10 Schools to Study in the United States Without IELTS | 2023

Study in the United States Without IELTS: Even though the cost of education in the United States is significantly higher than in other countries, many international students interested in furthering their education choose to pursue their academic pursuits in the United States.

It is estimated that 30% of students studying in the United States are from foreign countries. This is possible because the education system in the United States is one of the best in the world.

But some of the rules for getting into colleges and universities in the United States can make it hard for international students who want to get a degree in the land of opportunities.

One of these options is to take the IELTS test. Many people would rather not have to show how good they are at speaking English.

Continue reading this article to learn more about the schools in the United States that do not require international students to have a certain IELTS score before being accepted.

How to Study in the United States Without Taking the IELTS

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a challenge for many international students because it is designed for those who are not natural English speakers.

The many IELTS attempts option is not one that many people are interested in pursuing because the exam can become highly pricey to take on multiple occasions.

If you want to study in the United States but don’t have the IELTS, here are some of the most important things you need to know:

  • You will need a letter from your previous university or college stating that the graduate course you pursued was taught in English to apply for postgraduate courses. You can get this letter from the registrar’s office at your previous school.
  • To enroll in classes at the undergraduate level, you need to have taken English as a compulsory subject while you were in high school.
  • It is possible that you will not need to take the IELTS test if you earned your degree in a nation in which English is the official language.
  • Suppose you cannot provide the university with your IELTS scores. In that case, the university may require you to participate in their English language preparatory program, the Intensive English Language Program (IELP).

Alternative Proficiency Tests That Can Be Taken in Place of the IELTS

If you wish to take a proficiency test but not the IELTS, a few others are accepted in the United States for one reason or another. They are as follows:

1. PTE (Pearson English Test):

The PTE Academic is a computer-based English test for people who don’t speak English as their first language and want to study abroad. It checks how well the candidates can read, write, listen, and talk.

The PTE has continued to gain ground in the United States and is now widely acknowledged across many institutions in the United States.

The minimum score required should be at least 54, but this number can vary based on your application institution.

2. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language):

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a standard test for people who don’t speak English as their first language and want to attend college in an English-speaking part of the world.

It is one of the most common tests taken by students from other countries worldwide.

Generally, universities require a score between 71 and 92, which can vary based on the course and school. But you’ll need even better grades to get into a Ph.D. program in the United States.

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Schools That Allow You to Study in the United States without IELTS

1. Rice University

A student doesn’t need to take the IELTS if they have already graduated from an institution of higher education where English is the official language of communication.

If an international student has a degree from a university where English is the main language of communication, they do not need to take the TOEFL or IELTS.

More so, the department responsible for admissions may request that the student not be required to take the IELTS if it determines that the student possesses sufficient English communication abilities to succeed in the program.

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2. University of Colorado

The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university in Colorado.

The student applying must have finished at least one year of full-time attending an educational institution in the United States.

However, this arrangement does not apply to several countries, including Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa, and Ghana.

NB: The College of Music, the Business PhD Program, and the Department of Economics requires the TOEFL, even if you have studied in the U.S. before and for how long.

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3. University of Delaware

The English Language Institute at the University of Delaware has a program called “Academic Transitions.”

This program helps you learn English and get a head start on your college courses. If you finish the Academic Transitions program and do well, you don’t have to take the TOEFL or IELTS to start full-time study at UD.

The university allows students to gain conditional admission if they complete the program and demonstrate that they have the necessary level of English proficiency.

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4. University of Arkansas

The university examines prospective students’ English language skills.

It grants conditional admission if they promise to take one to six credit hours of English and cultural studies and their other classes.

An Intensive English Language Program, sometimes called IELP, is another available alternative.

NB: The Duolingo English Test (DET) is approved as an additional measure that can be used on a case-by-case basis under certain conditions for admission and enrollment, with the understanding that students must take more tests when they get to campus.

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5. California State University

Suppose an international student has attended secondary school or/and graduate school where English was used as the medium of instruction.

In that case, they are exempt from the need to show an IELTS score to gain admission to the university.

In addition, there are a few nations whose students are exempt from the requirement that they have a minimum level of English proficiency.

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6. University of North Alabama

Non-native speakers are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, or PTE scores unless they meet at least one of the following criteria:

1) at the time of initial enrollment, they will hold a degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in one of the English-speaking countries.

2) at the time of initial enrollment, they will have been enrolled in coursework for at least two years at a U.S. institution or an institution in one of the English-speaking countries.

3) they are a citizen or legal resident of one of the English-speaking countries. 

Information on TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE registration is available online or at U.S. embassies, consulates, Institute of International Education offices, AMIDEAST offices, and other organizations concerned with international education. 

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7. Drexel University

Suppose you don’t already meet the language requirement.

In that case, you’ll need to participate in the University Preparation Summer Program (UPREP) and the Bridge Program for International Students before enrolling in the university.

More so, TOEFL scores of 100 or IELTS scores of 7.0 are required for competitive applicants. If the candidate has earned a degree from an accredited institution in the United States, this requirement may be waived. The TOEFL/IELTS is also waived for applicants from certain countries.

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8. Northwood University

You need to show that you went to a foreign or American school for at least three years and did well there.

The school can show that classes were taught in English with a signed letter or an official transcript, or the Northwood University International Program staff can check in other ways.

More so, students without IELTS scores can be admitted to this school if they prove that English was their primary language of instruction during their senior secondary or undergraduate studies.

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9. National Louis University

You can apply if you have a certificate from a former institution demonstrating that you earned a degree in English as the primary teaching medium.

Thus, National Louis University is one of the schools in the United States that don’t fully require IELTS.

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10. University of Dayton

This University is a private research institution affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church in Dayton, Ohio.

Those eligible international students who do not meet the university’s language requirement have options to participate in the Intensive English Language Program (IELP), or TOEFL, or Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) before they can be admitted into the university.

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Is an IELTS Score Required to Apply for a Student Visa in the United States?

One of the requirements for applying for a student visa to the United States is adequate English fluency.

You do not need to take the IELTS to apply for a student visa in the United States if you are coming from a country where English is the primary language of instruction in secondary schools or if you have graduated from a bachelor’s degree program in which English was the primary language of instruction.

If you don’t have a score from the IELTS, it won’t be easy for international students from countries where English isn’t the main language to pass the visa interview.

Even if you haven’t taken the IELTS, you must bring a letter to your visa interview showing that you have been accepted to a college or university in the United States.

Additionally, you will need to demonstrate that you have excellent communication skills in English.

Scholarships Available in the USA That Do Not Require IELTS

Fully-funded scholarships in the United States that do not require the IELTS are accessible for students in any degree program or major.

Some opportunities are also made available to students participating in exchange programs.

The following is a list of the many scholarships available to study in the United States that do not require a score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

  • Michigan State University Scholarships with IELTS Exemption
  • Clark Merit Scholarships
  • Fulbright Foreign Student Program
  • American University Emerging Leaders Scholarship
  • The NextGen Scholarships
  • Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program
  • Rotary Peace Scholarships
  • Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarships

Frequently Asked Questions on Studying in the United States Without IELTS

Is the IELTS exam difficult?

IELTS, the world’s most widely accepted measure of English ability, isn’t very difficult to take. It tests your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills in less than three hours.

What is the IELTS exam for?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is made to help you work, study, or move to a country where English is the native language. This includes places like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Who is eligible for IELTS?

If you’re above 16, you can take the IELTS test; if you’re under 16, you shouldn’t take it because it can be very difficult.

Can I go to Canada without IELTS?

Even the Canadian Embassy now allows foreign students to study in Canada without requiring them to take the IELTS exam. There are several ways for a foreign student to get into a Canadian university without having to take or pass the IELTS examination.


Study in the United States Without IELTS: It is possible to attend university in the United States without obtaining an IELTS certificate; however, this is determined solely by the standards of individual schools.

Because you will be required to study in English, it is almost always necessary to provide evidence that you have a certain level of English proficiency.

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ST Admin
ST Admin

Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of www.schoolandtravel.com at present.

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