Exchange Programs

English Proficiency for J-1 Students

U.S. government regulations that took effect in January 2015 require prospective J-1 students demonstrate English proficiency through “an objective measure.” In keeping with the purpose of the J-1 program, their English proficiency must be at a level that allows them to function independently in their academic program and in the community. English proficiency may be measured in one of the following two ways.

  1. A minimum score on an standardized English Proficiency test
    • WUSTL approved standardized English Proficiency test
    • Cambridge Tests:
      • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): minimum score of 173
      • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): minimum score of 173
      • Cambridge English: First (FCE): minimum score of 173
  2. A passing assessment completed by the WashU Exchange Program
    • Assigned department representatives should complete the English Proficiency of Prospective J-1 Students Assessment Form. For a list of assigned department representatives, contact oiss@wustl.edu.

Waiving English Proficiency Tests and Other Assessments

The English proficiency assessment may be waived for prospective students whose preparation for living and studying in an English language environment over an extended period of time can be convincingly demonstrated in another way.

For example, the assessment may be waived for a prospective student who has studied for three or more years in the United States or in another country where English is the primary language of daily life and the language of instruction in the university.

Another situation where the assessment may be waived is if the student had to pass an English assessment at the level of the WUSTL minimum test scores, and if the university can provide documentation of this.

The prospective student’s experience studying in a country where English is the primary language needs to have been within the last five years. Regardless of a prospective scholar’s previous experience using English, some departments may choose to require English proficiency assessments for all students and scholars whose first language is not English.