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English Proficiency for International Undergraduate Admission

Policy
Purpose: 

To define the language proficiency guidelines for incoming international undergraduate students applicants who are non-native speakers of English.

Applies to: 

International undergraduate applicants who are non-native speakers of English.

Campus: 
Lawrence
Policy Statement: 
International undergraduate applicants who are non-native speakers of English will be required to demonstrate English proficiency. 
 
There is no minimum English proficiency for undergraduate admission to KU, but documentation of English proficiency is required upon application for non-native speakers of English. Students who demonstrate full proficiency in English through documentation at the time of application will not be required to complete proficiency testing with the Applied English Center (AEC). Students who are unable to document full proficiency at the time of admission may submit full proficiency documentation prior to testing with the AEC. All other students must complete testing with the AEC. Academic English support for those students completing testing will be assessed by the AEC, who will place them in corresponding AEC classes or mark them as “Proficiency Obtained.”
 
DOCUMENTATION OF PROFICIENCY
 
KU recognizes several mechanisms by which applicants may demonstrate their English proficiency at application. The following are acceptable means of demonstrating English proficiency for the purposes of undergraduate admission:
  1. An official examination score report providing evidence of a student’s level of English proficiency, such as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System), as a part of the admissions application. Official scores must be less than two years old and submitted directly from the testing agency to the University of Kansas. Students who are unable to present official scores may submit unofficial scores to be verified by admission staff. A current list of accepted English tests and scores that demonstrate full proficiency is available on the admission website
  2. Completion of four years of college-preparatory English and high school graduation with a 2.5 GPA in the United States of America, The United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, an English-speaking province of Canada, an English-speaking Caribbean country, an English-speaking African country, or a US-accredited school located abroad.
  3. Completion of 24 or more credit-bearing hours toward a degree earned in residence from a regionally accredited English-medium U.S. college or university or from a foreign university which conducts all instruction in English and which maintains substantially equivalent associate or bachelor's degree requirements with completion of English Composition 1 and 2 with a grade of B or better.
  4. An earned associate’s degree from a regionally accredited English-medium U.S. college or university or from a foreign university which conducts all instruction in English and which maintains substantially equivalent associate or bachelor's degree requirements with a 2.5 GPA.
  5. Satisfactory completion of all AEC coursework and designation as meeting full proficiency.
Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 
Applicants who otherwise meet requirements for regular undergraduate admission, may be admitted with an exemption from the requirement to submit an official English test score with their application, but will be required to complete AEC testing:
  • Sponsored international undergraduate applicants;
  • Participants in official KU reciprocal exchange programs, short programs, and study abroad programs of one year or less;
  • Applicants who are enrolled in the KU Applied English Center at the time of application; and
  • Applicants on KU-based scholarship as described in the Admission of Scholarship-Eligible Prospective Students policy.
Other requests for exemption from the requirement to submit an official test score may be granted by the Assistant Director of International Admissions in cases of extreme hardship, including but not limited to: natural disaster; pandemic; war; political conflict; or family emergency or illness that prevents testing at the time of application. Admitted students in these circumstances will be required to complete testing with the AEC.
 
In exceptional cases, alternative documentation of English proficiency may also be considered for undergraduate admission. Admissions may petition the Associate Vice Provost for International Affairs to consider alternative documentation of English proficiency. In consultation with the Director of the Applied English Center, the Associate Vice Provost will determine whether the alternative documentation demonstrates English proficiency at the level expected for regular admission for undergraduate studies at KU.
Contact: 

International Affairs
785-864-6161
intlaffairs@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Associate Vice Provost for International Affairs
Approved on: 
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Effective on: 
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Review Cycle: 
Biennial (Every Two Years)
Background: 

This policy will allow the University to identify and notify students who are proficient in English at the time of admission and better inform applicants as to additional English language study that may be required before commencing academic coursework. This policy does not change the level of English proficiency required for admission.

Keywords: 
English proficiency; proficiency waiver; international admission; TOEFL; international undergraduate, IELTS, Test of English as a Foreign Language, admission, International English Language Testing System, Applied English Center, AEC, international programs
Change History: 

05/02/2022: Updated policy to align with current practices.
11/14/2018: Updated policy.
06/29/2017: Updated waiver process language, clarified score requirements, and expanded language on allowable tests of proficiency for admission.
01/27/2015: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
05/12/2014: Updated Contact, minor technical/formatting edits.
11/12/2009: Approved by Faculty Senate.

Academic Categories: 
Admission to KU

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