English Language Proficiency Requirements

To enter the City University of Seattle's English Language Program, students without a current TOEFL score will be required to take the City University of Seattle institutional English language placement exam prior to enrollment.

Except for the English language program, all incoming students must demonstrate a college-level proficiency in English as follows:

Undergraduate Degree or Certificate Programs

College-level English proficiency for undergraduate degree or certificate programs must be demonstrated prior to enrollment by submitting proof of one of the following:
  1. Graduation from a high school in an English-speaking country where the language of instruction was English.
  2. Graduation from high school after attending a high-school exchange program that required study in an English-speaking country for at least two years where the language of instruction was English.
  3. Completion of at least 45 quarter degree credits (or 30 semester degree credits) at an accredited or CityU-recognized institution in an English-speaking country where the language of instruction was English, with satisfactory academic progress (cumulative GPA 2.0 or better).
  4. Completion of at least 45 quarter degree credits (or 30 semester degree credits) in American Council on Education (ACE)-recommended courses with the U.S. Armed Forces.
  5. Previous completion of at least 45 quarter degree credits from CityU regardless of location, with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better.
  6. An undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited or CityU-recognized institution in an English-speaking country where the language of instruction was English.
  7. An undergraduate or graduate degree from CityU regardless of location.
  8. Completion of Level 6 of the CityU English language program or the equivalent level of a CityU-recognized English language program. A TOEFL ITP score of at least 540 or an equivalent (see exam score table following section).

Graduate Degree or Certificate Programs

College-level English proficiency for graduate degree or certificate programs must be demonstrated prior to enrollment by submitting proof of one of the following:
  1. An undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited or CityU-recognized institution in an English-speaking country where the language of instruction was English.
  2. An undergraduate or graduate degree from CityU regardless of location.
  3. A TOEFL ITP score of at least 567 or an equivalent (see exam score table following section).

Language-Assisted Graduate Degree or Certificate Programs

College-level English proficiency for language-assisted graduate degree or certificate programs must be demonstrated prior to enrollment by submitting proof of one of the following:
  1. Completion of Level 6 of CityU’s English language program or the appropriate level of a CityU-recognized English language program.
  2. Completion of at least 45 quarter degree credits (or 30 semester degree credits) at an accredited or CityU-recognized institution in an English-speaking country where the language of instruction was English, with satisfactory academic progress (cumulative GPA 2.0 or better).
  3. Completion of at least 45 quarter degree credits (or 30 semester degree credits) in American Council on Education (ACE)-recommended courses with the U.S. Armed Forces.
  4. A TOEFL ITP score of at least 540 or an equivalent (see exam score table following section).
For the purposes of English proficiency requirements, English-speaking countries are defined as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand exclusively. CityU reserves the right to determine to what extent the language of instruction is English at institutions of education where applicants have studied.

English Language Program

Placement into City University of Seattle English Language Program (ELP) based on the TOEFL score will be made as follows:

TOEFL Score:

Minimum TOEFL Score
Level 6 510
Level 5 480
Level 4 450
Level 3 420
Level 2 350


Accuplacer ESL:

Minimum Average Score Lowest Score on Any Section
Level 6 100 90
Level 5 95 85
Level 4 85 75
Level 3 70 60
Level 2 60 50

In addition, any one of the following tests may be used, with the corresponding paper-based TOEFL score concordances:

Assisted-Undergraduate Programs Undergraduate Programs Assisted-Graduate Programs Graduate Programs
TOEFL ITP & PBT (sections 1-3 only) Paper-based Test 510 540 540 567
TOEFL CBT 180 207 207 227
TOEFL IBT 64 76 76 87
ACCUPLACER 70 or above in Reading Comprehension and 3 or above in Writing 80 or above in Reading Comprehension and 4 or above in Writing 80 or above in Reading Comprehension and 4 or above in Writing 95 or above in Reading Comprehension and 6 or above in Writing
University of Cambridge ESOL Exams B2 ALTE Level 3 First Certificate in English B2 ALTE Level 3 First Certificate in English C1 ALTE Level 4 Certificate in Advanced English C2 ALTE Level 5 Certificate in Proficiency in English
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Band 5.5 Band 6 Band 6 Band 6.5
CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language) N/A Overall 60; Writing 60 Overall 60; Writing 60 Overall 70; Writing 70
The EKIEN Test in Practical English Proficiency N/A EKIEN Grade Pre-1 EKIEN Grade Pre-1 EKIEN Grade 1
WEST-B (Washington Educator Basic Skills Test) N/A OSPI passing scores on Reading and Writing Sections OSPI passing scores on Reading and Writing Sections N/A
ELPT (English Language Proficiency Test) N/A Listening Level H and Reading Level H Listening Level H and Reading Level H N/A
International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) Level 3.5 Level 4 Level 4 Level 4.5