English Proficiency Requirements

Johnson & Wales University recognizes a number of examinations as proof of English proficiency. Acceptable proof of English proficiency may include one of the following comparable English proficiency examinations (English proficiency examinations cannot be older than two years). Please note that total exemption from ESL may require meeting both the overall score and individual subscores. 

Examination Score
Undergraduate Graduate Undergraduate Subscores (recommended) Graduate Subscores
IELTS (International English Language Testing System, Cambridge) 6.0 6.5 5.5 or higher 6.0 or higher
Duolingo English Test (DET) 105 110 90 90
TOEFL iBT (Test of English as Foreign Language, Internet, ETS 75 80 15 or higher 18 or higher
TOEFL Essentials 8 8.5
PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English) Online or at-home option 53 53 43 or higher 43 or higher
TOEFL PBT (Paper-based) revised — discontinued 20 on each of the Reading, Listening & Writing tests 20 on each of the Reading, Listening & Writing tests
Kaplan International Advanced Certificate Proficient Certificate
EF Education First, University Preparation TOEFL, see requirements above IELTS, see requirements, above
ELS — Certificate of Completion Level 112
LanguageCert International ESOL Exams C1 level of CEFR* C1 level of CEFR*
Cambridge C1 Advanced (formerly CAE) 180 or higher 180 or higher
Eiken S.T.E.P. (Society for Testing English Proficiency) Grade 1 Grade 1
Michigan English Test — MELAB — Discontinued
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 500
ACT English Language Arts 19 (average of English scores)
ACT English and Reading Section scores of 19 in each

*CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) is an international standard describing language ability.

To meet English proficiency requirements, all English language examination results must be submitted on an official test transcript or test report form that is no more than two years old. TOEFL scores must be received as official ETS scores. The Johnson & Wales University Designated Institution (DI) code is 3465. Students should use this code on their TOEFL registration form so that their scores will be sent directly to Johnson & Wales University. Legible copies of IELTS Test Reports may be verified through the IELTS verification service.

Students may be exempted from individual ESL classes based on their individual test section scores. Johnson & Wales University also reserves the right to require a student to take ESL classes to increase proficiency in a particular area, regardless of total test scores.

Other English language examination results will also be considered, and experience studying in the English language, as documented through school transcripts, will be taken into consideration.

Additional qualifications that meet English proficiency requirements include the following:

For Undergraduate Study
GCSE, CIE, IGCSE or Singapore/Cambridge O Levels Grade of 4, or Grade of C or higher in English Language
International Baccalaureate Examinations — IBO.org Grade of 4 or higher in English SL/HL (Syllabus A)
Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Grades I–III in English Language
WAEC West African School Certificate Examination** Grade 6 or better in English Language
For Graduate Study
Nigeria — completion of an accredited university program Level acceptable for graduate school admission
Ghana — completion of an accredited university program Level acceptable for graduate school admission

Majority English-Speaking Countries

Applicants who submit an official transcript from the following countries where English is the dominant native language and primary language of instruction may not be required to submit English language test scores, based on transcript review. JWU reserves the right to request English proficiency, as needed.

Official transcripts (examination certificates) will need to be provided. 

  • Anguilla (ANG)
  • Antigua & Barbuda (ANT)
  • Australia (AUS)
  • Bahamas (BAH)
  • Barbados (BAR)
  • Belize
  • Bermuda (BER)
  • Botswana
  • British Virgin Island (BVI)
  • Canada (except Quebec) (CAN)
  • Cayman Island (CAY)
  • Dominica (DOM)
  • Falkland Island
  • Fiji (PJI)
  • Gambia**
  • Ghana**
  • Gibraltar (GIL)
  • Grenada (GRN)
  • Guam (GUM)
  • Guyana (GUY)
  • Ireland (IRE)
  • Jamaica (JAM)
  • Liberia**
  • Kiribati (KIR)
  • Malta (MLT)
  • Marshall Islands (MRI)
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia, Fed States (MIC)
  • Montserrat (MNT)
  • Namibia
  • New Zealand (NWZ)
  • Nigeria**
  • Scotland (SCO)
  • Seychelles (SEV)
  • Sierra Leone**
  • St. Helena
  • St. Kitts & Nevis (STR)
  • St. Lucia (STL)
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines (STV)
  • Trinidad and Tobago (TRT)
  • Turks and Caicos Island (TCI)
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom (UNK)
  • Virgin Islands
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

** West African Examinations Council member countries — see WAEC West African School Certificate Examination requirements, above.