English Proficiency Test Scores

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide one of the tests (TOEFL, MELAB OR IELTS).  The test scores are valid for two years from the testing date.  

An applicant can qualify for an exemption from taking an English proficiency examination if one of the following criteria is met:

    • You are a native speaker of English.
    • You completed all four years of your undergraduate education at an institution in the United States and earned a degree from that institution.
    • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree in one of the following countries, Australia, English speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the Unitd Kingdom.
    • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where all classes are taught exclusively in English.  Rackham Graduate School may need to verify this with the institution attended.
    • You completed all of your graduate education (minimum of two years) and earned a degree in one of the listed countries: The United States, Australia, English speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the United Kingdom.   Master’s Ph.D. and professional degrees are included in Graduate education.
    • Current U-M student.

NOTE:  If the TOEFL, MELAB or IELTS score is below the minimum requirement, the applicant will need to take it again.  The applicant will not receive an admission decision until we have valid English test scores. 

For additional information refer to Rackham’s Required Tests for Non-Native English Speakers link.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q:  Who should submit English test scores?

A:  Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate proficiency. They are required to provide one of the tests: Tests of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) OR International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents are not automatically exempt an applicant from taking an English proficiency exam.  If the applicant’s first language is not English, the applicant must meet the exception in the above bullet or submit an English proficiency test score.

Q:  What is the minimum test score requirement for TOEFL, MELAB and IELTS?

A:  TOEFL Internet (IBT) scores:  84, TOEFL Paper (PBT) scores: 560, MELAB scores: 80 and IELTS scores: 6.5.

Q:  How can I waive the requirement to submit English test scores if English is not my native language?

A:  Applicants who have earned or will earn a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree are exempt from submitting English proficiency scores when:

      • You are a native speaker of English.
      • You completed all four years of your undergraduate education at an institution in the United States and earned a degree from that institution.
      • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree in one of the following countries, Australia, English speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the Unitd Kingdom.
      • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where all classes are taught exclusively in English.   Rackham Graduate School may need to verify this with the institution attended.
      • You completed all of your graduate education, a minimum of two years durations, and earned a graduate degree in one of the following countries, the United States, Australia, English speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the United Kingdom. Graduate education includes Master’s, Ph.D., and professional degrees. Graduate degrees that are exclusively research based are excluded.
      • Current U-M student.

Q:  How long are the TOEFL, MELAB OR IELTS scores valid?

A:  English test scores are valid for two years from the test date.

Q:  When should I submit the test scores?

A:  TOEFL, MELAB OR IELTS scores must be submitted on or before the application deadline. 

Q:  How are TOEFL, MELAB OR IELTS scores sent to the University of Michigan?

A:  For TOEFL scores, applicants request ETS to submit their test scores to the University of Michigan by way of code 1839. There is no longer a Department Code to select when requesting the scores to be sent to Mechanical Engineering (ME).  For MELAB and IELTS scores, official paper copies must be sent to the Rackham Graduate School.  Photocopies or faxes are not accepted at Rackham.   All applicants request ETS to submit their test scores to the University of Michigan by way of code 1839.

Q:  What should I do if my English test scores are below the minimum requirement?

A:  If your English test scores are below the minimum requirement you must retake the test again.   Due to the Rackham Graduate School’s policy, applicants whose native language is not English must provide valid English test scores.  See the next question to learn if there are waivers for submitting test scores.

Q:  My TOEFL, MELAB OR IELTS scores are close to expiring.  Should I retake the test?

A:  We will accept your English test scores as long as they are received before they expire.  If the expiration date is close, we encourage applicants to take the test again and request ETS to send us the new scores.  

Q:   I took multiple English tests.  Will the Graduate Admission Committee see all of my scores?

A:  Yes the committee will see all test scores submitted to the University of Michigan.  

Q:  I submitted my English test scores to the University of Michigan.  Should I also submit the test score report from ETS?

A:  Photocopies of the test score report are not accepted by ME.  Please do not send them to us in the mail or via e-mail. We only accept test scores from ETS electronically.