English Proficiency

All graduate international applicants to Syracuse University whose first language is not English must prove they are proficient in the English language. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), TOEFL Home Edition, IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or Duolingo is required of all graduate applicants whose native language is not English.

Applicants may be exempt from the English Proficiency requirements if they have completed a bachelor’s degree earned from an accredited U.S. institution. Official transcripts are required showing completion of one of the above before a student can be exempted from the English Proficiency requirement.

If you are requesting an English Proficiency waiver for any other reason, please complete this form. The decision to waive the standard requirement is at the discretion of the department to which you are applying. The Office of Recruitment and Admissions reserves the right to require a satisfactory TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo score from any applicant.

Use DI code 2823 when requesting your TOEFL scores to be sent to Syracuse University.

  • The recommended minimum TOEFL & TOEFL Home Edition score required on the internet-based (iBT) test is 90 for all programs except the M.A. in audio arts and the M.F.A. in design, which require a score of 100 on the iBT.
  • The minimum IELTS score is 6.5 for all programs.
  • The minimum Duolingo score is 110 for all programs.

A student may be admitted with scores lower than those listed above as determined by the individual departments/school in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Under those circumstances students will be admitted provisionally with the need for developmental English language education. Students may satisfy the English language proficiency requirement by attending our English Language Institute (ELI) and completing Level 4 at the institute. Find out more information on the ELI website. If students are conditionally admitted for English proficiency, it is not mandatory for them to attend the ELI. The ELI is an alternative option for students who do not wish to retake the TOEFL or IELTS.


The M.A. in Communication and Rhetorical Studies requires the GRE. The GRE is optional for Fall 2023 consideration.