International applicants whose first language is not English must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for admission to the university.

Automatic waivers of this requirement are granted for persons who have completed a bachelor's degree (or higher) at an accredited university in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada (excluding French Quebec), Africa (English speaking), Australia, or New Zealand.

Minimum TOEFL Score Requirements for Graduate College Admission

TOEFL scores must be reported to the university directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers the TOEFL. The university's institution code for the TOEFL is 6681. Admission to the Graduate College, which confers the majority of degree programs at Iowa, requires:

  • a score of 550 or higher on the paper-based (PBT) version of the test, or
  • a score of 81 or higher on the Internet-based version of the test (iBT).

Newly admitted graduate students who present TOEFL scores below 600 on the PBT or below 100 on the IBT will be required to complete an English Proficiency Evaluation on campus before their first registration for classes. There is no conditional admission for graduate students whose TOEFL scores are below 550 on the PBT or below 81 on the IBT.

Students may be required to complete English as a Second Language course work (typically within the first year of study) if specified as a result of the English Proficiency Evaluation.

Some graduate programs may require TOEFL scores higher than those required by the Graduate College, and some departments may require students to complete an English Proficiency Evaluation, regardless of the student's TOEFL score. Contact the department offering your degree program, or visit its website, for its specific English language proficiency requirements.

Alternatives to the TOEFL (IELTS, PTE)—Minimum Score Requirements

As an alternative to taking the TOEFL, students may take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).

  • A total IELTS score of 7.0, with no subscore less than 6.0. In addition, all IELTS test takers—regardless of score—will be required to take an on-campus English Proficiency Evaluation.
  • A PTE minimum score of 68 with no subscore less than 58

Restrictions on Study for F-2 Dependents

F-2 dependents are permitted to enroll in "less than a full course of study," even if the course of study done part-time leads to or counts towards a degree. Study that is "avocational or recreational in nature" is permitted "up to and including on a full-time basis.” F-2 dependents who wish to study full time need to apply for a change of status to F-1 student.