Graduate Studies

English Language Proficiency Requirements

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

Applicants from the following countries are exempt from the English proficiency requirement:

Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Caicos Islands, Canada, Dominica, England, Ghana, Grand Cayman Islands, Grenada, Guyana, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, St. Helena, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Scotland, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks Islands, Wales.

Undergraduate students:

  • TOEFL score of at least 73
  • IELTS score of at least 6.0
  • ITEP score of at least 3.7
  • PTE Academic score of at least 49
  • Successful completion of Western’s English as a Second Language Institute (WESL) program.

Graduate students (unless otherwise stated in the academic department admission requirements):

  • TOEFL score of at least 73
  • IELTS score of at least 6.0
  • ITEP score of at least 3.7
  • PTE Academic score of at least 49
  • Successful completion of 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 WIU.
  • Successful completion of one year of full-time study at the graduate level (18 semester hours or more) in residence at a U.S. institution immediately prior to matriculating at WIU.

Students may be admitted conditionally pending satisfactorily meeting English proficiency requirements. This  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 academic studies. 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 meet one of the following criteria:

  • 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 immediately prior to matriculating at WIU OR you earned an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of General Studies degree within two years of matriculation date at WIU.
  • You completed a minimum of two academic years of full-time study at the post-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.