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 Professional & Global Education 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 Tests and Required 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
TOEIC 700
PTE Academic 45
Chinese CET 493 on CET-4 or 450 on CET-6
Cambridge C2 Proficiency 180
Cambridge B2 First, C1 Advanced 160
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

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

*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.

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 (graduate: 550) may be acceptable. Please contact celglobal@sfsu.edu if you have questions.

Waivers and Exemptions

The American Language Institute (ALI) offers two possible waivers for admission to enroll in College of Professional & Global Education international undergraduate certificates and Semester @ SF State programs. Either waiver will meet the College of Professional & Global Education English Proficiency Requirement.

  • TOEFL Waiver One: You must be placed in and successfully complete the ALI high-intermediate level (70) with a “B” average of better (including electives) and achieve the required English proficiency score at the beginning of the semester (450 ITP / 45 iBT/ 6.0 IELTS) and end of the semester (475 ITP / 53 iBT / 6.0 IELTS).
     
  • TOEFL Waiver Two: You must successfully complete the ALI advanced level (80) or (90) with a “B” average of better (including electives and SF State classes). There is no English proficiency score required for Waiver Two.

You are exempt from the English Proficiency Requirement if:

  • You are from one of the exempt countries. See the list of Exempt Countries below.
  • 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.

Students from the following countries do not need to provide English Proficiency documentation:

A

Antigua
Australia

B

Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Bermuda
Botswana

C

Canada

G

Gambia
Ghana
Grand Cayman Islands
Grenada

I

Ireland

J

Jamaica

K

Kenya

L

Lesotho
Liberia

M

Malawi

N

New Zealand
Northern Marianas

P

Palau
Papua New Guinea

S

Scotland
Sierra Leone
Singapore
South Africa
St. Kitts
St. Lucia
St. Vincent & Grenadines
Swaziland

T

Tanzania
Trinidad & Tobago

U

Uganda
United Kingdom
United States

V

Virgin Islands

W

Wales

Z

Zambia
Zimbabwe

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).

How to Request a Waiver

The applicant must be able to provide complete documentation for one of the following types of EPR waivers:

  1. English is the primary language of your country and is not on the official list of Exempt Countries. If this is the case, write a letter (email is acceptable), explaining that English is the primary or official language spoken in your country and include a website or other supporting documentation that we can use for verification (e.g., publications or website for government department, ministry, bureau, secretariat or directorate-general).
     
  2. You currently attend a university where English is the language of instruction for the majority of courses taught. If this is the case, simply write a letter explaining that more than 50% of the courses at your institution are taught in English and provide a website or other documentation that we can use for verification (e.g., official university publication such as a course catalog/brochure or university website).
     
  3. 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. If this is the case, provide copies of your school's records or a graduation diploma along with a verification letter from the school with reference to the number of years studied at the school and English proficiency level. You must also provide a website address for the school.

All supporting documents must be written in English to the Center for Global Engagement. Please email to celglobal@sfsu.edu or mail to:

San Francisco State University
Center for Global Engagement / ALI
1600 Holloway Ave, HUM 101
San Francisco, CA 94132
USA

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