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Language Proficiency Exam (TOEFL or IELTS)


In response to the temporary closings of testing centers in countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, some programs in the Graduate School will also accept Duolingo English Test examination results for the 2020-2021 application cycle as an alternative to TOEFL and IELTS examinations.  Only Duolingo English Test scores with subscores will be accepted. If you took the test prior to July 15, 2019, you will need to retake the test to comply with the subscores requirement.  Applicants should contact programs of interest directly to confirm that they are accepting the Duolingo English Test. 


Applicants whose native language is not English must present the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) with the application. This requirement may be waived if you have earned a degree from an English-speaking institution. Please contact your program of interest to confirm. 

  • International students transferring from unfinished degree programs of other universities in the United States should present TOEFL or IELTS scores.
  • The TOEFL and IELTS are administered at test centers throughout the world at different times during the year. You may access information regarding the TOEFL or IELTS exam, including registration and sample tests, at or
  • The Vanderbilt Institution Code for TOEFL is 1871. 
  • The minimum acceptable score on the paper-based TOEFL is 570, and for the Internet-based test, 88. Many programs, however, require a considerably higher level of proficiency.
  • For IELTS, the minimum acceptable score will vary by program. In many cases, a score of at least 7.0 is desirable. Please contact your program of interest to confirm. 
  • You may self-report test scores on your application. If you are admitted, official scores must be submitted before registration.