Undergraduate English Language Proficiency

It is essential that you possess sufficient English language proficiency to successfully complete college-level courses, as well as to participate fully in all aspects of University life.

The Department of Rhetoric and Language offers courses designed specifically to assist students whose first language is not English to refine their oral and written communication skills. You may also work with faculty consultants or peer tutors in the Learning & Writing Center to improve your written English, and participate in our Conversation Partner Program to practice your spoken English.

Non-Native Speakers of English: Evidence of English Proficiency

Please Note: At its sole discretion, the University reserves the right to make exceptions to the stated English proficiency standards, or to waive submission of required official test results, when considering a student’s candidacy for admission.

We offer a number of ways for you to confirm that your English language skills are strong enough for you to begin your studies at USF.

Standardized English Proficiency Test Requirement: TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, OR DUOLINGO

If English is not your native language, or if the majority of your education has not been taught in English, you are required to submit official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), or the Duolingo English test as evidence of your English language competency.

We have a strong preference toward applications with the following scores:

  • TOEFL: 80 (minimum score required: 65)
  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum score required: 6.0)
  • Duolingo: 105 (minimum score required: 95)

The results of the USF institutional TOEFL examination, USF English Placement Test, or USF Rhetoric and Language Placement Interview may substitute for official English proficiency examination results.

Waiver of English Language Proficiency Examination Requirement

Submission of official test results of English language proficiency examinations may be waived if:

  • You have achieved an SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score of 560 or higher.
  • You have achieved an ACT English score of 22 or higher.
  • Your Predicted IB Higher-Level English A result is 5 or higher.
  • You received a grade of “B” or higher on your English O-Level exam (GCSE, IGCSE, SPM, etc.).
  • You received a grade of “B” or higher in a college-level English composition course taught in the United States.

Please Note: If English is your native language, you may request an exemption from the proficiency examination requirement on this basis, even if you have not met one of the above waiver criteria.

Core Curriculum Requirements For Degree Completion

Area A: Foundations of Communication

All undergraduate students must satisfy the Loading... by successfully completing two courses in Rhetoric: RHET 110: Written Communication I and RHET 120: Written Communication II, or their equivalents. Depending on your standardized test, placement test, or interview results, you will start the Rhetoric course sequence at the Beginning, Intermediate, or Advanced Level.

Please Note: If you start the Rhetoric course sequence at the Beginning Level, you will be required to take one or more semesters of prerequisite courses before taking RHET 110 and RHET 120. This means that your time to degree completion might be extended by one or more semesters.