Manimegalai Samidurai

Updated on 11-05-2023


Study in USA without IELTS

Study in USA without IELTS

Want to study in USA without IELTS? Yes, it is possible. While IELTS is a widely accepted measure of English proficiency for students, some universities also accept alternative tests such as TOEFL, Duolingo, etc. The United States is a highly sought-after destination for higher education, known for its globally recognized degrees and academic excellence. To gain admission to a US university, demonstrating English proficiency is a key requirement. This article lets you know the various English proficiency tests accepted by USA universities and how to study in USA without IELTS.

Table of Contents

How to study in USA without IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a widely recognized language proficiency test that plays a crucial role in studying abroad. However, some universities in the USA accept students without it, expanding options for education.

  1. Some US universities may accept other English proficiency tests, such as TOEFL, Cambridge English exams, or the PTE Academic test, as an alternative to the IELTS.

  2. Some US universities may waive the English proficiency requirement for international students who have completed their secondary education in an English-speaking country or have studied in an English-medium curriculum for a certain period of time.

  3. Some US universities may also consider other factors such as academic records, letters of recommendation, essays, and interviews, in addition to English proficiency, when evaluating the application of international students.

  4. International students who have completed a degree from an English-medium institution may also be exempt from the IELTS requirement.

  5. Students who are citizens of countries where English is the official language may be exempt from the IELTS requirement.

  6. Some universities may offer intensive English language p
    rograms that can help students improve their language proficiency before starting their academic program.

  7. Students can also demonstrate their English proficiency by participating in English-language courses, programs, or exams, such as the Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) or the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC).

  8. It is important to research the specific requirements and options for each university, as they may vary depending on the institution and program.

Top Universities to Study in USA without IELTS

The following table provides information about universities that do not require the IELTS for international students. US universities without IELTS Alternate options for IELTS
1 University of Colorado TOEFL, Duolingo
2 University of Delaware TOEFL, Cambridge English Assessment, Duolingo
3 University of Dayton TOEFL, PTE
4 Northwood University TOEFL, Cambridge English Tests, PTE
5 Rice University TOEFL, Duolingo
6 State University of New York TOEFL, Cambridge English tests, iTEP, Duolingo
7 University of North Alabama iBT, TOEIC, PTE, Duolingo
8 University of New Orleans TOEFL, Duolingo
9 University of Arkansas PTE, TOEFL, iTEP
10 California State University TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo
11 National Louis University TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo
12 Drexel University TOEFL, Duolingo
13 University of Iowa TOEFL, Duolingo
14 University of Colorado Boulder TOEFL, Duolingo
15 Harvard University TOEFL

Check out the requirements given below to get into the universities without IELTS.

1. University of Colorado

The University of Colorado provides multiple options for demonstrating English proficiency, including alternative methods such as the TOEFL, Duolingo, or completion of an English language program from an approved institution.  Additionally, students who have completed at least two years of secondary education in an English-speaking country may be exempt from English language proficiency requirements.    

2. University of Delaware

The University of Delaware requires to submit their TOEFL, Duolingo, or Cambridge English assessment scores.  However, students who have completed at least two years of full-time study in an English-speaking high school or university may be exempted from this requirement. The university may also evaluate the student's English proficiency through an interview or by reviewing their academic record.

3. University of Dayton

The University of Dayton accepts TOEFL and PTE scores in addition to IELTS scores for international students applying for admission. Applicants who have taken any of these English proficiency exams and meet the minimum score requirements may submit their scores as part of their application.

4. Northwood University

Northwood University is a private university located in Michigan, USA that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in business, management, and entrepreneurship. The university accepts TOEFL, Cambridge English Tests, and PTE scores in addition to IELTS scores as proof of English proficiency for international students seeking admission. This provides greater flexibility for students who may have taken a different English language proficiency exam.

5. Rice University

Rice University, a highly ranked research university located in Houston, Texas, accepts TOEFL and Duolingo scores in addition to IELTS scores as proof of English language proficiency for international students seeking admission. Applicants who have completed their education in countries where English is not the primary language are required to demonstrate their English language proficiency through one of these tests.

6. State University of New York

The State University of New York (SUNY) is one of the largest university systems in the United States, consisting of 64 institutions. For international students who wish to apply for admission to a SUNY institution, the university system accepts a variety of English language proficiency tests, including TOEFL, Cambridge English tests, iTEP, and Duolingo scores, in addition to the IELTS score. This provides international students with multiple options to demonstrate their English language proficiency and meet the admission requirements of SUNY institutions.

7. University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama accepts a variety of English language proficiency tests, including iBT, TOEIC, PTE, and Duolingo scores, in addition to IELTS scores. This allows international students to demonstrate their language proficiency in a way that works best for them. Students should check the university's website or contact their admissions office for more information on the specific requirements and accepted scores for each test.

8. University of New Orleans

The University of New Orleans (UNO) accepts TOEFL and Duolingo English Test scores for students seeking admission without IELTS to study in the USA. These scores demonstrate the English proficiency required to succeed in UNO's academic programs and ensure that students are able to communicate effectively in English while studying at the university.

9. University of Arkansas

If you are interested in applying to the University of Arkansas and don't have an IELTS score, don't worry! The university also accepts other English proficiency test scores, such as PTE, TOEFL, and iTEP. This gives you the flexibility to choose the test that best suits your needs and preferences. Just make sure to check the university's admissions website for the minimum score requirements for each test.

10. California State University

California State University (CSU) accepts various English proficiency tests such as TOEFL, PTE, and Duolingo for students who want to apply for admission. The minimum score requirements for each test may vary depending on the program and campus you are applying to, so it is important to check the specific requirements for your intended program.

11. National Louis University

National Louis University in the USA accepts a range of English proficiency tests, including TOEFL, PTE, and Duolingo. This provides students with greater flexibility in demonstrating their English language proficiency. However, it is important to check with the university for their specific language requirements and minimum score criteria for each test.

12. Drexel University

Drexel University in the USA offers international students who wish to enroll without an IELTS score, two conditional requirements to choose from. These include the TOEFL and Duolingo for foreign students. By successfully completing either of these programs, students can meet the English proficiency requirements for admission to Drexel University.

13. University of Iowa

The University of Iowa makes English proficiency a crucial factor for success in academic studies and has therefore established various ways for international students to prove their proficiency. The University of Iowa accepts TOEFL and Duolingo English Tests as alternate options for international students who are interested in applying but do not have IELTS scores. The minimum required TOEFL score is 80 (iBT) or 550 (paper-based), while the minimum required Duolingo score is 105.

14. University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder is a renowned institution that offers admission to international students from all over the world. For non-native English speakers, demonstrating English proficiency is a requirement for admission. While IELTS is the most commonly accepted English proficiency test, the university also accepts TOEFL and Duolingo as alternative options.

15. Harvard University

Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world, attracting international students from various countries. While a strong knowledge of English is essential for successful study at Harvard, the university does not require an English proficiency exam for admission. However, international applicants who have taken the TOEFL or IELTS exams may choose to submit their scores as part of their application.


In summary, Studying in USA without IELTS is possible for international students who want to pursue higher education in American universities. Many universities, such as the University of Colorado Boulder and Harvard University, accept alternative English proficiency tests like TOEFL and Duolingo. Students who do not have an IELTS score can explore these alternative options to fulfill English proficiency requirements.


1. Is it possible to study in the USA without taking the IELTS test?

Yes, some universities in the USA do not require international students to take the IELTS. There are alternate options provided by the universities for admission. 

2. How can I prove my English proficiency if I don't take the IELTS?

Some universities may accept alternative proofs of English proficiency, such as the TOEFL, Duolingo English Test, Cambridge English tests, or previous academic studies in English.

3. Which universities in the USA offer programs without IELTS?

Some universities that offer programs without IELTS include the University of Colorado Denver, the University of Dayton, the University of Arkansas, the State University of New York, and the University of New Orleans.

4. Do all programs in these universities waive the IELTS requirement?

No, not all programs in these universities waive the IELTS requirement. It is important to check with the specific program and university to determine their English proficiency requirements.

5. Can I apply for a student visa without taking the IELTS?

Yes, you can apply for a study visa without IELTS. You need to submit all the required documents demanded by the specific university or college.

6. Which USA university does not require IELTS?

Find some list of universities in the USA where students are not required to take IELTS,

  • University of Colorado
  • University of Delaware
  • Northwood University
  • Rice University
  • University of Dayton
  • State University of New York
  • University of New Orleans
  • University of Arkansas
  • National Louis University
  • University of North Alabama and more.

About Author Manimegalai Samidurai

Manimegalai is a multifaceted professional, excelling as an author, writer, and study-abroad expert. Her vast knowledge of English proficiency exams, including IELTS, GRE, SAT, and PTE, and exceptional content writing skills make her a go-to resource for students seeking guidance and support in their foreign education journey. She is a trusted authority in writing content related to these test-prep exams, making her an invaluable resource for those seeking guidance. With her well-researched and informative blogs, articles, and study materials, Manimegalai has helped countless students achieve their desired band scores and get admissions to top-notch colleges & universities in countries like Canada, USA, UK, Australia, Ireland, etc. 

More Articles Post by Manimegalai Samidurai

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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