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English Proficiency

Capital University requires students to demonstrate English proficiency before admission, with the exception of the ESL/Intensive English Program. 

ESL/Intensive English Program students do not need a test score for admission, but elementary proficiency is required. The ESL Program administers the institutional (paper-based) TOEFL to enrolled students at the end of fall, spring, and summer terms. 

Undergraduate Admissions

For undergraduate admission, you must demonstrate English language proficiency through one of the following test scores: 

TOEFL (paper) TOEFL (IBT) IELTS Duolingo ACT or SAT Pearson (PTE)
Overall: 500
Reading subscore: 50
Listening subscore: 50
Overall: 61
Reading subscore: 15
Listening subscore: 15
Overall: 6.0
Reading subscore: 6.0
Listening subscore: 6.0

SAT: 440 or higher on Reading and Writing sections

ACT: 18 or higher on English section

Overall: 44
Undergraduate students with a TOEFL score between 500 and 530 (or equivalent) will be evaluated for writing proficiency and may be required to take appropriate courses.

Test code is 1099.

Undergraduate students with a TOEFL score between 61 and 74 (or equivalent) will be evaluated for writing proficiency and may be required to take appropriate courses.

Have the testing agency send scores directly to Capital University or upload your test score report to be verified. Students who use Duolingo scores to satisfy the English proficiency requirement will be required to re-test their English skills upon arrival to campus. If you have taken the ACT or SAT, you may use those scores to satisfy the English proficiency requirement. Our ACT code number is 3242, and our SAT code number is 1099.  
  Note: starting Fall of 2025, the minimum acceptable TOEFL score will be 71, with no subscore requirements.   Note: starting Fall of 2025, Capital will no longer accept Duolingo scores for admission.   Note: starting Fall of 2025, the minimum acceptable Pearson score will be: 48.

These test scores must be official; we must receive them directly from the testing agency. If you upload your test scores yourself, they will not be considered official, and we won’t be able to use them to consider your application. 

Note: The exception is the IELTS and Pearson score, which Capital University can verify with a copy of the test results that have been taken in the last 2 years. 

English testing exemptions: 

You may be eligible to have this requirement waived if you meet one of the following criteria: 

  • You have completed 2 or more years of high school in the U.S.A. and earned a C grade (or better) in all years of standard English (not ESL/ELL). This must be shown on your transcripts. 
  • You have earned a C or higher on the IGCSE or O-Level English (first language) Exam. 
  • You have passed a full year of IB English Language & Literature or IB English. 
  • You have completed a college-level English composition course, including College Credit Plus, and earned a C or higher. 
    • Transfer applicants: If you have taken English composition (equivalent to ENG 110 at Capital) at your previous university in the United States and earned a C or higher, this requirement can be waived. 
  • You received a 3 or higher on the AP English Language and Composition test. 
  • You are from one of the following first-language English countries: 
    • Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Canada (except Quebec), Dominica, Eswatini (Swaziland), Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Lesotho, Liberia, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom (Including British Overseas Territories (Anguilla; Bermuda; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands; St Helena and St Helena Dependencies (Ascension and Tristan da Cunha); South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands; Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Cyprus); Turks & Caicos) and Crown Dependencies (Channel Islands (Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey), Isle of Man) 

If you have questions about exemptions or believe you qualify for an exemption, please contact Tessa Perry at

Graduate Admissions

Proof of English proficiency is required for international applicants to graduate programs. If you are from one of the first-language English countries listed above, you may be eligible for a waiver. 

For all programs except the Accelerated Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (ABSN) and the Capital Law school, minimum English test scores are: 

  • TOEFL: 80 
  • IELTS: 6.5 
  • Pearson Test of English: 53 

For the ABSN and Law programs, minimum English test scores are: 

  • TOEFL: 100 
  • IELTS: 7.0 
  • Pearson Test of English: 68 

Be sure to contact your admissions counselor to discuss the exact requirements for your graduate program.