English Language Requirements

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TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores are required of all applicants who are not citizens of countries where English is the official language.  In addition to the United States, the countries where English is the official language are listed here.

Exceptions to this policy may be granted to applicants who:

  • Hold a bachelor’s, master’s , or doctoral degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction and the official language of the country in which the university is located, or
  • Hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from an institution that is accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency (see list of acceptable schools).

Additionally, applicants to the LL.M. or S.J.D. program whose first law degree was taught solely in English are not required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores.

English language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE) may not be more than two years old.  To ensure TOEFL scores are sent to GW, please use institutional code 5246.  An institutional code is not required to send IELTS or PTE scores to GW.

English Language Minimum Scores

To be considered for admission, the minimum required scores are as follows:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0.
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based test.
  • PTE Academic: 53.

Please note: Higher minimums are required by some schools and programs; check the admissions requirements for your program.

To be considered for a graduate assistantship or University fellowship, the minimum required scores are as follows:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0.
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based.
  • PTE Academic: 68.

GW English for Academic Purposes

In their first semester at GW, students are required to register for an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course.  The EAP course that is required will be indicated in the student’s letter of admission.  In the first EAP class meeting, students will be given the EAP Diagnostic Test in order to confirm their correct EAP placement.  Students assigned EAP courses should anticipate additional tuition expenses as well as a possible extended period of time required to complete their degree programs.

Students with the following English-language scores are exempt from taking EAP courses:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0.
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based.
  • PTE Academic: 68.

Elliott School students with the following English-language scores are exempt from taking EAP courses:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.5.
  • TOEFL: 620 on paper-based or 105 on Internet-based.
  • PTE Academic: 72.