How does UNC look at English Proficiency Exams (TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge English Exams or Duolingo)?
Similar to how we view ACT and SAT results, we use the English Proficiency Exam scores as part of our evaluation because we believe that they’re helpful, both to us and to students, when they’re understood appropriately and viewed as part of a larger and much more interesting portrait. For us, testing is always one factor among many — always viewed alongside those many other factors, and never the sole or dominant reason we make our decisions.
We specifically require an English Proficiency Exam for all non-US citizens and non-permanent resident students for whom English is not their first language. We do this because we want to ensure you can thrive here at Carolina: if English isn’t your first language, it’s important to demonstrate that you are ready to jump into a high-level, demanding environment where the coursework is taught in English.
We accept TOEFL (our code is C182), IELTS, Duolingo, Cambridge English C1 Advanced and Cambridge C2 Proficiency. These exams show us that you’ll be ready to jump into coursework taught in English. Unfortunately, results from SAT, ACT, or other exams do not fulfill this requirement. Strong applicants typically score the following, though please note that these are not minimums and testing is always one factor among many — always viewed alongside those many other factors, and never the sole or dominant reason we make our decisions:
- TOEFL or TOEFL iBT Home Edition – 100 or higher
- IELTS Academic – 7.5 or higher
- Duolingo – 130 or higher
- Cambridge English C1 Advanced – 185 or higher
- Cambridge English C2 Proficiency