English Language Requirements

We require all non-native English speakers to take and pass one of several available proficiency exams. Scores are valid for two years from the date of the exam.  All test results must be received as official documentation in a sealed envelope from the testing institution.


TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL Code for CPS: 4999)

Internet-based and measures four areas of English language skills: speaking, listening, writing, and reading. 

Program Minimum Score Required 
MS in Regulatory Affairs  85 and a writing portion of 22
Doctor of Education  100
All other graduate programs 79 and a writing portion of 20
Bachelor's Completion  79 

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Measures ability to communicate in English across listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.

The College of Professional Studies only accepts IELTS results delivered to our Electronic Download account by the IELTS test center. An institution code for IELTS is NOT required. Please contact the test center where you took the IELTS test directly, and request that your test scores be sent to the account name: Northeastern University College of Professional Studies.

Program Minimum Score Required


(including MS in Regulatory Affairs)


no band lower than 6

Doctor of Education 


no band lower than a 6.5

Bachelor's Completion  6.5


PTE Academic measures your English ability by testing your level of English through tasks which reflect real-life settings.

Program  Minimum Score Required 
MS in Regulatory Affairs 57
All other graduate programs  53 
All bachelor's completion programs  53 

NU Global English Exam: English Language Proficiency Testing at the College 

We offer English proficiency tests to those located in or around the Boston area. For more information, see our test dates, or to register for the exam, please call 1.877.668.7727 or email cpsadmissions@northeastern.edu.

Program  Minimum Score Required 
All programs (exam taken prior to 9/11/2014)  100
All programs (exam taken on or after 9/11/2014)  84 

Please note: Applicants to the College of Professional Studies are only permitted to take the NU Global English Exam twice and use the test results for admission. If a successful score is not met after taking the exam twice, applicants are required to submit another form of English Language Proficiency. 

Conditional Acceptance to the College of Professional Studies 

Applicants who may need to improve English proficiency, but otherwise meet the admissions criteria may be offered conditional acceptance into their program pending successful English language proficiency test results. In order for applicants to be considered for conditional acceptance, applicants must submit results from at least one English proficiency language test.

American Classroom Program 

Our American Classroom program combines advanced English language training with Northeastern University credit-bearing academic courses. You may enter the program at one of three different levels depending on your language proficiency. Successful completion of Phase 3 allows you to waive the TOEFL language test requirement for admission.

English Language Waiver 

IF a student is in their last term of their associate degree program or a conferred associate degree at a U.S. institution and has a cumulative GPA of 2.500 or higher, we will waive the need to submit an English language proficiency score.

IF a student is in their last term of their bachelor’s degree or a conferred bachelor's degree at a U.S. institution and has a cumulative GPA of 2.700 or higher, we will waive the need to submit an English language proficiency score.