Roshan Sunthar

Updated on 26-05-2023


20 IELTS Accepting Universities In USA

20 IELTS Accepting Universities In USA

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardised test that assesses a candidate’s language proficiency to study or work in English-speaking countries. As the USA is an English-speaking country, there are more than 3,000 IELTS accepting universities in USA with the IELTS band score requirement of 5.5 (min) to 8.0 (max). Some of the top universities that accept IELTS scores are: 1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2. Harvard University and 3. Princeton University.

As top universities in the USA accept IELTS TRF results for admission, international students must take their IELTS test scores seriously. During IELTS preparation, students can improve their English comprehension skills and keep up with the medium of instruction in English for MS/MBA courses. With that said, start studying before the IELTS registration process and attain a good band score.

Table of Contents

List of Top IELTS Accepting Universities in USA

There are thousands of universities that accept IELTS scores in the USA. But, here, we have tabulated a list of top universities in the USA accepting only IELTS scores. It includes the university name with its official website, 2023 QS World University Rankings, and IELTS minimum requirements for UG and PG programmes.

Top 20 Universities in USA Accepting Only IELTS Scores
University Name 2023 World Rank Undergraduate programmes Postgraduate programmes
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1 7.0 7.0
Stanford University 3 Contact institution Contact institution
Harvard University 5 7.0 7.0
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) 6 7.0 7.0
University of Chicago 10 7.0 7.0
University of Pennsylvania 13 7.0 7.0
Princeton University 16 7.0 7.0
Yale University 18 7.0 7.0
Cornell University 20 7.0 7.0
Columbia University 22 7.0 7.0
Johns Hopkins University 24 7.0 7.0
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 25 7.0 7.0
University of California, Berkeley (UCB) 27 7.0 7.0
Northwestern University 32 7.5 7.5
New York University (NYU) 39 7.5 7.5
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 44 7.0 7.0
Duke University 50 7.0 7.0
Carnegie Mellon University 52 7.5 7.5
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) 53 7.0 7.0
Brown University 63 8.0 7.0

From the table above, it’s clear that non-native English speakers who want to study in the United States of America (USA) must take the IELTS Academic test and attain the minimum IELTS band score for bachelor’s and master’s degrees respectively. 

Top IELTS Accepting Universities in USA for MS

Below are the top IELTS only accepting universities in the USA for MS courses. In addition, international students can apply to any of these educational institutions without GRE.

University Name IELTS Band Score for MS
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 7.5
University of Wisconsin-Madison 7.0
Stevens Institute of Technology 6.5
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)  6.0
California State University 6.0
University of Bridgeport 6.5
Harvard University 7.0
Boston University 7.0
University of Cincinnati 6.5
Princeton University 7.0
University of North Texas 6.5
The University of Oklahoma 6.5
Yale University 7.0
James Madison University 6.5
Washington State University 7.0

Top IELTS Accepting Universities in USA for MBA

Here is the list of top IELTS only accepting universities in the USA for Master of Business Administration (MBA) courses. For more information, students can check the MBA in USA eligibility on the universities’ official websites.

B - Schools Name IELTS Band Score for MBA
Harvard Business School 7.5
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 7.5
Booth School of Business 7.0
McCombs School of Business 6.5
Ross School of Business 7.0
SC Johnson College of Business 7.0
Yale School of Management 7.0
UCLA Anderson School of Management 7.0
Kellogg School of Management 7.0
Haas School of Business 7.0

Universities Accepting IELTS in USA: Band Score-Wise

Here you will get the list of US universities accepting IELTS band scores categorised based on their score requirements.

Universities Accepting Band 8

In IELTS, a band 8 score refers to a “very good user” in terms of skill level. It means the candidate has a full command (expert) in the English language with occasional inaccuracies. Since band 8 represents a very high rank, only a few universities are on the list. They are:

  • Brown University, RI
  • Union Presbyterian, VA

Universities Accepting Band 7 - 8

Many top universities in the US accept IELTS 7 - 8 band scores. This score refers to a “good user” who has an operational command over the language with some inaccuracies and misunderstandings. These universities are:

  • MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), MA
  • Stanford University, CA
  • California Institute of Technology, CA
  • Harvard University, MA
  • Yale University, CT
  • Johns Hopkins University, MD
  • Northwestern University, IL
  • The University of Chicago, IL
  • Columbia University, NY
  • Princeton University, NJ
  • University of Washington, WA
  • University of Pennsylvania, PA
  • Duke University, NC
  • New York University, NY
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles

Universities Accepting Band 6 - 7

Several US universities accept a decent band score of 6 - 7 from the IELTS examination. This band score represents a “competent user” who has an effective command of the language with some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. The prominent universities in this category are:


  • Art Centre College of Design, CA
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • The Pennsylvania State University, PA
  • Clinton Community College, NY
  • University of Minnesota, MN
  • Indiana University Bloomington, IN
  • Case Western Reserve University, OH
  • University of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Jackson State University, MS
  • University of South California, CA
  • The University of Texas at Austin, TX
  • Saint Peter’s University, NJ
  • Purdue University, IN
  • Michigan State University, Michigan
  • Houston Community College, TX

Universities Accepting Band 6 and Below

There are still universities in the US accepting a lower band score of 6 and below. This score range refers to “Modest user” who possesses a partial command of the language and can cope with overall meaning in most real-time scenarios. Some of the universities from this category are:

  • Cascadia College, WA
  • Texas A&M University, TX
  • Rutgers University - State University of New Jersey
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Wingate University, NC
  • University of Florida, FL
  • Arizona State University, AZ
  • Scott Community College, IA

Other than the above, Ball State University, Brandeis University, Columbia University, Duke University, Auburn University, and Hawaii Pacific University are only IELTS accepting universities in USA, mainly for undergraduate and master's programs. 


By now, you would know all the important “IELTS accepting universities in USA” based on courses and band scores. Interestingly, 99% of American 4-year colleges and universities that enrol 1000+ international students accept IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) results as proof of English proficiency for their international applicants. With that, you can plan your exam, complete the IELTS Syllabus and attain the desired band score.


1. Which US universities accept IELTS only?

The following US universities accept IELTS only for admission purposes.

  • MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Ball State University
  • Stanford University
  • Brandeis University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • Auburn University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Northwestern University
  • The University of Chicago
  • Princeton University
  • Hawaii Pacific University
  • Columbia University

2. How many universities accept IELTS in the US?

As per the IELTS USA data, there are 3,400 above universities that accept IELTS in the US.

3. Is 6.5 a good score in the IELTS for the USA?

Since many universities in the USA accept an IELTS band score of 6.5, it’s considered a good score. 

4. Which IELTS is required for the USA?

To study in USA, students must take the IELTS Academic test and obtain a minimum score of 6.0 in each module with an overall score of 6.5.

5. Is IELTS enough to get admission in the USA?

To study in most US universities, IELTS is enough to get admission. But, to study in some universities in the US, you need to provide other scores like TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc.

6. Does the USA accept 5.5 bands?

Yes. Certain universities accept 5.5 band scores of IELTS to enrol international students.

7. Do all US universities accept IELTS?

Yes. All US universities accept IELTS scores. But it varies depending on the UG and PG courses.

8. Can I go to the USA without IELTS?

Yes, you can study in the US without IELTS. All you must have is a high school education or graduation with English as the medium of instruction, followed by other eligibility criteria set by the university you're looking for.

9. What is the minimum IELTS score for a USA student visa?

According to IELTS, the minimum IELTS score for a USA student visa is 6.5.

10. What is the minimum score in each section of the IELTS for the US?

The minimum score in each section of IELTS (writing, reading, listening and speaking) is 6.0 with an overall band score of 6.5.


About Author Roshan Sunthar

Roshan Sunthar is a study abroad expert as well as a renowned writer and author in international education. His academic excellence and 5+ years of work experience give him in-depth knowledge of international standardised exams and test preparation in IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, PTE, SAT, etc. The study materials he prepares incorporate exam-like questions. He’s also an expert in writing Statement of Purposes (SOPs) and Letter of Recommendations (LORs) for college admissions. He usually spends his leisure time watching English classics and documentaries, travelling, etc.

More Articles Post by Roshan Sunthar

Kanan International is an IRCC-certified study abroad consultancy that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.

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