English Proficiency Requirements

Please read this entire page.

Teaching is a requirement in the Chemistry Graduate Program, and admission into the program is contingent upon meeting English Proficiency requirements for teaching at the time of application.



The only exemption from providing proof of English Proficiency is for any student who has continuously attended a school in one of the following countries from the age of 13 on: Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Canada, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Scotland, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St. Kitts, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, and Zimbabwe. Attending a college or university in one of the countries above, does not exempt you from providing proof of English Proficiency. This exemption is outlined by the Department of Linguistics here.


  • Our students are expected to serve as Teaching Assistants, not graders, so the statement on the Linguistics website about graders does not apply. 
  • There is an exemption through the Graduate College for general admission, however, that does not exempt you from the English proficiency requirement for TAs. If you do not meet the criteria for a full exemption (above), you will be required to complete and pass the Oral English Assessment Interview (OEAI) and/or the English Proficiency Test (EPT), as a condition of admission.

This requirement cannot be waived, in accordance with campus policy and state law.


Minimum English Proficiency Scores for a Teaching Assistant (TA)

TOEFL: 103 overall, 24 on speaking subsection

IELTS: 7 overall, 8 on speaking subsection, no less than 6 in any subsection

Our average departmental TOEFL overall score is 105 for the TOEFL iBT. The minimum departmental IELTS overall score is a 7.

TOEFL or IELTS scores must be less than 2 years old from the first day of class of the proposed term of entry.

If you have already submitted a TOEFL or IELTS score for another institution in the United States, you may need to retake those exams to make sure your scores are within two years of starting this program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Otherwise, your scores will no longer be valid.  

The requirement for submitting your Official English Language Proficiency test scores can be met one of two ways:

For English Proficiency Exams, the institution code for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is 1836 and for the department code our university does not use a specific department code so you can either use 00 or any code for Chemistry in the list TOEFL provides. 


Chemistry Graduate Admissions

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
109 Noyes Laboratory, MC-712, Box 57-1
505 South Mathews Avenue 
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 244-6245
Fax: (217) 244-7091
Email: chem-adm@illinois.edu