IELTS Requirements to Study in USA

What is IELTS?

IELTS is an English Language Proficiency Test taken by the students all over the world to get admission in English speaking University. The Universities in the USA and other English speaking countries have the medium of instruction as English, so they require the students to be able to speak, read, write and understand the English. Language tests are a way to assess these abilities.

Basics of IELTS

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It is taken in over 140 countries worldwide, and the academic testing of IELTS is useful to international students to study abroad. It is one of the most taken English Language Test along with its rival TOEFL.

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The IELTS Syllabus contains the four essential modules of the English Language, each taken, scores and assessed individually:

  1. IELTS Reading
  2. IELTS Listening
  3. IELTS Speaking
  4. IELTS Writing

IELTS Test Pattern

It is a pen and paper based exam with each module having a separate set of questions. The answers can be one or two words, multiple choice, Yes or No/ True or False, or in the form of descriptive in case of Writing section. The right answers are given scores, there is no negative marking for the wrong answers and apart from the writing section, and there is no partial marking.

IELTS Requirements to Study in USA


IELTS Scores

IELTS scores come in the band forms.  The bands are from 0-9, with 9.0 being the highest score. The scores are either whole numbers or in the form of .5 multiples. The Universities around the world ask for 6-7.5 bands depending on the course and University.

Universities in USA and IELTS requirements

The study in the USA is by far the most popular study abroad destination. Students, who want a quality education from the top Universities in the world, look for the USA. With institutions like MIT, Stanford, Caltech and Yale, it is very believable. The Universities, along with their prestigious academics, have the same strict admission requirements and eligibility criteria. They ask for some proficiency in English Language and accept IELTS for the same. Here we are talking about the requirements for the IELTS score to get the admission at these Universities.

Given below is the list to Top 20 Universities in the USA, and the IELTS scores required for the admission in them:

Top Universities in the USA THE world Rankings Minimum IELTS requirement for UG Programs Minimum IELTS requirement for PG Programs
California Institute of Technology 3 7.0 7.0
Stanford University 3 Check  the University Website Check on the University Website
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5 6.0 6.0
Harvard University 6 7.0 7.0
Princeton University 7 7.0 7.0
University of Chicago 9 7.0 7.0
University of Pennsylvania 10 6.5 6.5
Yale University 12 7.0 7.0
Johns Hopkins University 13 7.0 7.0
Columbia University 14 7.0 7.0
University of California, Los Angeles 15 7.0 7.0
Duke University 17 7.0 7.0
University of California, Berkeley 18 6.5 6.5
Cornell University 19 6.5 6.5
Northwestern University 20 6.0 6.0
University of Michigan 21 6.5 6.5
Carnegie Mellon University 24 6.0 6.0
University of Washington 25 7.0 7.0
New York University 27 6.0 6.0
University of California, San Diego 31 6.5 6.5

These are the Top 20 ranked Universities in the USA and the required IELTS scores for them. Keep in mind that in Master’s Programs in the USA, the band requirements may change with courses. It is advisable to check the University website before applying for the IELTS.


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