may demonstrate competency by submitting scores from one of the following tests:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Overall band score of 6.5 or higher*, includes IELTS Indicator Exam (through Fall 2022)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test or 80 on the Internet-based test, includes TOEFL iBT Home Edition 
  • SAT (March 2016 or later) Writing & Language Test: 31 or higher
  • SAT (prior to March 2016) Writing Exam: 560 or higher
  • ACT combined English-Writing or English Language Arts portion: 24 or higher
  • AP English Language and Composition, or English Literature and Composition: 3, 4, or 5
  • IB Standard Level examination in English: Literature, or Language and Literature: 6 or 7
  • IB Higher Level examination in English: Literature, or Language and Literature: 5, 6, or 7
  • Duolingo English Test (DET): Minimum score of 115 (through Fall 2022)

Transfer students may fulfill the English Proficiency requirement in the following ways:

  • Complete at least two English composition courses with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. 
  • Students whose overall UC transferable GPA is below 3.0 must achieve an average 3.0 GPA (B) in English composition courses.
  • Achieve a score of 80 on the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, includes TOEFL iBT Home Edition (fall 2021 only). 
  • Achieve a score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), includes IELTS Indicator Exam (fall 2021 only). 
  • Achieve a score of 115 on the Duolingo English Test (DET).

*Please note: For IELTS testing, UCSC only accepts scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center. No paper Test Report Forms will be accepted. An institutional code is NOT required. Please contact the test center directly where you took the IELTS test and request that your test scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system. All IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to our institution. You must provide the following information when requesting your scores:

UC Santa Cruz
Office of Admissions
1156 High St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
USA

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