Undergraduate Admissions - The University of Iowa

The University of Iowa

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English Proficiency Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for admission to the university. Some alternatives to the TOEFL are accepted, as described below.

The University of Iowa's institution code on the TOEFL is 6681.

Minimum TOEFL Score Requirements for Admission

  • Internet-based test (iBT): 80 with no subscore lower than 17
  • Paper-based test (PBT): 530

English Proficiency Evaluation—Admitted students will also need to take an on-campus English Proficiency Evaluation unless they have a TOEFL score of 100 or higher on the iBT or 600 or higher on the PBT.

The University of Iowa takes cases of TOEFL fraud very seriously, as does the Department of Homeland Security.  When the university is notified that a student’s TOEFL score has been invalidated and the Educational Testing Services company confirms that it was not due to an administrative error, the university will take immediate steps to address the issue.  This may include cancellation of the student’s admission and termination of the student immigration record, in which case the student must leave the U.S. immediately.  The Department of Homeland Security will also be notified; TOEFL fraud is considered visa fraud, and may impact a student’s ability to obtain a new U.S. visa in the future.

Alternatives to the TOEFL (ACT, SAT, IELTS, PTE)—Minimum Score Requirements

  • An ACT English subscore of 21
  • An SAT Critical Reading score of 540
  • An IELTS (International English Language Testing System) total score of 6.5, with no subscore lower than 6.0
  • A Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 53 with no sub-scores lower than 47

Required English Proficiency Evaluation—Admitted students who submit ACT, SAT, IELTS, and PTE scores instead of TOEFL scores will be required to take an on-campus English Proficiency Evaluation.

Conditional Admission

Students whose scores do not meet the minimum scores on the TOEFL (or the alternative tests) but are otherwise academically admissible may be granted conditional admission to the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Scores must fall within the following ranges to be considered for conditional admission:

  • TOEFL (IBT) scores of 54-79
  • TOEFL (PBT) scores of 450-529
  • IELTS 4.5 with no subscore less than 4.0

To apply for conditional admission, applicants should submit the Application for Admission, and provide the required official transcripts and current TOEFL or IELTS scores. Evaluators in the Admissions Office will refer qualified candidates for conditional admission to our Iowa Intensive English Program (IIEP) for final selection based on available seats. Conditionally admitted students will be provided with a letter of admission and I-20 from the IIEP after a required financial guarantee and a copy of your passport are submitted. A very limited number of conditional admissions can be offered each term.