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English Proficiency Requirements

Effective April 15, 2020

To address the needs of students affected by COVID-19, George Mason University will accept TOEFL, IELTS, SAT/ACT, and Duolingo English Test examinations taken at-home, or in accordance with the testing agency’s guidance, as official. The change in testing format does not change the score requirements, which are listed below.

All Mason students must have a full command of academic English to be successful in their studies. For this reason, Mason requires applicants to demonstrate English proficiency for admission consideration, regardless of citizenship.

English Waiver

  • An English waiver is provided to undergraduate applicants who will have completed four years (grades 9-12) of college preparatory English (excluding ESL and remedial English courses) at a U.S. secondary school, excluding Puerto Rico, or in the following countries with grades of C or better in each English course by the time you enroll at George Mason University:

    Canada (excluding province of Quebec)
    Commonwealth Caribbean (Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago)
    United Kingdom
    Ireland
    Australia
    New Zealand

  • Applicants who complete English Composition I & II with grades of C or higher in each course at a US college or university accredited by one of the organizations found here. ESL and remedial English courses are not accepted.
  • Applicants who hold a conferred bachelor’s degree or higher from a U.​S.​ college or university accredited by an organization found here or recognized university in:

    Canada (excluding province Quebec)
    Commonwealth Caribbean (Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago)
    United Kingdom
    Ireland
    Australia
    New Zealand

Examinations and Scores

The university will not accept any examination scores that are more than two years old as verification of English language proficiency including

TOEFL iBT Undergraduate - Testing code 5827

  • Volgenau School of Engineering Undergraduate: 80, no section minimum
  • All other undergraduate programs: 80 or higher, minimum of 18 in each subsection

* Starting with the Spring 2020 term, the Office of Admissions uses the TOEFL 'MyBest' score (superscores) from tests taken over the last two years to determine English Proficiency.

TOEFL iBT Graduate- Testing code 5827

  • School of Business Graduate: 93 points, 20 points in each section
  • Volgenau School of Engineering Graduate: - 80 or higher, no section minimum
  • Schar School of Policy and Government PhD Programs: 100 or higher, 23 points in each section
  • All other graduate programs- 88 points, minimum 20 in each section

* Starting with the Fall 2020 term, the Office of Admissions uses the TOEFL 'MyBest' score (superscores) from tests taken over the last two years to determine English Proficiency

TOEFL ITP - Mainland China Applicants Only* (Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 Only)

  • Undergraduate programs: 543 overall score required, with a minimum of 53 in each subsection
  • Graduate Programs: 543 overall score required, with a minimum of 53 in each subsection

*The TOEFL ITP is available only for students who are taking the examination in mainland China. The TOEFL ITP does not permanently replace the TOEFL iBT, but provides a temporary TOEFL testing option for students in China.

IELTS Undergraduate

6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each subsection

IELTS Graduate

  • School of Business Graduate: 7 overall, with a minimum of 7.0 in each subsection
  • All other graduate programs- 6.5 total band score

Pearson Academic Test of English

A minimum score of 59, all applicants

Duolingo English Test Undergraduate (Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 Only)

Minimum score of 110

Duolingo English Test Graduate (Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 Only)

Minimum score of 120

SAT I

Evidence-based Reading and Writing score of 500 or higher (new exam). Mason’s SAT testing code is 5827. Undergraduate applicants only.

ACT

A score of 20 or higher on both the English and Reading section. Mason’s ACT testing code is 4357. Undergraduate applicants only.

IELA Undergraduate

Overall score of 176 with a minimum of 169 in each subsection

IELA Graduate

  • School of Business Graduate overall score of 185 with a minimum of 185 in any subsection
  • All other graduate programs- Overall score of 176

INTO Mason

English proficiency can be shown by enrolling in an Academic English Language program at the INTO George Mason University Center and successfully completing Level 6 for undergraduate programs or Level 7 for graduate programs. To apply for an English Language program, please visit http://www.intohigher.com/mason/apply.

Please Note: English proficiency may be met by one of the above ways, the Office of Admissions may still request additional documentation if deemed necessary.