TOEFL or IELTS

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is required* for all applicants whose native language is not English. 

*An automatic waiver of TOEFL or IELTS will be given to graduate applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution of higher education.

Undergraduate applicants may be eligible for a waiver of TOEFL or IELTS if they have been educated for a minimum of three years at an institution whose language of instruction is English.  Transfer applicants must also have completed all General Education Area A courses (English Composition, Critical Thinking, and Public Speaking) with a ‘B’ or higher grade.

To request a waiver of TOEFL or IELTS, submit a formal letter documenting the reasons you feel a waiver is justified, along with official transcripts to:

Cal Poly Admissions
San Luis Obispo, CA  93407

Waiver requests will be treated as an appeal and will be reviewed on an individual basis.  Those requesting a waiver can expect to learn the final decision by way of a formal letter sent to their mailing address within three weeks of receipt of the waiver request.  Waivers will not be granted without submission of official transcripts.

Additional Information:


TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) must be taken within the last 2 years with:

  • a minimum score of 550 (paper version)
  • or a minimum internet-based score of 80


IELTS (International English Language Testing System) must be taken within 2 years with:

  • a minimum score of 7.0 for undergraduate applicants
  • a minimum score of 6.0 is required for admission to a graduate program. However, individual programs may require higher scores; applicants are advised to review program-specific requirements.


Cal Poly's institution code is 4038.

This requirement does not apply if your country of citizenship is listed below as the requirement is waived for the following countries:

Antigua
Australia
Bahamas
Barbados
Barbuda
Belize
Bermuda
British Virgin Islands
Canada (except Quebec)
Cayman Islands
Dominica
Falkland Islands
Gambia
Ghana
Grenada
Guyana
Ireland
Jamaica
Kenya
Liberia
Mauritius
New Zealand
Scotland
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
South Africa
St. Lucia
Trinidad & Tobago
Uganda
United Kingdom
Zambia
Zimbabwe

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