English Language Examinations

English Language Examination Requirements 

At a Glance

UC Davis accepts the below English Language tests and requires the following minimum scores.  

TOEFL iBT
Minimum Score: 80 
Institution Code: 4834
No department code.

IELTS
Minimum Score: 7.0 on a 9-point scale

Duolingo English Test
Minimum Score: 115*

Please be aware that these scores are the minimum required by the university for admission, but each program may have different requirements that could require higher scores than the university minimums. View more details about each test below.

  • TOEFL iBT Scores (In-Person or At-Home Exam)
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is given by Educational Testing Service (ETS). UC Davis will accept either the in-person or the at-home version of the TOEFL iBT examination currently offered by ETS.
     
    TOEFL Scores At A Glance
    Minimum Score Required for Admission: 80 
    Institution Code: 4834
    No department code.
    Website: http://www.ets.org/toefl
     
    How to Send Scores to UC Davis
    Official score reports must be sent from ETS electronically to UC Davis (our Institution Code is 4834 - the department code you select is not important). UC Davis will not accept unofficial score reports or score reports sent directly to us by the applicant.

    TOEFL scores expire after two years. Scores that are older than two years will not be accepted by UC Davis.
     
    Minimum Scores and Additional Testing
    Although an 80 iBT score is the minimum required for admission, additional English language coursework or testing may be required of admitted students who have iBT scores below 104 or who plan to work as TAs or AIs. Learn more about graduate language requirements and support.

    NOTE: UC Davis Graduate Studies does not accept TOEFL MyBest™ scores (a combination of an applicant's best scores for each test section from all of their valid TOEFL scores). All valid TOEFL scores will be considered, but scores will only be reviewed using each separate instance of the exam taken on a given date. UC Davis Graduate Studies also does not accept the TOEFL ITP Plus examination.
  • IELTS Academic Scores (In-Person Exam)
  • UC Davis accepts official scores from the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) designed by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate and administered by the British Council worldwide. 

    IELTS Academic Scores At A Glance

    Minimum Score Required for Admission: 7.0 on a 9-point scale
    No institution code.
    Send scores to: University of California, Davis Graduate Studies
    Website: http://www.ielts.org

    How to Send Scores to UC Davis

    Applicants must contact the IELTS test center where the test was taken to request your official test results be sent to the address below. An institution code is not required. UC Davis Graduate Studies is registered to receive IELTS Academic scores using the IELTS Results Service E-Delivery, so please send your scores to: University of California, Davis Graduate Studies

    IELTS scores expire after two years. Scores that are older than two years will not be accepted by UC Davis.

  • IELTS Indicator Scores (Online Exam)

  • Due to the lack of availability of English language testing opportunities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, UC Davis is currently accepting the IELTS Indicator examination as an alternative to the TOEFL iBT and the IELTS Academic examination. The IELTS Indicator is also designed by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate and administered by the British Council worldwide. 

    IELTS Indicator Scores At A Glance

    Minimum Score Required for Admission: 7.0 on a 9-point scale
    No institution code.
    Send scores to: University of California, Davis Graduate Studies
    Website: http://www.ielts.org 

    Scoring for the IELTS Indicator examination matches the scoring for the IELTS Academic examination. The minimum overall band score required for admission to graduate study at UC Davis is 7.0 on a 9-point scale for the IELTS Indicator examination.

    How to Send Scores to UC Davis

    When reporting your IELTS Indicator scores to UC Davis, be certain to select "University of California Davis Graduate Studies" as the institution.

  • Duolingo English Test Scores (Online Exam)

  • Due to the lack of availability of English language testing opportunities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, UC Davis is currently accepting the Duolingo English Test as an alternative to the TOEFL iBT and the IELTS Academic Examination.

    Duolingo English Test Scores At A Glance

    Minimum Score Required for Admission: 115*
    No institution code.
    Send scores to: University of California, Davis Graduate Studies
    Website: https://englishtest.duolingo.com/

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Because the Duolingo English Test is not specifically designed to test English ability in an academic setting, UC Davis strongly recommends that applicants take the TOEFL iBT, IELTS Academic examination, or IELTS Indicator examination if it is possible for them to do so. Applicants should only submit Duolingo English Test scores if none of the other examinations are available to them.

    *The minimum Duolingo English Test score to be eligible for admission to graduate study at UC Davis is a total score of 115. All applicants who submit Duolingo English Test scores as their sole English language test will be required to take the UC Davis Test of Oral Engish Proficiency (TOEP) if they are admitted to a UC Davis graduate program. However, applicants who are selected for admission but have a score below 130 will be required to complete additional English language testing or take English language courses once they enroll at UC Davis.

Exemption Eligibility

Applicants are exempt from the English language examination requirement if they have earned or will be earning a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from either: 

  • A regionally accredited U.S. college or university where English is the sole language of instruction, or
  • A foreign college or university which provides instruction solely in English. UC Davis Graduate Studies will only approve waivers for foreign colleges and universities which list English as the sole language of instruction in the IAU World Higher Education Database (WHED). If English is not the sole language of instruction listed (or if no language is listed at all), the waiver does not apply. No other documentation (e.g. letters, language certificates, school websites) will be reviewed or accepted.

Applicants who do not meet one of the criteria above are required to submit either scores from one of the tests above.

Additional English Language Testing Information

  • Do I need to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score if I have earned or am currently earning my bachelor's/master's/doctoral degree from a U.S. university?
  • If you have earned or will be earning a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university where English is the sole language of instruction, you are not required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score as a part of your application process. However, applicants who have attended universities in Puerto Rico where Spanish is the sole language of instruction must still submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.
  • I have not earned a degree from a U.S. university, but my university did teach in English. Am I still required to take the TOEFL or IELTS?
  • UC Davis will only waive the English language testing requirement for applicants whose institution offers instruction solely in English. UC Davis Graduate Studies must review and approve requests made on this basis. Please contact us if you believe you may be eligible for such a waiver
  • Does UC Davis Graduate Studies accept the Pearson Test of English (PTE)?
  • No. UC Davis Graduate Studies does not currently accept the Pearson Test of English (PTE) as an alternative to the TOEFL or IELTS.
  • I have not taken the TOEFL/IELTS exam yet. When do I have to take it so that I can still be considered for admission?
  • Graduate program application review committees meet at various times to review the applications they have received. Please check with the Graduate Program Coordinator in the graduate program to which you are applying to determine when your application must be complete for you to be considered. Please note that it can take several weeks for official scores to be issued. We recommend applicants take the TOEFL or IELTS as early as possible.
  • I already sent in my official TOEFL scores but I have retaken the exam and earned new scores. Can I send in the new scores to be added to my application?
  • If you ask ETS provide UC Davis with a new official score report, your new scores will be added to your application record. However, consider contacting the graduate program first to make certain that your new scores will arrive in time to be considered.
  • If I apply to more than one graduate program, do I need to send more than one TOEFL/IELTS score?
  • No. Test scores are matched to applicants rather than specific applications. If you have sent your scores and they have been matched to your record, they will be added to all of the applications you submit.