English Language Proficiency

We require all non-native English speakers to take and pass one of several available proficiency exams. Scores are valid for two years from the date of the exam.


TOEFL:  Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL Code for CPS: 4999)
Internet-based and measures four areas of English language skills: speaking, listening, writing, and reading.

Program Minimum Score
MS in Regulatory Affairs 85 and a
writing portion of 22
Doctor of Education 100
All other graduate programs 79 and a
writing portion of 20 
Undergraduate 79


IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Measures ability to communicate in English across listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.

Program Minimum Score
(including MS in Regulatory Affairs) 
no band lower than 6 
Doctor of Education 7
no band lower than a 6.5
Undergraduate 6.5


PTE Academic measures your English ability by testing your level of English through tasks which reflect real-life settings.

Program Minimum Score
MS in Regulatory Affairs 57
All other graduate programs 53
All undergraduate programs 53


NU Global English Exam:  English Language Proficiency Testing at the College
We offer English proficiency tests to those located in or around the Boston area. For more information, see our test dates, or to register for the exam, please call 1.877.668.7727 or email cpsadmissions@northeastern.edu

Program Minimum Score
All programs (exam taken on or after 9/11/2014) 84

Please note: Applicants to the College of Professional Studies are only permitted to take the NU Global English Exam twice and use the test results for admission. If a successful score is not met after taking the exam twice, applicants are required to submit another form of English Language Proficiency.  

Test Results

All test results must be received as official documentation in a sealed envelope from the testing institution.

Conditional Acceptance to the College of Professional Studies
Applicants who may need to improve English proficiency, but otherwise meet the admissions criteria may be offered conditional acceptance to their program pending successful English language proficiency test results. In order for applicants to be considered for conditional acceptance applicants must submit results from at least one English proficiency language test.

American Classroom Program
Our American Classroom program combines advanced English language training with Northeastern University credit-bearing academic courses. You may enter the program at one of three different levels depending on your language proficiency. Successful completion of Phase 3 allows you to waive the TOEFL language test requirement for admission.

Talk to an Enrollment Coach

We can walk you through your program options and the application process.


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