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English Proficiency Requirements

Duquesne University is committed to helping international students and teaching assistants achieve academic success. Since English is the language of instruction at Duquesne University, accepted undergraduate and graduate students whose first language is other than English should read the following information carefully to understand the University's English language policies.

Undergraduate English Proficiency Guidelines

TOEFL or IELTS test scores are not required for admission to undergraduate programs, but strongly encouraged. Your application is evaluated based on your academic performance in your educational system at home, and not your English ability. This system allows you to be accepted to a degree program even if you need English support before you begin a full-time academic study.

Undergraduate applicants have two options when applying to Duquesne:

  • You can submit a TOEFL or IELTS score, or
  • You can take English language placement tests when you arrive at Duquesne.  

These tests will determine if:

  • you are ready for full-time academic study
  • you are ready for part-time academic study with additional support in English, (see information on Gateway Program), or
  • you need one or more semesters of ESL study (see information on Gateway program). 

The cost of ESL courses is in addition to tuition for academic courses. Click here to view the cost of ESL courses.

All students whose home language is not English must be cleared by the ESL Program before registering for classes.

Placement Testing for Undergraduate Students

Students WITH TOEFL or IELTS scores: No testing upon arrival to campus; placed directly into appropriate coursework.

Students WITHOUT TOEFL or IELTS scores: Students are tested on campus with Accuplacer exam and Writing Sample; placed into appropriate coursework upon completion. 

Graduate English Proficiency Guidelines

Duquesne University requires submission of the TOEFL or IELTS scores for all graduate applicants whose home language is not English. The English as a Second Language Program conducts a review of all international students upon arrival to determine individual needs for English language instruction to support success in the chosen degree program.

The University requires minimum scores in each area to be considered for admission. Please note that certain academic programs may require higher scores. Prospective students should consult their program of choice for more information about specific degree requirements. Click here for information about Graduate and Professional Programs.

You will take English language placement tests when you arrive at Duquesne. Based on these tests, the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program will determine whether there is a need for English support as you begin your studies.

If placement test results indicate a need for English instruction, you will be enrolled in the appropriate courses with the on-campus ESL Program. The number of courses required for ESL classes depends on your test results. Students should be prepared to take ESL classes if necessary. The cost of ESL courses is in addition to tuition for academic courses. Click here to view the cost of ESL courses.

International Teaching Assistants English Language Guidelines

Pennsylvania state law and Duquesne University policies require certification of sufficient English language fluency for all faculty and teaching assistants. The same requirements and policies apply as above for all graduate students. In addition, a Teach Test is required in collaboration with CTE and the student's program to demonstrate sufficient presentation skills and English fluency.

Pathway English Language Guidelines

The Pathway Program grants you time to work on your English language, writing, and speaking skills to help you gain full admission to an academic graduate program. As a student in the Pathway Program you will take ESL classes that will prepare you for academic classes and the TOEFL/IELTS scores needed for full admission into your chosen graduate program.

If you take an IELTS or TOEFL exam, it is important to send us your scores in order for the ESL Program to have documentation of your current English language proficiency. The Duquesne University TOEFL Institution code is 2196.

If you are interested in studying ESL without applying to a degree program, please visit our ESL website.