English Language Proficiency for International Applicants.

English is the language of instruction at Boston University. You must be able to understand rapid, idiomatic English and express yourself clearly in speech and writing.

English Proficiency Exams

International students whose native language is not English must provide official results of the Test of English as a Second Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Only official TOEFL and IELTS score reports will be accepted and must be submitted using the appropriate reporting code through SOPHAS. Photocopies of test scores or unofficial records will not be accepted

Boston University School of Public Health does not accept Duolingo English Test results.

Test and Required Minimum Score

  • TOEFL ibt: 100 or higher
  • TOEFL pbt: 600 or higher
  • IELTS – Academic Exam Only: 7.0 (total band score)

TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two (2) years from the date of examination. Applicants who do not meet the required minimum score will not be considered for admission.


  • If an international applicant’s WES ICAP evaluation states that English was the language of instruction for a completed degree, the TOEFL/IELTS requirement will be waived automatically by SPH Admissions.
  • SPH Admissions will also automatically waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for International applicants who have earned a previous degree in any of the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand or Ireland.
    • One (1) year of study in a bachelor’s degree in the US or in any of the countries above does not qualify. The majority of the bachelor’s degree program (at least 2+ years) must be completed in one of the countries above to be considered for this waiver.
  • If you do not meet either of the criteria above but believe the TOEFL/IELTS requirement should be waived for you, please submit the following to SPH Admissions:
    • A completed TOEFL and IELTS Waiver Request Form.
    • Official supporting documentation demonstrating English proficiency sent directly from the university or institution on official letterhead. We cannot accept supporting documentation directly from applicants.


Reporting codes for TOEFL and IELTS

Institution Code: 5688*
Dept. Code: Any

Please have a score report submitted through SOPHAS.