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IELTS for the USA

Required IELTS scores at US universities

IELTS requirements of the world’s top 200 universities in the USA in 2018

The following rankings, organised by subject area, come from the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2018

Name of institution World rank IELTS minimum requirement (undergraduate programmes) IELTS minimum requirement (postgraduate programmes)
California Institute of Technology 3 7.0 7.0
Stanford University 3 Contact institution Contact institution
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5 6.0 6.0
Harvard University 6 7.0 7.0
Princeton University 7 7.0 7.0
University of Chicago 9 7.0 7.0
University of Pennsylvania 10 6.5 6.5
Yale University 12 7.0 7.0
Johns Hopkins University 13 7.0 7.0
Columbia University 14 7.0 7.0
University of California, Los Angeles 15 7.0 7.0
Duke University 17 7.0 7.0
University of California, Berkeley 18 6.5 6.5
Cornell University 19 6.5 6.5
Northwestern University 20 6.0 6.0
University of Michigan 21 6.5 6.5
Carnegie Mellon University 24 6.0 6.0
University of Washington 25 7.0 7.0
New York University 27 6.0 6.0
University of California, San Diego 31 6.5 6.5
Georgia Institute of Technology 33 Contact institution Contact institution
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 37 6.5 6.5
University of Wisconsin-Madison 43 6.0 6.0
University of Texas at Austin 49 7.0 7.0
Brown University 50 Contact institution Contact institution
Washington University in St Louis 50 7.0 7.0
University of California, Santa Barbara 53 6.5 6.5
University of California, Davis 54 6.5 6.5
University of Minnesota 56 6.5 6.5
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 56 6.0 6.0
Purdue University 60 6.0 6.0
University of Southern California 66 6.5 6.5
University of Maryland, College Park 69 7.0 7.0
Boston University 70 6.5 6.5
Ohio State University 70 6.5 6.5
Pennsylvania State University 77 6.5 6.5
Michigan State University 83 6.5 6.5
Rice University 86 7.0 7.0
Dartmouth College 89 7.0 7.0
Emory University 98 Contact institution Contact institution
University of California. Irvine 99 7.0 7.0
University of Colorado Boulder 100 Contact institution Contact institution
University of Pittsburgh 100 6.5 6.5
Vanderbilt University 105 6.5 6.5
University of Virginia 113 7.0 7.0
Indiana University 117 Contact institution Contact institution
Georgetown University 123 7.0 7.0
Arizona State University 126 Contact institution Contact institution
University of Florida 143 6.0 6.0
University of Notre Dame 150 7.0 7.0
University of Rochester 153 6.5 6.5
Case Western Reserve University 158 6.5 6.5
Texas A&M University 159 Contact institution Contact institution
University of Arizona 161 6.5 6.5
University of California, Santa Cruz 162 7.0 7.0
University of Alabama at Birmingham 168 5.5 5.5
Tufts University 169 6.5 6.5
Rutgers, the state University of New Jersey 172 6.0 6.0
University of Miami 186 6.5 6.5
University of Massachusetts 191 6.5 6.5
Northeastern University 193 6.5 6.5
University of California, Riverside 198 7.0 7.0

QS World University Rankings in 2018

Name of institution World rank IELTS minimum requirement (undergraduate programmes) IELTS minimum requirement (postgraduate programmes)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1 6.0 6.0
Stanford University 2 Contact institution Contact institution
Harvard University 3 7.0 7.0
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) 4 7.0 7.0
University of Chicago 9 7.0 7.0
Princeton University 13 7.0 7.0
Cornell University 14 7.0 7.0
Yale University 16 7.0 7.0
John Hopkins University 17 7.0 7.0
Columbia University 18 7.0 7.0
University of Pennsylvania 19 Contact institution Contact institution
Duke University 21 7.0 7.0
University of Michigan 21 6.5 6.5
University of California, Berkeley (UCB) 27 6.5 6.5
Northwestern University 28 6.5 6.5
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 33 7.0 7.0
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) 38 6.5 6.5
Carnegie Mellon University 47 6.0 6.0
New York University (NYU) 52 6.0 6.0
Brown University 53 Contact institution Contact institution
University of Wisconsin-Madison 55 6.0 6.0
University of Washington 61 7.0 7.0
University of Texas at Austin 67 7.0 7.0
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 69 6.5 6.5
Georgia Institute of Technology 70 Contact institution Contact institution
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 80 6.0 6.0
Boston University 81 6.5 6.5
The Ohio State University 86 6.5 6.5
Rice University 89 7.0 7.0
Pennsylvania State University 93 Contact institution Contact institution
Washington University in St Louis 100 7.0 7.0
Purdue University 105 6.0 6.0
University of California, Davis 118 6.5 6.5
University of Maryland, College Park 129 7.0 7.0
University of Southern California 132 6.0 6.0
University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) 134 6.5 6.5
University of Pittsburgh 142 6.5 6.5
Emory University 147 Contact institution Contact institution
Michigan State University 149 6.5 6.5
University of Minnesota 163 6.5 6.5
University of California, Irvine 164 7.0 7.0
Dartmouth College 169 7.0 7.0
University of Virginia 173 7.0 7.0
University of Florida 178 6.0 6.0
University of Colorado Boulder 182 Contact institution Contact institution
University of Rochester 186 6.5 6.5
Texas A&M University 195 6.0 6.0

*These are the minimum IELTS score requirements applicable to all programmes, except those specified by an institution. These requirements were taken from http://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/

Study Visa for the USA

If you would like to study in the USA, you will typically need to apply for one of the following student visas from the USA embassy or consulate in your country.

(1) F Student Visas are intended for students who wish to study at an accredited USA college or university or to study English at an intensive English language institute. This is the most common type of visa.

(2) J Exchange Visas are typically granted to students for participation in a short-term exchange programme, including high school and university study.

(3) M Student Visas are for students enrolling in non-academic or vocational study or training programmes in the USA

Before you can apply for your student visa to study in the USA, you must receive either an I-20 or a DS-2019 form from the college or university where you have been admitted, and obtain documented funding for your first year of study. With the I-20 or DS-2019 in hand, you can then apply for your student visa.

Education USA has a lot of detailed advice on how to prepare and apply for your visa to study in the USA Visit their site to find out more.

Why do an increasing number of candidates wishing to study in the USA choose IELTS? 

(1) Pen and paper. Unlike other tests, there is no need to complete IELTS on a machine. Paper-based evaluation is better-suited to many candidates. 

(2) Quiet testing environment. Candidates who move through the test at different speeds will not disturb each other.

(3)  Face-to-face speaking test.  This enables candidates to more authentically demonstrate their communication skills.

(4) Effective preparation. IELTS includes a combination of everyday and academic English.  This empowers candidates with language skills and systems which can be used in a variety of environments.