IELTS Score for USA

Updated on


IELTS Score for USA

Ace the IELTS Exam: Try a FREE Demo Today!

Recommended IELTS score for USA varies for every university. Most of the universities in the USA accept an ielts band score of 6-6.5. However, to get admission into top American Universities you need to maintain at least a band score of 7-7.5. 

IELTS score for USA are graded on a scale of 0 to 9 based on the student’s performance in the exam. The score scale and the assessment for each band score of the IELTS test is given in the below

  1. Expert user - 9
  2. Very good user - 8
  3. Good user - 7
  4. Competent user - 6
  5. Modest user - 5
  6. Limited user - 4
  7. Extremely limited user - 3
  8. Intermittent user - 2
  9. Non user - 1
  10. Did not attempt - 0

Table of contents

According to the Times higher education world’s ranking, here is the list of universities given with the required IELTS score for USA admission. This will help you to know the ideal targeted score you need to crack in IELTS to secure admission in the top universities.

Name of the Institution

World University Ranking Required IELTS score
(undergraduate courses)
Required IELTS score
 (Post-graduate courses)
Harvard university 2 7 7
California institute of Technology 2 7 7
Stanford Univesity 4 Reach out to institute's admission office Reach out to institute's admission office
Massachusetts institute of Technology 5 7 7
Princeton University 7 Reach out to institute's admission office 7
University of california, Berkeley 8 7 7
Yale University of Chicago 10 7 7
Columbia University 11 7 7
University of Pennsylvania 13 7 7
Johns Hopkins University  13 7 7
University of California, Los Angeles 20 7 7
Cornell University 22 7 7.5
Duke University 23 7 7
University of Michigan 24 7 7
Northwestern University 24  7.5 7.5
New York University 26 7.5 7.5
Carnegie Mellon University 28 7.5 7.5
University of Washington 29 7 7
University of California, San Diego 34 7 7
Georgia Institute of Technology 45 Reach out to the institution Reach out to institution
The University of Texas at Austin 47 6.5 6.5
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 48 6.5 6.5
Washington University in St Louis 51 7 7
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 52 7 7
University of Wisconsin-Madison 58 6.5 7
Boston University 62 7 7
University of Southern California 63 6.5 6.5
Brown University 64 8 7
University of California, Davis 67 7 7
University of California, Santa Barbara 68 7 7
Emory University 82 Contact the institution Contact the institution
Ohio State University (main campus) 85 6.5 7
University of Minnesota 86 6.5 6.5
University of Maryland, College Park 93 7 7
Michigan State University 93 6.5 6.5
The University of California. Irvine 98 7 7
Dartmouth College 99 7 7
Purdue University West Lafayette 105 6.5 6.5
Vanderbilt University 113 6.5 7
Pennsylvania State University 119 6.5 6.5
Case Western Reserve University 126 6.5 6.5
University of Virginia (main campus) 127 7 7
Georgetown University 130 7 7
Arizona State University  132 6 7
Rice University  136 7 7
University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh campus 140 6.5 6.5
University of Rochester 142 7 Reach out to the institution
University of Arizona 150 6.5 7
University of Florida 154 6 6.5
Indiana University 167 6.5 6.5
Northeatern University 168 7.5 7
Tufts University 172 7 7
University of Notre Dame 183 7 7
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey 190 6 6
Texas A&M University 193 6 6
University of California, Santa Cruz 201-250 7 7

What to do if you don’t have sufficient IELTS band score?

You might come across a situation where your IELTS score is less compared to the requirement by organisations. Try these alternative options that may help you in getting admission.

  • Try reaching out to the admissions office at your chosen university and speak to the concerned persons.
  • Contact the university’s admissions office to know whether you will be accepted on the basis of the score you got or if they offer any exemptions.
  • There is no number limit for taking the test, You can consider re-appearing for the examination to achieve targeted band score.
  • You can also consider applying for similar or alternative programs in other universities that accept a lower band score.

IELTS score for USA is valid up to 2 years from the date of result declaration. So, You can also try by applying for the universities offering admission with low IELTS band scores. Other English proficiency tests like TOEFL or Duolingo test can be considered incase of less IELTS band score.

To know more about IELTS Please Read:

IELTS exam pattern 2024 IELTS syllabus IELTS retake details
IELTS Writing Preparation IELTS Score Validity IELTS exam dates 2024

Student Visa Details for USA

To get a student visa for the USA you need a minimum band score of 6.0 in each of the four sections of IELTS with an overall band score of 6.5. Before applying for a student visa you should receive either an I-20 or a DS-2019 form from the college/university you were enrolled in, and obtain documented funding for your first year of study. Keeping I-20 or a DS-2019 in hand, you can apply for student visa to study in the USA.

The details of the different types of student visas that US embassy provides are as follows:

F 1 Student Visa

This visa is intended for students who wish to study at an accredited university/college or to study English at an English language institute.

J Exchange Visa

This visa is permitted to the students for taking part in a short-term exchange program, including university studies and high school.

M Student Visa

These are typically granted for the students enrolling in non academics or vocational training programs in the country USA.

Relevant study abroad articles


Candidates willing to study abroad at top universities require a minimum band score of 7 in the IELTS exam. Hope through the article IELTS Score for USA, you might have acquired the relevant information about a wide range of universities to choose based on your band score.

FAQs on IELTS Score for USA

1. Is 5.5 IELTS accepted in USA?

Minimum IELTS score to get admission in US universities is 6.5. But there are few universities that will accept the IELTS low band score around 5.5 - 6.0 and will give the admissions to the students.

2. Is IELTS 7 a good score for USA?

Yes, In the USA to get admission into top universities like Harvard, Stanford IELTS score of 7 or more is required.

3. What is the minimum IELTS score for US universities?

Mostly, the universities in the USA accept an IELTS score of 6 to 6.5. However, the student has to score at least 7 to secure admission to the top-tier universities in the USA.

4. Does USA accept IELTS score?

Yes, the USA accepts IELTS scores as proof of your English language proficiency. Majority of the institutions all over the USA acknowledge IELTS as it reflects your ability to understand, read and write the English language.

5. Which IELTS is required for USA visa?

To meet the USA visa requirements, an overall IELTS band score of 6.5 is required. However IELTS band score of 7 in the speaking section/test is an added advantage.

6. Can I go to USA without IELTS?

To apply for a USA student visa IELTS is not mandatory for those who have completed their previous/past education from an English speaking country or for the students who have done their international baccalaureate degree.

7. How much IELTS score is required for a scholarship in the USA?

The minimum score required to apply for a scholarship varies from one institution to another. A minimum IELTS band score of 6 is considered to be adequate to apply for a scholarship in the USA.


About Author Tejaswini Kota

Tejaswini is an enthusiastic writer, reader and a passionate learner. Additionally, she was a research fellow and holds a grip in English writings and research/paper publications. She holds bachelors and masters degrees in engineering. She spent three years in the education industry and is currently working as a full-time content writer at Kanan International, writing articles for study abroad projects. She is proficient in creating good quality content that helps the students for language proficiency tests like IELTS, GRE, TOEFL etc. and can help in advising you the right choice of college for admission.

Kanan International is a 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.