English Language Proficiency

To be eligible for admission to a graduate or professional program at Texas A&M University, international applicants are required to meet English language proficiency (ELP) standards. To qualify for graduate assistantships with direct or support instructional responsibilities, the State of Texas requires that international graduate students meet ELP standards beyond those required for admission.

English Language Proficiency Verification for Admission

To be eligible for admission, international applicants must attain English language proficiency verification. English language proficiency verification may be attained by achieving a minimum required score on one of the acceptable standardized tests, acquiring alternative verification, or be a citizen of one of the English-speaking countries that is exempt from the verification requirement.

Note: some colleges or departments may establish test standards that exceed the University minimum scores for admission to their programs. Contact the program to which you are seeking admission for information.

For information about which tests Texas A&M accepts for English language verification, how to submit scores, or which English-speaking countries of origin are exempted, visit the International Graduate Applicant Page on the Office of Admissions website.


Test Scores Accepted by Texas A&M For English Language Verification

  • Minimum TOEFL i-BT score of 80 (in person or Home Edition) from a test date within two years (Texas A&M University does not accept the MyBest TOEFL score), or
  • Minimum TOEFL Essentials score of 8.5, or
  • Minimum IELTS Academic test score of 6.0 overall band (Texas A&M University does not accept the IELTS General test), or
  • GRE Verbal Reasoning score of at least 146 (subject to departmental approval), or
  • GMAT Verbal Score of at least 22 (subject to departmental approval), or
  • Acquiring alternative verification during the admission process from the Graduate and Professional School via a departmental request.  An international graduate student holding a master’s degree, or completing all years of a bachelor's degree or higher, from an accredited institution located in the U.S. qualifies for alternative verification.


Test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to be considered official.

To report TOEFL scores:

Use code 6003 for reporting TOEFL scores to the Texas A&M University (GraduateCAS).

Use code B887 for reporting TOEFL for engineering programs (EngineeringCAS).

Use code B888 for reporting TOEFL for business programs (BusinessCAS).

To report IELTS scores:

Texas A&M University only accepts scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center. No paper Test Report Forms will be accepted. Please contact the test center where you took the IELTS test and request that your test scores be sent electronically to Texas A&M University (College Station and Galveston). Please note: there may be multiple instances of Texas A&M University.
Tests should be taken at least eight weeks prior to the appropriate application deadline to ensure timely receipt and processing of results.

Who Must Obtain ELP Verification?

All international applicants or international prospective students are required to submit proof of English proficiency to be eligible for admissions. For guidelines on which applicants are considered international students, visit the International Graduate page on the Texas A&M University Office of Admissions website.

Which Countries' Citizens Are Exempt from the English Language Proficiency Verification Requirement?

Texas A&M’s international graduate admissions webpage maintains a complete list of countries whose citizens are exempt.


How Long Are My Test Scores Valid?

Scores from TOEFL, IELTS and PTE examinations administered more than two years before submission of the admissions application are not eligible for use in attaining English proficiency verification.

What Is Alternative Verification and Who Qualifies?

Alternative verification may be attained by providing English proficiency verification through means other than the listed test scores. An international graduate student holding a master’s degree or completing all years of a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institution located in the U.S. qualifies for alternative verification. Alternative verification requests must be submitted by departments, interdisciplinary degree programs, or colleges (for college level programs). The Graduate and Professional School will determine on a case-by-case basis whether to grant alternative verification.


English Language Proficiency Certification for Teaching

Some funding offers from Texas A&M include graduate assistantships with teaching responsibilities. If you are a prospective or current international student and you want to be eligible to hold a graduate assistant-teaching position, you must obtain English language proficiency certification.

Who Must Obtain ELP Certification?

International students who want to teach in positions such as Graduate Assistant-Teaching or Graduate Assistant-Lecturer are required by the State of Texas to attain certain English language proficiency standards.

How Can I Obtain ELP Certification before Enrollment?

Students may obtain ELP certification by achieving requisite scores on the oral component of the following standardized tests: TOEFL, IELTS or PTE exams.

I Have Already Been Enrolled and Want to Hold a Graduate Assistant Teaching Position, but I Don't Have Certification. How Can I Meet ELP Certification Requirements?

International graduate students who wish to serve in graduate assistant teaching positions and have not met certification requirements prior to enrollment can certify by passing the oral section of the English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE) offered by Testing Services on the Texas A&M campus.

What Test Scores Do I Need to Attain ELP Certification?

Refer to the chart below.

Level #TOEFL Essentials
(Speaking Section) 
TOEFL (Speaking Section)
IELTS (Speaking Section)
ELPE oral exam (locally administered)Eligibility Levels for International Students Seeking to Serve in Teaching Positions
1≥ 11
Eligible for Teaching Assignments

Conditionally Eligible for Teaching Assignments for One Semester Only Pending Participation and Achievement of a Certifying Score in the Center for Teaching Excellence English Language Proficiency (CTE-ELP) Program

3≤ 8

Students Not Eligible for Teaching; Additional Training, such as CTE-ELP Required

Who Qualifies for Alternative ELP Certification?

Some examples include an international graduate student who received a baccalaureate degree following four years of study at an accredited institution or institutions located in the U.S. or a citizen of certain English-speaking countries listed on the Office of Admissions website. Previous experiences or rigorous English language training programs may also qualify. The Graduate and Professional School will determine on a case-by-case basis whether to grant alternative ELP certification.


ELP Resources

Can I Restest on the ELPE if I Don't Earn a Satisfactory Score?

Students may retest after three months from the time of their previous test. However, on a case-by- case basis, certain students enrolled in the CTE-ELP program may receive authorization for an early retest. For further information, please visit the CTE-ELP webpage.

Can I Obtain Alternative Verification or Alternative Certification?

In some cases where they feel it is warranted, departments can request alternative verification or certification for international graduate applicants or international graduate students.


Resources for Departments

Departments may request Alternative Verification, Alternate Certification, and Emergency Deferral of Certification.




Explore Grad Aggieland


Texas A&M Research Cited By Biden Says Online Harassment Of Female Politicians Threatens Democracy

Bush School graduate students Areala Mendoza, Madeleine Songy, Madeleine Pelton, Olivia Cretella, Kathryn Hopp, Olicia AJckson and Ailyah Banks co-authored a research paper on online harassment of female politicians, cited recently by President Biden in announcement about a new White House Task Force.

View All News

A Montanan Learns the Aggie Traditions

An out-of-state Aggie and her search for rings.

View All Blogs
Defense Announcement


View All Defense