English Proficiency Requirement

The English Proficiency Requirement (EPR) is to evaluate the English language proficiency of students whose native language is not English and who want to enroll in College of Extended Learning international certificate and Semester @ SF State programs. All students from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency.


Student preparing for TOEFL test

TOEFL Test Preparation Online Course


Admission into SF State’s degree and certificate programs requires a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 61 (undergraduate) or 80 (graduate, 88 for MBA) or equivalent. Our TOEFL test preparation course is a great way to prepare for this exam.


Acceptable English Proficiency Exams

Results from the following exams, taken within the last three years, are acceptable to fulfill the English Proficiency Requirement.

The following scores indicate the required level of proficiency:

  • TOEFL*
    • ​Undergraduate: iBT61
    • ​Graduate: iBT80
    • Undergraduate: overall band score 6.0
    • Graduate: overall band score 6.5
  • iTEP - Level 4
  • PTE Academic - 45
  • TOEIC - 700
  • CET-4 - 493
  • CET-6 - 450
  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) – B2
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) – B2
  • Norwegian Vitnemal – 4 in English
  • Swedish Secondary Education – Grade A, B or C in English 5, 6 or 7
  • Eiken – Pre-1

*All programs run through the Center for Global Engagement at SF State accept MyBestscores for the TOEFL iBT® test, in addition to TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date.

For students attending the English for Academic Preparation program or specific partner institutions an ITP TOEFL score (undergraduate: 500, graduate: 550) may be acceptable. Please contact celglobal@sfsu.edu if you have questions.


You are exempt from the English Proficiency Requirement if:

  • You are from one of the exempt countries. See the List of Exempt Countries.
  • You are currently studying in an English-speaking country (or have studied in an English-speaking country) for at least one academic year, you are not required to submit an acceptable English proficiency exam. Instead, you can submit an official or unofficial transcript from that school.

Requesting Waivers

Waivers will be considered on a case by case basis.

You may request a waiver to the English Proficiency Requirement if any of the following criteria apply:

  • You reside in a country where English is the primary or official language, and that country is not on our List of Exempt Countries.
  • You currently attend a university where English is the language of instruction for the majority of courses taught.
  • You have attended schools at the secondary level (high school) or above for at least three years full-time where English is the principal language of instruction (as in the United States, the United Kingdom and in some international schools).

If you would like to request a waiver, please see English Proficiency Requirement Waivers.