Conditional Admission--English Proficiency

On the recommendation of the Graduate School, Ohio State is implementing a graduate conditional admission policy for international applicants whose English language proficiency is marginally below the university’s required levels, i.e. below TOEFL 79-80 iBT, or 550 PBT.

Such conditional admission is premised on the applicant’s successful completion of Ohio State’s American Language Program (ALP).


The Graduate School’s policy on conditional admission based on English proficiency is intended to facilitate admission of academically qualified, degree-seeking international students who have not satisfied the minimum English language requirement, yet are being considered for admission by a graduate program.  In order to be considered for conditional admission international applicants must meet the following criteria:  an IBT TOEFL score of 61 or higher, but lower than the required 79 or an IELTS score of 5.0 or higher, but lower than 7.0 and formal recommendation of the conditional admission from the graduate program. 

Students who are conditionally admitted under these criteria will attend the American Language Program (ALP) for one semester before beginning their graduate program.  Students are not permitted to hold graduate associate appointments while attending ALP.  For additional information regarding the conditional admission policy, please contact the graduate program to which you are applying. 


Graduate programs will need to petition the Graduate School to conditionally admit a student based on English language proficiency in the same manner as with petitions for conditional admission. Further, conditional admission can only be granted by the Graduate School if Ohio State’s ALP program has confirmed that ALP can accommodate the student.

Summary of conditions

The Office of Graduate and Professional Admission, working with the American Language Program, will facilitate jointly the processing of conditional admission. The terms of this conditional admission require that the student will

  • study full-time in Ohio State’s American Language Program for a period of one semester;
  • complete the ALP satisfactorily;
  • demonstrate proficiency on the basis of TOEFL or an alternative standardized test.
  • Further, the student cannot enroll in any other Ohio State course while studying  in Ohio State’s American Language Program.

Following attainment of the required proficiency certification, the student will then enroll in the admitting degree program not later than the third quarter (second semester) after starting in ALP.

For those conditionally-admitted applicants who do not fulfill their language proficiency requirement during the specified period, the conditional admission is revoked. Such students may choose to continue studying at ALP or elsewhere and reapply for regular admission at a later time.

More details regarding conditional admission based on English proficiency



Graduate and Professional Admissions: Susie Ward, 292-1548,

American Language Program: Dr. Robert Eckhart, executive director, ESL Programs,

Need help?

Contact staff members in the Graduate School using the staff directory, or call (614) 292-6031.

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