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English Proficiency

Because of the importance we place on students' ability to communicate effectively in both the classroom and field instruction setting, applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. Applicants are required to provide an official score report from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS), or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB). Photocopies and/or faxes of English proficiency scores will not be accepted.

Applicants who have earned a degree from an institution where the language of instruction is exclusively English regardless of country are exempt from submitting a TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB score. Other applicants with at least two years of non-degree study from an institution where the language of instruction is exclusively English are exempt from submitting a TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB score. The TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB should be taken no later, preferably earlier, than January of the year in which the applicant wishes to be admitted. Test scores are valid for two years. TOEFL scores are sent via tape directly to the University of Michigan (institution code: 1839). Official IELTS and MELAB scores must be sent directly to the School of Social Work.

English Proficiency Test Scores

The recommended minimum score for each test is as follows:

Test Score
TOEFL 600 (PBT); 250 (CBT); 100 (iBT)
IELTS 7.0
MELAB 85

Applicants meeting the minimum criteria for admission but scoring below the recommended English proficiency scores listed above will be required to complete an interview via telephone or in person. Students admitted with a test score of less than our recommended minimum are required to attend the Summer English for Academic Purposes Program (see below) language program prior to enrollment.

Admitted applicants with the following test scores will be required to schedule an appointment and meet with an English Language Institute (ELI) advisor when they arrive on campus prior to enrollment:

Test Score
TOEFL < 620 (PBT) or any part score < 62
< 260 (CBT) or any part score < 26
< 106 (iBT) or Listening < 26 or Speaking < 27 or Reading < 26 or Writing < 27
IELTS < 7 or any part score < 7
MELAB < 85 or any part score < 85

Additional instruction in English and/or a reduced course load may be recommended based on the ELI assessment.

Information and applications for English proficiency tests may be obtained by contacting the following:

Summer English for Academic Purposes Program

The English Language Institute at the University of Michigan offers a summer English for Academic Purposes program. The program is designed for non-native speakers of English who are proficient in English and have been accepted to an English-speaking university for the following fall term. It is a six and one-half week, non-credit program aimed at helping students make their transition into a U.S. university community. All non-native, English-speaking international students are encouraged to consider enrolling in the EAP Program in the summer prior to enrollment. Involvement in an intensive English language study program can help admitted social work students develop the language skills they need to be successful in the social work classroom and their MSW field instruction placement.

Please note that enrollment in the summer EAP Program will increase the dollar amount required to show adequate financial resources.

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