English Language Requirements

for International Graduate Applicants

Who must take an English Language exam?

  • If you are not a citizen of the United States or if your native language is not English, you are required to demonstrate your level of English proficiency. 
  • Graduate applicants applying for performance degrees (including conducting) who have a degree from a U.S. accredited university may be exempt from this requirement.
  • Those applying for the Performance Diploma program are exempt.
  • Those applying for degrees in composition, music education, music theory, or musicology must provide a language exam regardless of previous study in the United States.

What are the minimum requirements?

Those applying for degrees in Collaborative Piano, Composition, Conducting, Jazz Studies, Performance, or Piano Pedagogy:

Test Minimum Score Minimum Subscores
TOEFL (paper-based) 550

None below 52

TOEFL (Internet-based)

80

None below 19 and writing cannot be below 22
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)

83

None below 80
MSU English Language Test (MSUELT)

80-85

 

None below 80

85 None below 78
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.5 None below 6.0
Pearson Test of English - Academic (PTE A) 53 None below 51 and writing cannot be below 59



Those applying for a master's degree in music education, music theory, or musicology:

Test Minimum Score Minimum Subscores
TOEFL (paper-based) 570

None below 52

TOEFL (Internet-based)

88

None below 19 and writing cannot be below 22
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)

84

None below 80
MSU English Language Test (MSUELT)

81-85

 

None below 80

85 None below 78
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.5 n/a
Pearson Test of English - Academic (PTE A) 59 None below 51 and writing cannot be below 59



Those applying for a doctorate degree in music education:

Test Minimum Score Deadline
TOEFL (paper-based) 580

None below 52

TOEFL (Internet-based)

92

None below 19 and writing cannot be below 22
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)

85

None below 80
MSU English Language Test (MSUELT)

82-85

 

None below 80

85 None below 78
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.5 n/a
Pearson Test of English - Academic (PTE A) 62 None below 51 and writing cannot be below 59


The College of Music does NOT offer provisional or conditional language admission. You must meet all College of Music language proficiency requirements, including minimum subscores, to be considered for admission.