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.

Acceptable English Proficiency Exams

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

Undergraduate Certificates and Programs Minimum Scores

English Proficiency Test Score
TOEFL iBT* or TOEFL iBT Home Edition 61 overall score
IELTS or IELTS Indicator 6.0 overall band score
iTEP Level 4
PTE Academic 45
Chinese CET 493 on CET-4 or 450 on CET-6
Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) B2
Danish Studentereksamen Grade 7 on English B or Grade 4 on English A
Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) B2
Duolingo English Test 95
Japan Eiken Pre-1
Norwegian Vitnemal 4 in English
Swedish Secondary Education Grade A, B or C in English 5, 6 or 7

Graduate Certificates and Programs Minimum Scores

TOEFL iBT* – 80
IELTS – 6.5
PTE Academic – 59
Duolingo English Test – 120 (accepted for Fall 2021 only)

*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.