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English Language Proficiency Requirements

English Proficiency

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.

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.

Language-Assisted Undergraduate Degree or Certificate Programs

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 3.5 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 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).
  • 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.

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:

  • 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.

Tutorial Distance Learning (TDL) or Enhanced Tutorial Distance Learning (ETDL) Graduate Degree or Certificate Programs

College-level English proficiency for Tutorial Distance Learning (TDL) or Enhanced Tutorial Distance Learning (ETDL) graduate degree or certificate programs (where language-assisted graduate programs are not available) 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 table in the English Language Program section below for the iTEP English Proficiency measurements).
  • An undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited or CityU-recognized institution where the language of instruction was English.

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:

  • 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.

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:

  • 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.

English Language Program

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:

CityU Level Placement iTEP Plus© Internet-based TOEFL iBT© Internet-based
Graduate Programs 4.5 or above 87
Assisted Graduate; Undergraduate 4.0 76
Level 8 4.3 80
Level 7 4.0 76
Level 6; Assisted Undergraduate 3.5 64
Level 5 3.0 55
Level 4 2.5 46
Level 3 2.0 37
Level 2 1.5 20
Level 1 1.0 Below 20
Novice 0.5-0.9 Below 20

*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.

Below is an equivalency chart for all CityU recognized measurements of proficiency:

Standardized Test Assisted-Undergraduate Programs Undergraduate Programs Assisted-Graduate Programs Graduate Programs
iTEP Plus 3.5 4.0 4.0 4.5
TOEFL iBT 65 76 76 87
University of Cambridge ESOL Exams FCE First Certificate in English FCE First Certificate in English FCE First Certificate in English CAE Certificate in Advanced English
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Band 6.0  Band 6.0  Band 6.0 Band 6.5
CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language) N/A Overall 60; Writing 60 Overall 60; Writing 60  Overall 70; Writing 70
PTE (Pearson Test of English) 46 51 51 59
The EIKEN Test in Practical English Proficiency N/A EIKEN Grade Pre-1 EIKEN Grade Pre-1 EIKEN Grade 1
WEST-B (Washington Educator Basic Skills Test) N/A OSPI passing scores on Reading & Writing Sections OSPI passing scores on Reading & Writing Sections N/A
ELS N/A ELS Level 109 Intensive Program ELS Level 109 Intensive Program ELS Level 112 Intensive Program

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