How to Study in the USA without IELTS?

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All non-native English language speakers should take an English Proficiency Test and get a good score to qualify for admission. You can take IELTS, PTE, TOEFL, Duolingo etc. The acceptable score will vary depending on the course, program and university. Additionally, not all universities accept all the tests. For instance, some universities do not accept a Duolingo score. However, IELTS is one of the few tests accepted by almost all universities. Interestingly, the number of universities that do not ask for any English Proficiency score is increasing, leaving a burden off students' shoulders. If you are planning to study in the USA and want to know about the universities that accept applications without IELTS, then this blog is for you. Read further and get all the information you want to study in the USA without IELTS. 

Why Study in the USA from Bangladesh?

The United States is one of the popular overseas education destinations. The country has some of the world's most prestigious and top-ranked universities. A few reasons to study in the USA from Bangladesh are given below.

  1. A certificate earned from the USA is revered both inside the country and elsewhere in the world.
  2. Over 30% of international students worldwide prefer the USA as their study abroad destination.
  3. The quality of education and research in the USA is well appreciated worldwide.
  4. Several of the top universities in the world are located in the USA.
  5. The career prospects are high, and you can easily get a work permit.
  6. You can improve your English language skills by communicating with others.

Is it possible to study in the USA without IELTS?

Yes, it is indeed possible to study in the USA without an IELTS score. Several universities accept applicants without any English Proficiency score. A few students find it difficult to take the test because of the expensive coaching fee and test fee. However, you must satisfy a few conditions to get rid of IELTS. They are given below.

  1. You should have studied English as a core subject in high school.
  2. You should possess a letter from your earlier university stating that you are proficient in English.
  3. If you completed your previous studies in an English-speaking country, you need not take an IELTS test.
  4. If a university insists on taking a course like International English Language Program (IELP), you need not take the test.

Top Universities in the United States for International Students Without IELTS

As mentioned above, several universities in the USA accept students without an IELTS score. Nonetheless, they may ask for other alternative qualifications as well. Knowing about those universities and their alternate requirements will be helpful. They are given in the table below.


QS World Ranking 2023

Alternatives for IELTS

Northwood University

PTE Academic, IB, Cambridge English Test

University of New Orleans (UNO)

English Language for Internationals (ELI)

University of Delaware

581 - 590

Duolingo, ELIPTE

University of North Alabama


National Louis University


University of Arkansas

1001 - 1200

PTE, Duolingo, iTEP with Cambridge Assessment English

California State University

1201 - 1400

PTE Academic, IB, Cambridge English Test

University of Colorado Boulder


Duolingo, PTE

Rice University



Other English Language Assessments to Study in the USA

There are other alternative assessments that several universities accept. You should check with the university whether they accept these tests before preparing for them or taking up the test, lest your effort will go in vain. A few acceptable tests are given below.

  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Hundreds of universities accept this score. You will need a minimum score of 54, depending on the university.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): It is the most popular test after IELTS. It can be taken both as a paper-based test and an internet-based test. Depending on the university, you will need a score between 71 and 92. For higher-level programs like a PhD, you will need a higher score.
  • Duolingo: This is a test accepted by a few American universities. You will need a minimum score from 95 to 100. Before taking the test, you should check whether your university accepts Duolingo.
  • Cambridge Assessment English: This test is conducted by Cambridge University. It is another accepted test in the USA. You will need a score between 193 to 200 to get admission.

Application Process for Studying in the United States Without IELTS

It is not a very great task to get admission to an American university without IELTS. However, you may need to produce a few additional documents to certify that you can communicate well in English. The documents you must submit if you have to study in the USA without IELTS are given below.

  • I-20 Form
  • Recent passport-size photographs
  • Official academic documents
  • Proof of funds in the home country
  • DS-160 Confirmation page
  • Resume/CV
  • Confirmation and acceptance letter from a recognised American university
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of health cover
  • SEVIS application payment receipt
  • Copy of valid passport

Eligibility to Study in the USA Without IELTS

If you wish to study in the USA without IELTS, you need to satisfy some other requirements. These criteria may vary from one university to another. As such, you should know about the requirements asked by a particular university before proceeding to apply. The requirements are listed below.

  1. You need not take any English Proficiency Test if you are a native speaker of English or if you come from an English-speaking country.
  2. If you have completed any academic course in the USA e for at least one year, you need not take the IELTS test.
  3. Some universities offer Intensive English Language Programs (IELPs). If you take that course, you need not take the IELTS test.
  4. A few summer programs in the USA train you in English. If you take them, you need not take the IELTS test.
  5. If you do not meet the English requirements, you can take bridge courses some universities offer.
  6. If you have studied English as a core subject in high school, some universities do not ask for an IELTS score.

How to Study in the USA Without IELTS?

As mentioned above, it is not a great task to study in the USA without an IELTS score is not a great task. Several famous universities are ruling out the strict need for an IELTS score. You should follow a few steps to study in the USA without IELTS, which are given below.

Step 1: The application process

You should first do your research and finalise your preferred course and universities. The eligibility requirements, university rankings etc. can be obtained from the university websites. After you shortlist the universities, you can choose one course and university. You can apply to the university from their official website.

Step 2: Video interview

After your application is shortlisted, the next step is to have a video/Skype interview. This helps them evaluate your English skills and also your eagerness to study the course at their university. Additionally, this is a prerequisite for those applying without an IELTS score.

Step 3: Payment of tuition fees

Once you clear the interview, you will get a letter of acceptance from the university. The next step is to pay the tuition fee. All universities accept online payment. You should check the modes of payment available and the amount of tuition fee.

Step 4: Get the student visa

The final step is to get a student visa. Applying for a US student visa without an IELTS score is possible. The following section will discuss the same. It is essential to apply for the visa early as it may take a few weeks for the visa processing to be completed.

Study Visa Process in the United States Without IELTS

The absence of an IELTS score will not become an obstacle to getting a student visa to the USA. Once you receive the offer letter from a recognised American university, you can immediately apply for a student visa. The documents you must submit in such a case will be the same as the ones you must upload for university admission. The same has been explained above in detail. You can also take any other English Proficiency Test like PTE, TOEFL, Duolingo etc.

If you have more doubts about studying in the USA without IELTS, you can contact AECC for more information and assistance. We have trained professionals who can help you out. It is better to clear your doubts and start the application process, so you do not make any mistakes.

FAQs About Study in the USA without IELTS

Is IELTS required for a US student visa?

No, IELTS is not a requirement to get a US student visa. Nonetheless, you should have other supporting documents.

How many universities in the USA do not require IELTS?

Over 12 universities in the USA, like Rice University, University of Colorado, Northwood University etc., do not ask for IELTS scores for admission to their programs.

Can I go to the USA without IELTS for work?

In most cases, IELTS is not mandatory for work in the USA. 

Which country is best to study without IELTS?

The USA is one of the best countries to study without IELTS. You can choose your destination based on your interest. 

What exam is required to study in the United States?

You should take a few tests like TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, GMAT, GRE etc., depending on the requirements asked for by your university. 

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