International English Test Requirements

students taking exam

All applicants for graduate study, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. To demonstrate your English language ability, you should submit an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL and TOEFL iBT® Home Edition), International English Language testing System (IELTS and IELTS Indicator), or Pearson Test of English(PTE) Academic score report to the Division of Graduate Studies. If you earned a Bachelor's or Master's degree from a country whose native language is English, the English language testing requirement will be waived.

Division of Graduate Studies minimum TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE Academic scores: 

TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT® Home Edition

  • 550 Total score on the PBT paper-based test
  • 80 Overall score on the iBT internet-based test 

IELTS and IELTS Indicator

  • Overall band score of 6.5

PTE Academic

  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic overall score of 59

Your English language proficiency scores should be sent to San Francisco State University directly by the testing service; TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE Academic scores are only valid for two years after the test date. Expired scores will not be considered.

SFSU TOEFL ETS institution code: 4683

IELTS scores should be reported online (preferred) by choosing San Francisco State University at the time of your test or by contacting the test center and requesting the test is delivered to San Francisco State University Graduate Admissions

IELTS can also be mailed to us by the exam center:

International Graduate Admissions
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, ADM 250
San Francisco, CA 94132

PTE Academic select San Francisco State University as an official test score recipient from the PTE database of institutions and programs that recognize the PTE.

*DUOLINGO - Graduate Minimum: 120. To submit your scores, select San Francisco State University – Graduate Studies at the time of the test.  Some graduate programs require higher English language testing scores than the Division of Graduate Studies. Some graduate programs do not accept the IELTS,  PTE Academic test, or DUOLINGO in place of the TOEFL test. We recommend that you review your intended program's website for additional admission criteria.

The Division of Graduate Studies does not offer conditional admission to students who do not meet the minimum English language proficiency requirement. For students who do not meet the English language requirement at this time, we recommend you enroll in the American Language Institute (ALI) right here on campus and apply to graduate study when you do meet the English language requirement. Visit the American Language Institute (ALI) website for more information.