International Admissions

English Language Proficiency Requirements

Western Illinois University requires all prospective international applicants to demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in English. There are a number of ways in which applicants can demonstrate proficiency in English.

English Language Proficiency Requirements:

Undergraduate student:

  • TOEFL score of at least 73
  • IELTS score of at least 6.0
  • ITEP score of at least 3.7
  • Successful completion of the Western’s English as a Second Language Institute (WESL) program.

Graduate students – *unless otherwise stated in the departmental sections:

  • TOEFL score of at least 73
  • IELTS score of at least 6.0
  • ITEP score of at least 3.7
  • Successful completion of the Western’s English as a Second Language Institute (WESL) program
  • Completing a bachelor’s degree from an American institution with four years in residence, and within two
    years of matriculation at Western Illinois University.

    * Some graduate departments may require additional demonstration of verbal English proficiency before full acceptance into the program will be granted. Only students whose native language is English are exempt from the English proficiency requirements. All students who have not provided evidence of English language proficiency before arrival on campus must take the WESL Placement Test ($100 charge) during New International Student Orientation.

Students may be admitted conditionally pending satisfactorily meeting of WIU’s evidence of English proficiency requirements. To be admitted conditionally pending evidence of English proficiency means if a student is accepted into a degree-seeking program, the student will not be able to begin the program until they have provided satisfactory evidence of English proficiency.

Transfer students

  • Proof of English proficiency for admission to academics. If you do not meet English proficiency, you will be required to complete the WESL program before entering academics.

You do not have to submit proof of English proficiency if you met the following criteria within two years of starting matriculation date at WIU:

  • You studied at least two years at a regionally accredited U.S. post-secondary institution and earned the equivalent of at least 24 semester hours of transferable degree credit to include ENG 180 And 280 with a grade of “C” or higher; OR you earned an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of General Studies degree while completing the equivalent of ENG 180 and 280 with a grade of “C” or higher.
  • You completed a minimum of two academic years of full-time study at the secondary level in a country where English is the primary language (not merely the language of instruction), immediately prior to the proposed date of enrollment.