UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 09-02-01
CATEGORY: STUDENT AFFAIRS
SUBJECT: Assessment of English Language Proficiency for Admission
EFFECTIVE DATE: March 25, 2010 Revised
This policy establishes English language proficiency requirements for admission of
international students to the University of Pittsburgh, and the responsibility of the
University to determine that international student applicants possess a level of
proficiency in English necessary to succeed academically. The University is
responsible for certifying to the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
determination has been made, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws, for
students requiring visa documents.
All academic centers, departments, or offices making admission decisions regarding
international students are responsible for determining, as part of the admission process,
that the applicant has the required proficiency in English to successfully undertake the
proposed course of study and for
notifying the Office of International Services (OIS) of
the determination by completing an Assessment of English Language Proficiency for
each admitted student. Applicants who do not meet the required standards may not be
offered admission. The assessment that the applicant has the required proficiency
may be based on the following:
- The applicant is a citizen of a country whose official language is English.
- A minimum result of 80 on the iBT (Internet-based test) or 550 on the PBT (Paper-
based test) on
the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
- A minimum result of Band 6.5 on the International English Language Testing
- Completion of a degree program at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.
- The applicant is not a citizen of a country whose official language is English but has
completed a degree program at an institution outside of the U.S. where the language
of instruction is English and where the official national language of the country in
which the institution is located is English.
Only original official test scores received directly from test administration agencies are
accepted. Copies of test results are not
Academic centers and departments may require a higher level of English language
proficiency based on the specific needs of the discipline, and are responsible for
determining that applicants have such proficiency.
Exceptions: Any exceptions to the policy must be approved by the Provost or Provostís
delegate after review of the entire record and consultation with the Office of
Upon receipt of an Assessment of English Language Proficiency with the signature of
the admissions officer, OIS will certify to the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration
Services, as part of the certification of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Visa
(Form I-20) or for Exchange-Visitor Visa (Form DS-2019), that the student has the
required level of English language proficiency. See Procedure 09-02-01, Assessment
English Language Proficiency for Admission.
Prior to completion of registration, students with TOEFL scores of less than 100 on
the iBT, 600 on the PBT, or less than Band 7.0 on the IELTS must take an additional
test of English language proficiency
administered by the English Language Institute (ELI).
International students who are citizens of countries where English is the official
language, international students who have completed degrees at regionally accredited
institutions in the U.S., and international students who have results on the TOEFL
above 100 on the iBT, 600 on the PBT, or Band 7.0 on the IELTS, may be exempted
from taking the additional test of English language proficiency by individual schools or
International students may be required by their academic department or school to
complete all remedial work recommended by ELI on the basis of the additional test of
English language proficiency.
Procedure 09-02-01, Assessment of English Language Proficiency for Admission