English Proficiency Requirement

To satisfy the English language proficiency requirement, undergraduates may take any one of the following tests:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)
  • Duolingo

SJSU will notify students after they apply when to submit scores.

Update for Spring 2022 Applicants: For international students affected by center closures due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), San Jose State University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English test in place of the in-person TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE English proficiency exams. 

Duolingo English tests taken after February 1, 2020 will be accepted if your local TOEFL, IELTS, and/or PTE center has closed. Duolingo can be taken online, in your own home. A Duolingo score of 95 or higher is required to meet our English proficiency requirement for undergraduate admissions.

The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour for only $49. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with SJSU when you send your results.


SJSU undergraduate minimum proficiency standards Internet Paper
TOEFL: Undergraduate, except Engineering 61 500
TOEFL: All Engineering majors 80 550
IELTS: Undergraduate, except Engineering 6.0 N/A
IELTS: Engineering 6.5 N/A
PTE 44 N/A

Exemptions to the test requirement

Applicants who have completed 60 semester/90 quarter transferable units at a U.S. college or university


Applicants who have studied full-time at a U.S. college or university for at least three years


Applicants who have studied full-time at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction for at least three years