English Language Proficiency Requirements

The following are requirements for each degree level at City University of Seattle. Should you not find what you are
looking for please email info@cityu.edu.

English Proficiency

Because all courses at CityU are taught in English, all incoming students must demonstrate proficiency in English prior to enrollment, in addition to any other admission requirements of their prospective program. The English proficiency policy is overseen by the Office of Academic Affairs. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the director of English Language Programs or the appropriate school dean. The dean has final authority. Rare exceptions may be granted when a prospective student can demonstrate that he or she has met the English language proficiency standard that will allow for academic success.

For the purposes of English proficiency requirements, English-speaking countries are defined as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, 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.

Students who submit official transcripts from a school or program where the primary language of instruction was English need not demonstrate further proof of English proficiency. If the registrar’s office cannot verify the primary language of instruction, students will be required to demonstrate proficiency by submitting official transcripts in English accompanied by a formal statement from the issuing school that the primary language of instruction was English or meet English Proficiency through testing or transfer credit.

English placement test scores are valid for 24 months only. CityU’s Institutional Placement and Proficiency will be measured by the iTEP (International TEST of English Proficiency). Scores for all other tests taken outside of CityU must be authenticated by the test publisher. Please refer to the list of recognized standardized tests in the table below.

Students who do not meet the required minimum score may be retested once within a two-week period, but not on the same day that the first examination was taken. After the initial testing, students may take the iTEP once every = 70-90 days. The minimum average iTEP score must be earned in a single testing session. Students may not use a combination of test scores from different testing dates to place in a higher level.

College-level English proficiency for language-assisted undergraduate degree or certificate programs must be demonstrated prior to enrollment by submitting proof of one of the following:

  • An iTEP score of at least 4.0 or an equivalent (refer to the table under the English Language Program section below for the iTEP English Proficiency measurements).
  • Completion of Level 5 of CityU’s English Language Program or the appropriate level of a CityU-recognized English language program.
  • Completion of at least 30 quarter degree credits (or 20 semester degree credits) at an accredited or CityU-recognized institution where the language of instruction was English, with satisfactory academic progress (cumulative GPA 2.0 or better).
  • Completion of at least 30 quarter degree credits (or 20 semester degree credits) in American Council on Education (ACE)- recommended courses with the U.S. Armed Forces.

College-level English proficiency for undergraduate degree or certificate programs must be demonstrated prior to enrollment by submitting proof of one of the following:

  • Completion of Level 6 of the CityU English Language Program or the equivalent level of a CityU-recognized English language program.
  • An iTEP score of at least 4.0 or an equivalent (refer to table in the English Language Program section below for the iTEP English Proficiency measurements).
  • Graduation from a high school in an English-speaking country where the language of instruction was English.
  • Completion of at least 45 quarter degree credits (or 30 semester degree credits) at an accredited or CityU recognized institution where the language of instruction was English, with satisfactory academic progress (cumulative GPA 2.0 or better)
  • 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.
  • An undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited or CityU-recognized institution where the language of instruction was English.

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:

  • iTEP score of at least 4.0 or an equivalent (see test score equivalents in the English Language Program section below).
  • Completion of Level 6 of CityU’s English Language Program or the appropriate level of a CityU-recognized English language program.
  • Completion of at least 45 quarter degree credits (or 30 semester degree credits) at an accredited or CityU-recognized institution where the language of instruction was English, with satisfactory academic progress (cumulative GPA 2.0 or better).
  • 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.

College-level English proficiency for graduate degree or certificate programs must be demonstrated prior to enrollment by submitting proof of one of the following:

  • An iTEP score of at least 4.5 or an equivalent (see test score equivalents in the English Language Program section below).
  • Completion of Level 8 of CityU’s English Language Program or the appropriate level of a CityU-recognized English language program.
  • An undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited or CityU-recognized institution where the language of instruction was English.

Placement into the CityU English Language Program (ELP) will be based on the Test of English Proficiency (iTEP®) Plus Exam for internal English proficiency placement as defined by the chart below, iTEP Plus Exam tests reading, listening, grammar, writing and speaking.

English Proficiency Measurements:

English Proficiency Measurements
CityU Level Placement iTEP Academic Plus© TOEFL Internet-Based TOEFL PBT Internet TOEFL
Graduate Programs 4.5 or above 87 65
Assisted Graduate; Undergraduate 4.0 76 56
Level 8 4.3 80 57
Level 7 4.0 76 55
Level 6; Assisted Undergraduate 3.5 64 48
Level 5 3.0 55 40
Level 4 2.5 46 34
Level 3 2.0 37 27
Level 2 1.5 20 14
Level 1 1.0 Below 20 Below 14
Novice 0.5-0.9 Below 20 Below 14

*The iTEP Plus is administered for students for level placement at the start of a new session/quarter. For time-sensitive placements, the iTEP Core + an in-house writing and speaking test may be administered.

Equivalency chart for all CityU recognized measurements of proficiency

Equivalency chart for all CityU recognized measurements of proficiency
Standardized Test Language Assisted-Undergraduate Programs Undergraduate Programs, Language Assisted  Graduate Programs, & ELP Level 7 Graduate and Doctoral Programs
Cambridge English N/A Cambridge English First (FCE) Cambridge English Advanced (CAE)
CEFR N/A B2 N/A
CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) N/A B2 N/A
DuoLingo 100 100 110
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Band 6.0  Band 6.0 Band 6.5
iTEP Academic Plus 3.5 4.0 4.5
PTE (Pearson Test of English) 46 51  59
TOEFL iBT 65 76 87

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