Skip to main content

English Proficiency Exam Requirements

A strong command of the English language is a requirement of admission for international students. The TOEFL or IELTS is required for all applicants whose native language is not English.

Unable to find an open testing center?
We are temporarily accepting scores from Duolingo with a score at least 115 to meet our English proficiency standards. You may make use of this expanded policy or submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, if they are available. 


Achieve a minimum internet-based score of 80 on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or TOEFL Home Edition. This test must have been taken within the last 2 years. Cal Poly's institution code is 4038.


Achieve a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). This test must have been taken within 2 years. Some individual graduate programs may require higher scores, so please review program-specific requirements.

TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Requests

Undergraduate applicants may be eligible for a waiver if they have been educated at an institution whose language of instruction is English for a minimum of three years. Transfer applicants must also have completed all General Education Area A courses (English Composition, Critical Thinking, and Public Speaking) with a ‘B’ or higher grade. General Education Area A courses that are currently in progress will not be taken into consideration for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver request.

An automatic waiver of TOEFL or IELTS will be given to graduate applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

To request a waiver of TOEFL or IELTS, complete the appropriate form for your entry level.

First-year students Transfer students Grad students


For your request to be evaluated, you'll also need to mail official transcripts to:

Cal Poly
Transcript Processing
MC 1001
1 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

or email to [email protected].

Waiver requests will be treated as an appeal and will be reviewed on an individual basis. Those requesting a waiver can expect to learn the final decision by way of a formal letter sent to their mailing address within three weeks of receipt of the waiver request. Waivers will not be granted without submission of official transcripts.

Country of Citizenship Automatic Waiver

The TOEFL/IELTS requirement is automatically waived for the following countries:

Antigua Falkland Islands Scotland
Australia Gambia Sierra Leone
Bahamas Ghana Solomon Islands
Barbados Grenada South Africa
Barbuda Guyana St. Lucia
Belize Ireland Trinidad & Tobago
Bermuda Jamaica Uganda
British Virgin Islands Kenya United Kingdom
Canada (except Quebec) Liberia Zambia
Cayman Islands Mauritius Zimbabwe
Dominica New Zealand