If your native language is not English - and your high school, college, or university education was in a country where the language of instruction was not English - you must provide evidence of English proficiency to be successful in your studies at UCSB.

Demonstrate English Proficiency By*:

  1. Taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 80 or better on the Internet-based test and 550 or better on the paper-based test.
  2. Taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam with a minimum 6.5 or better band score (academic modules).
  3. Taking the Duolingo English Test (DET) with a score of 115 or higher (includes fall 2023 applicants). 
  4. Scoring 24 or higher on the combined ACT English/Writing or English Language Arts.
  5. Scoring 560 or higher on the Writing section of the SAT Reasoning test or a score of 31 or higher on Writing and Language in the SAT with Essay (new SAT).
  6. Scoring 3, 4, or 5 on the AP examination in English Language and Composition, or English Literature and Composition.
  7. Scoring 6 or 7 on the IB Standard Level examination in English: Literature, or Language and Literature.
  8. Scoring 5, 6, or 7 on the IB Higher Level examination in English: Literature, or Language and Literature.

Any one of these exams must be taken by the December test date prior to enrollment and sent directly from the testing agency to:

UCSB Office of Admissions
1210 Cheadle Hall
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA, 93106, USA

Allow 2-3 weeks for scores to be reflected in the Test Scores tab of your Applicant Portal. The UC admission website has more information on meeting proficiency and submitting English proficiency exam scores to each campus.

*Note: In light of modified or cancelled testing around the world, UC has agreed to temporarily accept the following exams for fall 2022 undergraduate applicants who need to demonstrate English proficiency:

  • TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test, with a minimum score of 80
  • IELTS Indicator test, with a minimum band score of 6.5
  • Duolingo English Test (DET), with a minimum score of 115 

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Applying as a Transfer Student?

You can demonstrate English proficiency by completing the two UC-transferable English composition courses required for transfer admission and receiving at least a “C” or better grade/mark. Keep in mind, UC does not accept English composition courses from international universities where English is not the language of instruction.