English Proficiency Requirements

In order to be eligible for admission to the Graduate School all international applicants, regardless of citizenship, must demonstrate proficiency in English at a level necessary to be successful in a graduate program at NC State. English proficiency requirements can be waived for international students who :1) are citizens of a country where English is an official language and the language of instruction in higher education; or 2) have successfully completed at least one year of full-time study in a degree program at a four-year US college or university.

This requirement can be met for most applicants in one of the following ways:

  • Provide Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a total score of at least 80 on the Internet-based Test (iBT). Minimum test scores for each section are listed below. Test date must be no older than two years (24 months) prior to the beginning of the requested entry term. The institution code 5496 is the only code needed to report scores to NC State University.

Minimum TOEFL iBT Section Scores are 18 points for all sections (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

NOTE: The current computer- and paper-based versions of the TOEFL test will be given until the iBT version is implemented in a particular location. Computer-based TOEFL scores must be 213 or higher (with at least 17 on three sections and no section score below 13). The paper-based test requires a score of 550 or higher (with scores of 50 on at least two of the three sections and no section score below 45).

  • Provide International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores with an overall band score of at least 6.5. Minimum test scores for each section are listed below. Test date must be no older than two years (24 months) prior to the beginning of the requested entry term. The institution code 5496 is the only code needed to report scores to NC State University. 

Minimum IELTS Section Scores are 6.5 points for all sections (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

In response to the temporary closings of testing centers in countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School now accepts Duolingo English Test examination results. Duolingo English Tests taken after February 3, 2020 will be accepted. To be admitted, a minimum score of 110 will be required. In addition to providing a score at or above the minimum, the Graduate School or graduate programs may choose to require students to participate in a Zoom or Skype interview prior to making an admission decision.