ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

All international graduate students whose native language is not English must meet minimum English proficiency standards.

To achieve admission, international graduate students must attain English proficiency verification.

To become eligible to teach in positions such as Graduate Assistant-Teaching, Instructor, Lecturer, etc., the State of Texas Education Code (Section 51-917) requires that international graduate students attain English proficiency certification.   

Citizens of certain English speaking countries are exempt from the verification requirement.  Refer to the list on the Office of Admissions website. 

English Proficiency Verification can be attained using the following:

  • a TOEFL score of at least 80 on TOEFL iBT (550 paper-based), or
  • an IELTS score of at least 6.0, or
  • a GRE Verbal Reasoning score of at least 146 (400 on the old scale), or
  • a GMAT Verbal score of at least 22, or
  • a PTE Academic score of at least 53, or
  • Acquiring alternative verification during the admission process from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies via a departmental request.  An international graduate student holding a master’s degree from an accredited institution located in the U.S. qualifies for alternative verification.

Individual colleges or departments may choose to establish test standards that exceed the University minimums listed above.  Scores from TOEFL, IELTS and PTE examinations administered more than two years before submission of the admissions application are not eligible for use in attaining English proficiency verification.

Certification for International Graduate Students Serving in Teaching Positions

To become eligible to hold a teaching position at Texas A&M University, international graduate students must attain English proficiency certification either before or after enrollment.

Achieve Certification BEFORE Enrollment:

International graduate students who wish to serve in teaching positions can certify for English language proficiency before enrollment by achieving requisite scores on the oral component of the following standardized tests:  TOEFL, IELTS or PTE.  [See chart below].   Also, departments may request alternative certification under certain conditions [See details below].

Achieve Certification AFTER Enrollment:

International graduate students who wish to serve in teaching positions and have not met certification requirements prior to enrollment can certify by passing the oral section of the English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE) offered by Testing Services on the Texas A&M campus.

Eligibility levels for international graduate students serving in teaching positions

Level 1: Students eligible for teaching assignments
Level 2: Students conditionally eligible for teaching assignments for one semester only, but must simultaneously participate in Center for Teaching Excellence English Language Proficiency (CTE-ELP) instruction and achieve a certifying score on the oral section of the ELPE by the end of the semester.
Level 3: Students not eligible for teaching assignment. Students should participate in spoken language training (such as those offered by CTE-ELP or other independent English language instruction providers) to assist them in meeting English language proficiency requirements.

 

Global Standardized Tests

Locally Administered (on Texas A&M campus) Exam

Level #

TOEFL speaking section

IELTS speaking section

PTE speaking section

ELPE oral exam

1

26-30

>=8.0

>=85

80

2

23-25

7.0-7.5

75-84

75

3

<23

<7.0

<75

6

Alternative Certification for international graduate students serving in teaching positions

Departments have the option to request alternative certification from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies on behalf of an international graduate student who wishes to serve in a teaching position.   

  • An international graduate student who has received a baccalaureate degree following four years of study at an accredited institution located in the U.S. qualifies for alternative certification.
  • Departments can request alternative certification for an international graduate student who is a citizen of certain English speaking countries listed on the Office of Admissions web site.
  • All other requests for alternative certification require strong department justification.  The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies will evaluate requests on a case-by-case basis.