English Proficiency Requirement

A good grasp of the English language is essential for academic success at SPU. If you are an international student and a non-native English speaker,* you must demonstrate English proficiency. You can accomplish this in several ways:

  • Take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The required minimum score is 79 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or 550 on the paper-based test (pBT).
  • Take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. The minimum score requirement is an overall band score of 6.5.
  • Take the Pearson’s Test of English (PTE Academic). The minimum score is 56.
  • Native Japanese speakers may take the EIKEN exam. SPU’s score requirement is pre-level 1 or higher.

The English proficiency test requirement will be waived for the following applicants:

  • Students who complete the ESL program at either the INTERLINK Language Center, which is housed adjacent to the SPU campus, or the Washington Academy of Languages (WAL), located nearby. Students must receive a full recommendation from INTERLINK or WAL for admission to the University. Students who receive a full recommendation are not required to submit a proficiency test score.
  • Post-baccalaureate applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree or higher at a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S., or at a recognized university in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, or New Zealand.

*SPU considers an international student to be a native English speaker if both their primary and secondary education took place in Australia, Canada (other than Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, or the U.S. (other than Puerto Rico).