Language Proficiency

All J-1 applicants are required to fulfill a measurement of English language proficiency.

How to Demonstrate English Language Proficiency

Take one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL iBT (80 minimum)
  • TOEFL PBT (550 minimum)
  • IELTS (6.5 minimum)
  • MELAB (64 minimum)

The test must have been taken within the last five years. You must submit a copy of your score(s) with the DS-2019 application materials.

Applicants who have completed a bachelor’s or graduate degree within the past 10 years in residence at a recognized institution of higher learning in the U.S. or another country where English is the primary language may use this option. Applicant must include a copy of their diploma with the DS-2019 application materials.

You can choose to interview with the English as a Second Language (ESL) Center. These interviews will be performed via Skype or telephone and a report with an overall oral proficiency rating will be sent to the hosting department. The ESL Center will charge a $25 fee to the department. We will help to arrange an interview with the ESL Center.

The sponsoring department must include a copy of the ESL Center report with the DS-2019 application materials.

If you are a native English speaker, that will fulfill the requirement of English language proficiency.

Contact Us

International Student Scholar Services (ISSS)
Williston Hall

Phone: 815-753-1346
Fax: 815-753-1488
Email: isfo@niu.edu

Office Hours

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Open for in-person appointments:

8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-2:30 p.m.

Email isfo@niu.edu to request an appointment

Tuesday and Thursday

Staff working remotely