English Language Proficiency

As the lectures, seminars, materials, and discourse which comprise programs of study at South University are presented in English, South University requires that all students possess and demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency required to substantially benefit from the programs offered.

A student is deemed proficient in the English language if the applicant presents proof of the following: 

  • Holds a U.S. high school diploma or U.S. General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or international high school diploma, e.g., U.S. military base, business/diplomat expat community, etc., in which instruction is delivered primarily in English
  • Holds the equivalent (evidenced by credential evaluation) of a U.S. high school diploma from overseas institution in which instruction is delivered primarily in English
  • Completes (with passing grades in all courses) a minimum of two (2) academic terms at a regionally or nationally accredited U.S. post-secondary institution in which instruction is delivered primarily in English
  • Completes (with passing grades in all courses) English 101 and 102 at a regionally or nationally accredited U.S. post-secondary institution in which instruction is delivered primarily in English
  • Presents acceptable English Language Proficiency test scores meeting the minimum required levels set forth below.

Equivalent/Alternative English Language Programs/Test± 

ELP Test Diploma AS/BS Grad
TOEFL - Paper  480 500 550
TOEFL - i-BT (internet based test)  54-55 61 79-80
American College Testing (ACT) English Paper  17 19 21
EF International Language Schools  C1 C1 C2
ELS Language Schools  Level 108 Level 109 Level 112
iTEP 4.0  4.5  5.0 
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (Also known as the MELAB or Michigan Test)  73 80 85
Pearson 42 44 53
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Verbal Score**  420 526 572
Students from Puerto Rico: Prueba Aptitud Academica (PAA) English Proficiency Section  453*  526 572
TOEIC (Academic Test)  650 700 750
I.E.L.T.S. (A Cambridge University Exam) 5.5 6.0 6.5

*The scale for The Prueba Aptitud Academica has changed and now closely reflects the SAT.
**As of April 2005, the SAT verbal test is replaced with the SAT critical reading test.
±The University will evaluate other tests and programs on an individual basis to determine eligibility for English Language Proficiency.

Undergraduate (diploma, associate and bachelor level) applicants may also satisfy the minimum standard of English language proficiency by submitting official documentation of one of the following: 

  • Successful completion of a minimum of two semesters or quarters of post-secondary course work at a regionally accredited college or university or a college or university accredited by an approved national accrediting body in which English is the language of instruction Successful completion is defined as passing all courses for which the student was registered during the two semesters;
  • U.S. High School Diploma or GED administered in English;
  • Equivalent of a U.S. High School Diploma from a country in which English is the official language
  • (equivalency must be verified by a recognized evaluator of international credits);
  • Satisfactory completion of English 101 or 102 at an English speaking college or university within the U.S., achieving a grade of "C" or higher

Please contact an International Student Admissions Representative for questions about acceptable alternative measures of English Language Proficiency.