English Language Proficiency

Meeting Your Language Requirements

Success at UNC Charlotte depends upon a student’s ability to converse in, write, and understand (U.S.) English. To assure such competence, any applicant whose native language is other than English must submit an official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo score. To be considered official, the scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to UNC Charlotte. Typically, testing agencies retain scores for two years. 

Applicants who meet one of the following criteria are exempt from the English language proficiency requirement:

  1. Has completed at least one academic year of post-secondary (academic) study in the U.S. (*or an approved country) within five years of the proposed term of enrollment.
  2. Has completed at least one full calendar year of professional work experience in the U.S. (*or an approved country) in a position where English is heavily used in writing and speaking.

*Approved Countries with English as the Primary Language:

  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Canada (exception of the Province of Québec)
  • Dominica
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Philippines
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • St. Kitts
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • United States and territories
  • Zimbabwe


Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language proficiency requirement cannot be admitted.  They may, however, choose to enroll at UNC Charlotte’s English Language Training Institute (ELTI) and apply to the Graduate School once English language proficiency is obtained.  See ELTI’s website for details.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS)

  • Minimum Score Required:  83 Internet-based
  • Official scores sent directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS) are required. 
  • UNC Charlotte’s school code is 5105. A department code is not necessary.
  • MyBest Scores are accepted.  You must send all of your individual scores to us and not just your "MyBest Scores.".
  • Registration: www.toefl.org

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESO Examinations, British Council, and IDP:IELTS Australia.

  • Minimum Score Required: Overall band score of 6.5.
  • Official scores must be sent directly from the testing center to UNC Charlotte.
  • Request your scores be sent electronically to University of North Carolina Charlotte Graduate Admissions.
  • Registration: www.ielts.org

Duolingo English Test

Provided by Duolingo.

  • Minimum Score Required: 115
  • Scores should be made available electronically to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Graduate School via the Duolingo test taker portal.
  • Registration: www.englishtest.duolingo.com

English Language Training Institute (ELTI)

UNC Charlotte's accredited intensive English program for academic language development.

  • Minimum proficiency: Completion of the last level of the program (Level 5) with a final grade of B (80%) or higher.
  • Curriculum, application requirements, dates and schedule, and tuition and fees schedule are located on the ELTI's webpage.
  • The ELTI will work with the Graduate School to identify current ELTI students who seek admission to UNC Charlotte graduate programs. The ELTI Program Director will send a memo of completion along with a final grade report for any eligible student to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School at the conclusion of the semester.