An international graduate student whose native language is not English must fulfill an English proficiency requirement through either English Proficiency Verification or English Language Certification. This proficiency requirement should be met early in a student’s program, and it must be completed before scheduling either the final examination for the master’s degree or the preliminary examination for the doctoral degree. 

Two levels of English Proficiency Status for a graduate student include: English Proficiency Verified and English Proficiency Certified. English Proficiency Certification is required by the State of Texas, before a graduate student is eligible to serve as a Graduate Assistant-Teaching, or any other position considered to be a teaching position (e.g., instructor, lecturer, etc.). All other students must be either English Proficiency Verified or English Proficiency Certified.

English Proficiency Verification can be achieved by presenting:

  • 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
  • GMAT Verbal score of at least 22, or
  • a PTE Academic score of at least 53, or
  • acquiring alternative verification from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies via a departmental request. An international graduate student holding a masters degree from an accredited U.S. institution qualifies for alternative verification. 

Individual colleges may choose to establish minimum TOEFL standards that exceed the University minimum for English Proficiency Verification. Scores from TOEFL examinations administered more than two years before submission of the application for admission shall not be eligible for English Proficiency Verification.

English Proficiency Certification can be achieved by:

  • scoring at least 80 on each of the sections (reading, listening, written composition and oral skills) of the English Language Proficiency Examination (ELPE),
  • obtaining grades of A or B in English Language Institute (ELI) courses (reading, listening, written composition and oral skills) at the 300-level or higher, or
  • acquiring alternative certification from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies via a departmental request.

A student who has received a baccalaureate degree following four years of study at an accredited U.S. institution or institutions qualifies for alternative certification. All other requests for alternative certification require strong department justification and review in compliance with Office of Graduate and Professional Studies policies and guidelines.

An international student who has completed an equivalent English training program at an institution other than Texas A&M may request English Proficiency Verification or Certification.

Verification or Certification is requested through the Departmental Graduate Advisor. The student should provide the Departmental Graduate Advisor with documentation to support Verification or Certification. If the department concurs with the request, the Departmental Graduate Advisor will submit a letter recommending and requesting Verification or Certification (with documentation attached) to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies will determine on a case-by-case basis whether Verification or Certification is granted.