English Proficiency Requirements

To be considered for admission to Columbia, you must be comfortable with rapid and idiomatic spoken English. There are several different ways to demonstrate that you are proficient in English on your application:

  • Your home language is English.
  • Your primary language of instruction at school has been English for the duration of your secondary school career.
  • You earned one or more of the following subsection scores:
    • 700 or higher on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing section of the SAT
    • 29 or higher on the English or Reading sections of the ACT

If you meet one or more of the above criteria, you have fulfilled Columbia’s English language proficiency requirement. If you do not, you will need to take one of the following English Language Proficiency exams. Please note that English Language Proficiency exams are in addition to our required standardized testing (currently waived for applicants in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024).

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Please visit www.toefl.org for more information on this examination. A minimum score of 105 (Internet-based test) is necessary for admission to Columbia. Your score must be reported directly to Columbia by the testing service, using report code 2116. 

Columbia accepts only TOEFL iBT® scores by test administration date (e.g. full test administration results for one sitting) and does not accept MyBest™ scores. You may send multiple results.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

Please visit www.ielts.org for more information on this examination. A minimum score of 7.5 is necessary for admission to Columbia. Your score must be reported directly to Columbia Undergraduate Admissions.

DET (Duolingo English Test)

Please visit https://englishtest.duolingo.com for more information on this examination. A minimum score of 135 on the current DET is necessary for admission to Columbia. Your score must be reported directly to Columbia Undergraduate Admissions.

In addition to the English Language Proficiency details above, we will accept the following online results from the TOEFL and IELTS examinations while they remain in place in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic: