English Proficiency Requirements

For Undergraduate Admissions

For Admission to Bachelor and Associate Degree Programs, applicants whose education is from an English-medium secondary or post-secondary institution in certain countries (see below) are exempt from the standardized English proficiency testing requirement.

International students who are from Canada, those who are attending U.S. high schools or international schools that follow a U.S. high school curriculum, those who intend to participate in the intercollegiate athletic program and need to comply with NCAA eligibility requirements, and those who graduate from an English medium secondary school in the United States are required to submit either the ACT or SAT in lieu of TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic.

All other applicants for whom English is a second language must present evidence of proficiency in the English language in one of the following ways [Effective August 2018 intake]:

  • YSU will accept official English proficiency test scores on the following (YSU institution code is 1975):
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) with a minimum score of 67 or higher on the Internet Based TOEFL (IBT)
    • A minimum score of 6.0 composite (with at least 5.0 on each subscale) on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    • A combined SAT score of 920 or higher from the evidence-base writing and reading test, and the math test to be admitted unconditionally
    • An ACT composite score of 17 or higher
    • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English) [58]
    • Successful completion of 24 semester hours of college-level coursework from an accredited English-medium college in the United States or another country where English is an official language
    • Applicants may also demonstrate their English proficiency by completing Level 5 at Youngstown State University’s English Language Institute (ELI). Please visit the ELI website for more information

Please note: Test scores over two years old by the beginning of the term you wish to enter are not acceptable unless you have been attending school in the United States since the test date.

English proficiency requirements may be waived for applicants from the following countries:

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Botswana
  • The British Caribbean and British West Indies
  • Canada
  • Cook Islands
  • Dominica
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Granada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Liberia
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Northern Marianas
  • Papua-New Guinea
  • St. Christopher Nevis
  • St. Lucia, St. Vincent
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


For Graduate Admissions

Please have the testing agency send official test scores directly to YSU if they are required for your program of interest (GRE, GMAT, MAT, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.). The institution code is 1975. Unofficial test scores cannot be used for admission purposes.

Official academic credentials and test scores should be sent to:

Youngstown State University
College of Graduate Studies
1 University Plaza
Youngstown, OH 44555

  • TOEFL score—A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 79-80 on the Internet-based (IBT) Test of English as a Foreign Language by graduates of foreign universities who are nonnative English speakers. (Scores over two years old by the beginning of the term applicants wish to enter are not acceptable.) Arrange with the Educational Testing Service to have your official TOEFL score sent to our office.
  • The College of Graduate Studies will accept the academic version of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) as an alternative to the TOEFL exam for international students (A score of 6.5 on the IELTS test equates to a 550 on the paper-based TOEFL).
  • Proficiency may also be demonstrated by a letter of certification from the Youngstown State University English Language Institute (ELI) stating that the applicant has completed the program of study and is proficient in English at a level appropriate to pursue a graduate degree and present an English language thesis if one is necessary as a degree requirement.
  • Prior to full admission to graduate study, students may be tested and placed in special English classes, if necessary, to ensure an adequate level of English proficiency. (Note: Evidence of proficiency is waived for applicants educated in English-speaking countries as defined in the YSU Undergraduate Catalog or for applicants holding U.S. Legal Permanent Residence for one year or for applicants who have successfully completed 24 semester hours of college-level coursework from an accredited English-medium college in the United States or another country where English is the official language.)

* Applicants for undergraduate programs who completed high school or at least 24 semester credit hours (one year of full-time study) and graduate applicants who have completed a degree in certain countries are not required to submit a standardized test score demonstrating English language proficiency.