Every year millions of students all over the world get fully funded scholarships to study at top universities in the USA without submitting IELTS scores. The reasons are not far-fetched; US Universities are very flexible in their admission requirements, such that they offer waivers and other options like providing MOI’s to represent the student’s proof of English proficiency.
Aside from the flexible entry requirements, the United States is home to top universities which offer quality education from experts in every field of academic discipline. Students also get to apply what they have learned in renowned industries located in the US through research, internships, and part-time or full-time employment. In this piece, we will introduce you to some of top Universities in USA you can Apply to study without IELTS
Before we continue to listing the universities, let us first look at some of the general entry requirements which are basics for any US university.
General Admission Requirements to Study in the USA
Applicants to US universities are expected to submit the following requirements (in addition to the school’s specific entry requirements) to be considered for admission:
- Official transcripts from high school (undergraduate applications) or from previous universities (for graduate applications).
- Standardized test scores such as SAT or ACT for undergraduate applications. GMAT or GRE scores/certification should be submitted by graduate applicants.
- Statement of purpose or personal statements are essays normally requested from graduate applicants. It contains reasons for applying to the desired program, strength of the applicant, long-term goals, and relevant personal experiences
- Recommendations from teachers, professors (academic references), or employers
- A copy of your passport bio-data page
- A resume containing applicable work experiences, skills, published papers (if any), awards, conferences attended, and other relevant information.
- The university completed application form
How to Study in the USA Without IELTS
In addition to admission requirements listed above, students from non-English speaking countries are required to prove their English proficiency which is the official language of writing and communication in the US. Applicants from these countries who do not have IELTS can opt into the English Language for Internationals (ELI) program offered by the US universities. These universities give students conditional admission to study both their program of interest and train them in English speaking and writing usually in the first year of study. Note that, usually, applicants from English-speaking countries or who have completed their first degree or diploma in a university whose medium of instruction is English do not need to submit IELTS scores. They will be given unconditional offers of admission.
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List of Top US universities to Apply for Admissions Without IELTS
University of Delaware
It is a prestigious University which currently ranks 75 out of 201 universities according to the US News and World Report, 2022. Students from non-English speaking countries do not have to worry about the cost of writing IELTS before getting admitted into this university. The University of Delaware will offer conditional admissions to applicants without IELTS or low scores who are then enrolled in the university’s English Language Institute where they are taught how to speak, read, listen and write American English. To apply for the conditional offer of admission at the University of Delaware, the student needs to choose the Academic Transition option and select from more than 150 majors for undergraduates. Graduate applicants enroll in the Graduate CAP program at the English language Institute and choose from 39 disciplines. The student has to meet the terms of the admission before transitioning to study his/her desired course full-time.
University of Wisconsin Stout
This university is ranked 69 by the US News and World Report, 2022. It is one of the best public universities in the Midwest which is prestigious for the quality of education in disciplines such as engineering, marketing, computer and information sciences, health professions, mathematics, and other disciplines. undergraduate and graduate students who aspire to study at this university without IELTS can do so by enrolling in the English as a Second Language Program (ESL) offered by this university. These applicants will be given a conditional offer of admission. After completing the ESL program and meeting the requirements, students continue to study their desired courses full-time.
This university also accepts the following English test scores in place of IELTS
- A minimum score of 48 in the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic).
- A minimum score of 95 in the Duolingo English Test.
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Loyola University Chicago
This university is one of the best and largest Catholic universities in the United States. It is ranked 103 among the national universities in the United States according to the US News and World Report 2022. Some of the major disciplines to study at Loyola University Chicago without IELTS include marketing, nursing, engineering, criminal justice, biological sciences, and many others. Undergraduate or graduate students who do not have IELTS can still study their desired course if they complete one or more semesters in the university’s English Language Learning Program (ELLP). Application for the English Language Learning Program requires no IELTS
This university also accepts other English test scores such as Duolingo and Pearson Test of English (PTE) in place of IELTS. The accepted scores vary with each department.
California State University Fresno
This University is renowned for its educational quality and affordability. It is ranked 337 by the Times Higher Education. Major disciplines offered by this university include engineering, law, physics and astronomy, arts, performing arts, and design amongst others. California State University Fresno offers conditional admission to undergraduate and graduate students without IELTS. Students who receive conditional admission will be enrolled in the American English Institute on the Fresno Campus for one year. After meeting the requirements of the program, they can continue to study their desired course.
Other English Language requirements accepted in place of IELTS include:
- A score of 53 or higher in the PTE test.
- A score of at least 105 in the Duolingo English test.
Rice University is a world-renowned university. It is prestigious for its cutting-edge research and advanced science disciplines such as space science, economics, nanotechnology, mechanical engineering, biochemistry amongst others. It ranks 1st in the field of material science by the Times Higher Education, 2010, and 27th amongst top universities by the QS World ranking 2023.
Undergraduate and graduate students can gain conditional admission into this university without IELTS. They can enroll in the English as a Second Language Program for 1year and meet the requirements to graduate. Afterward, they continue to study their desired course.
Students can also submit a Duolingo Test score of 115 and above in place of IELTS.
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University of New Orleans
This University is the home of Cyber Defense Research according to the US National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. It offers numerous scholarships and a conducive learning environment for its students. It is ranked 299-391 according to the US News and World Report 2022. Major disciplines offered by the university include liberal art, education, hotel, restaurant and tourism, engineering amongst others. The university offers an Intensive English Language program and a conditional admission to students who do not have IELTS scores. Students transition into their desired course after meeting the English requirements.
Rice University also accepts Duolingo test scores of 115 or higher from students to get full admission without the IELTS requirement.
University of Colorado Boulder
The University of Colorado is renowned for its innovative research in geology, quantum physics, aerospace engineering, and ceramics. It is ranked 99 among US national universities by the US News and World Report, 2022.
Students who accept conditional admission without IELTS have to take English classes at the University of Colorado International English Center for 1 year and meet the English requirements before studying their desired course full-time. A Duolingo score of 105 or higher is accepted in place of IELTS.
University of Arkansas
This university is prestigious for its innovative research and student-friendly when it comes to social life. Top disciplines at this university include biomedical science, veterinary science, engineering, journalism amongst others. It is ranked 162 among US national universities according to the US News and World Report, 2022. The University of Arkansas offers generous conditional admission to students who do not have IELTS scores. These students have to meet the English language requirements by enrolling in the Intensive English Language Program before transitioning to full study. Another option offered to the student is to enroll 1-6 credit hours of English and cultural studies courses along with their study program.
Other accepted required English proficiency test scores in the absence of IELTS include:
- A minimum score of 58 in the Pearson Test of English (PTE)
- A Duolingo English Test score of 90 or higher
- A minimum score of 79 in the internet-based TOEFL.
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This University is renowned for offering its students quality education and hands-on experience in their distinct field. Students are given the opportunity to do paid jobs at different companies for 18 months. Students without IELTS can get a conditional offer to study their desired course. The English language requirements are met when the students enroll in the Intensive English program at the university and complete the terms of study before studying their desired course full time.
Other English proficiency test scores that can be submitted in place of IELTS include
- A minimum score of 50 in Pearson Test of English
- A minimum score of 110 in the Duolingo English test.
University of Dayton
The University of Dayton is a Catholic University known for its research potential and quality of education. It offers major disciplines such as engineering, law, finance, accounting and other courses in both graduate and undergraduate levels. Students without the IELTS scores have the option to be enrolled in the University’s Intensive English Program study for 7-weeks per academic year. Full-time students receive 21 hours of instruction every week.
Other accepted language tests include:
- A minimum overall score of 4.5 in the International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP).
- A minimum score of 105 in Duolingo English Test.
International students who find it difficult to achieve a desirable IELTS scores can now study in top US universities without worries. Any of the alternatives listed above is a good pathway to follow.