English Proficiency

English Proficiency Requirement

Non-Native Speakers of English

Admission to all levels of University study is contingent upon successful completion of English language proficiency requirements. Non-native speakers of English can provide evidence of English language proficiency through a variety of options. Admission to the on-campus English Language Center (ELC) and subsequent enrollment in English language courses at the ELC does not imply admission to the University.

Conditional Admission

If your native language is not English, evidence of English proficiency must be demonstrated to enroll in academic, credit bearing courses. Conditional admission to Old Dominion University is offered only to those highly qualified applicants meeting University admission requirements with the exception of English language proficiency. Granting of conditional admission is subject to program approval, and may not be available for all programs of study. Admitted students who have not satisfied the English language requirement are automatically offered intensive English language studies at the on-campus English Language Center.

Satisfy by any of the following:

Test Score
TOEFL Paper-Based 550
IELTS 6.5 overall
GRE (verbal reasoning) 150
GRE (verbal) 480
SAT (critical reading) 480
SAT (reading test) 26
GCSE or GCE "O" level pass in English
CPE C or higher
PTE Academic Test 53
Duolingo 120

  • Possession of a Bachelor's or Master's degree equivalent from an accredited institution located in a country where English is the native language.
  • Successful completion of two university or college level English courses at a regionally accredited U.S. institution.* Successful completion is defined as obtaining a minimum grade of C (2.00) in each of these courses. These courses must be equivalent to the University's English composition, advanced composition or technical writing course. *Matriculated Old Dominion University / English Language Center students must receive prior approval from the Office of International Admissions to take English composition courses at another institution for the purpose of satisfying the English Proficiency Requirement.
  • Successful completion of the Monarch English Transition (MET) Program (formerly the Bridge Program). Successful completion is defined as satisfying the following two criteria: a.) Securing a minimum grade of B and demonstrating 85% attendance in each English Language Center class; and b.) Securing a minimum grade point average of 2.50 (undergraduate) or 3.00 (graduate) in academic courses taken during the MET Program.

Students who choose to satisfy English proficiency requirements through the on-campus ELC will be placed according to the following criteria:

  • TOEFL iBT score below 61 (500 paper-based), IELTS score below 5.5, Duolingo below 105: automatically eligible to enroll in the Intensive English Program (IEP).

  • TOEFL iBT score between 61 - 78 (500 - 550 paper-based), IELTS 5.5 – 6.0, Duolingo 110 – 115 (if program applicable) : automatically eligible to enroll in the MET Program, which includes both academic and semi-intensive ELC course work.

English Language Center IEP students may enter the MET Program directly without TOEFL test scores after satisfying the following requirements: a.) Successful completion of level 5 in the IEP program with a 'B' grade or higher; and b.) Receive passing scores on level exit assessments. This option is only available to students that have progressively enrolled in the Intensive English Program.