Study in USA without IELTS 2024

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 17 May 2024 & Read Time 10 minutes


One of the things to check off on your study abroad checklist is the English Proficiency test, most likely the IELTS. But is it mandatory?


Well, yes and no. Yes, because you have to prove your fluency to cope with the all-English curriculum and mode of instruction, and not because there are alternatives to the IELTS and some instances when the English proficiency is waived off. Read on to learn more about how to study in USA without IELTS, universities in USA without IELTS, alternate English proficiency tests acceptable in the universities, and so on.


How to Study in USA without IELTS?

IELTS is seen as crucial for applicants to higher education, yet it is not a requirement for applying to all American universities. This is because it is feasible to study in USA without IELTS.


Study in USA without IELTS 2024


IELTS is optional for those who have graduated from a native-English institution. If you have completed your undergraduate degree at a university in any native-English country, you can study in the USA without IELTS. It is assumed that since you studied in an all-English medium institution of higher education, you can do well in your Master.


Here are some options for how you can study in USA without IELTS.

  • You will require a letter from your prior university confirming that the undergraduate program you pursued was in English when applying for post-graduate studies.

  • English must be one of your high school subjects to enrol in college courses.

  • IELTS may not be necessary if you hold a degree from a nation where English is the official language.

  • The institution may need you to enrol in its English language preparation course, the Intensive English Language Program (IELP), in which you will receive fundamental language instruction if you cannot provide proof of IELTS testing.


Top Universities to Study in USA without IELTS

You must be wondering which universities to study in USA without IELTS. Many top universities in the USA accept applications without the IELTS. These universities accept alternative exams or other proof of English language proficiency exams.

  1. Rice University

  2. Drexel University

  3. The University of Dayton

  4. The University of North Alabama

  5. California State University

  6. National Louis University

  7. University of Colorado Boulder

  8. The University of Delaware

  9. The State University of New York

  10. Northwood University

  11. University of New Orleans

  12. University of Arkansas

  13. University of Iowa

  14. Harvard University

  15. University of Colorado


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Alternative Tests to Get Admission to USA University without IELTS

If you think the IELTS exam is the only acceptable English language proficiency test, then you are wrong. The table below provides information on such alternative exams accepted by various universities.

Name of the institution

Alternate Examinations

Rice University

TOEFL, Duolingo

Drexel University

TOEFL, Duolingo

University of Dayton


University of North Alabama

iBT, TOEIC, PTE, Duolingo

California State University

TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo

National Louis University

TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo

University of Colorado Boulder

TOEFL, Duolingo

University of Delaware

TOEFL, Cambridge English Assessment, Duolingo

State University of New York

TOEFL, Cambridge English tests, iTEP, Duolingo

Northwood University

TOEFL, Cambridge English Tests, PTE

University of New Orleans

TOEFL, Duolingo

University of Arkansas


University of Iowa

TOEFL, Duolingo

Harvard University


University of Colorado

TOEFL, Duolingo

Check out the admission requirements for universities that offer you to study in USA without IELTS.



  • Rice University

Rice University is a top-ranked research university in Houston, Texas that accepts TOEFL, Duolingo, and IELTS scores as proof of English language competency from Indian students applying for admission. Applicants who have finished their studies in countries where English is not the primary language must demonstrate their English language competency using one of these tests.


  • Drexel University

Drexel University in the United States lets overseas students who want to study in USA without IELTS score with two conditional requirements. These include the TOEFL and Duolingo for international students. Students who complete either of these programs will have met the English proficiency requirements for admission to Drexel University.


  • University of Dayton

The University of Dayton accepts TOEFL, PTE, and IELTS scores for students who want to study in the USA without IELTS. Applicants who have taken any of these English proficiency exams and meet the minimal scoring requirements may include their scores with their application.


  • University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama accepts scores from a range of English language proficiency tests, including iBT, TOEIC, PTE, and Duolingo, in addition to IELTS. This enables overseas students to demonstrate their language skills in the most effective manner for them. Students may consult the university's website or contact their admissions office for further information on the precise requirements and acceptable results for each test.


  • California State University

California State University (CSU) accepts a variety of English proficiency exams, including the TOEFL, PTE, and Duolingo, for students applying to study in USA without IELTS. The minimum score requirements for each test may differ based on the program and campus you are applying to. Thus, it is critical to confirm the particular requirements for your selected program.


  • National Louis University

National Louis University in the United States accepts a variety of English language examinations, including TOEFL, PTE, and Duolingo. This gives them more choices when demonstrating their English language skills. However, it is critical to confirm with the university regarding their exact language requirements and minimum score standards for each test.


  • University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder is a renowned university that accepts Indian students from all around the world. Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English competency before being admitted. While IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test, the university also recognises TOEFL and Duolingo as alternatives for those who want to study in the USA without IELTS.


  • University of Delaware

The University of Delaware requires students to submit their TOEFL, Duolingo, or Cambridge English assessment scores. Students who have completed at least two years of full-time study at an English-speaking high school or university may be excluded from this requirement. The university may also assess the student's English skills during an interview or by analyzing their academic record.


Also, Read: Cost of Studying in USA 


  • State University of New York

The State University of New York (SUNY) is one of the largest university systems in the United States, with 64 units. Indian students applying for admission to SUNY institutions can use a variety of English language proficiency tests to study in USA without IELTS, including TOEFL, Cambridge English tests, iTEP, and Duolingo scores, in addition to the IELTS score. This gives overseas students several choices for demonstrating their English language competency and meeting the admission requirements of SUNY colleges.


  • Northwood University

Northwood University is a private institution in Michigan, USA, that provides undergraduate and graduate business, management, and entrepreneurship programs. Indian students seeking admission can use TOEFL, Cambridge English Tests, and PTE scores in addition to IELTS scores to demonstrate their English competence. This increases flexibility for students who may have completed a different English language competency exam.


  • University of New Orleans

The University of New Orleans (UNO) accepts TOEFL and Duolingo English Test scores from students seeking admission to study in USA without IELTS. These results reflect the English proficiency required to succeed in UNO's academic programs and ensure that students can effectively converse in English while attending college.


  • University of Arkansas

If you want to apply to the University of Arkansas but need an IELTS score, don't worry! The university also recognises scores from other English proficiency tests, such as the PTE, TOEFL, and iTEP. This allows you to choose the test that best meets your needs and tastes. Simply visit the university's official website to see the minimum score criteria for each test.


  • University of Iowa

The University of Iowa recognises English proficiency as an essential factor in academic performance and has provided various options for overseas students to demonstrate their proficiency. The University of Iowa recognises TOEFL and Duolingo English Tests as alternative options for Indian students who want to study in USA without IELTS. The minimum required TOEFL score is 80 (iBT) or 550 (paper-based), while the minimum required Duolingo score is 105.


  • Harvard University

Harvard University is one of the world's most prestigious universities, with international students worldwide. While a solid command of English is required for success at Harvard, the university does not require an English proficiency exam for admission. However, overseas applicants who have taken the TOEFL or IELTS tests may include their scores in their application.


  • University of Colorado

The University of Colorado offers a variety of techniques for demonstrating English competence, including the TOEFL, Duolingo, and completion of an English language program from an accredited university.  Furthermore, students who have completed at least two years of high school in an English-speaking country can study in USA without IELTS.  


USA Study Visa without IELTS Requirements

If you come from a non-English speaking background, obtaining a USA study visa without IELTS can be challenging. One of the major requirements for a USA study visa is proficiency in English. However, you must have excellent communication skills if you have a letter of acceptance from a university where you can study in USA without IELTS.



To sum up, Indian students can study in USA without IELTS, and the list of universities that accept students without IELTS is long and includes some well-known names, like Harvard University, University of Colorado, University of Iowa, etc. These universities accept alternative English Proficiency Tests like TOEFL and Duolingo. Students need to take these alternative tests for admission to universities mentioned in the blog. 

We hope that you enjoyed reading the blog. Moreover, if you want more information regarding study in the USA without IELTS, contact the expert counsellors at any branch of Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). You can also take free online counselling through our website. Our expert counsellors will provide guidance and support you through the admission and visa processes. contact or 1800-1230-00011


Q. Is the USA a good study-abroad destination? 

Ans: The USA is the top global location for studying abroad. The country is home to many top universities across the globe. Its academic environment is quite unmatched. As a result, many Indian students apply to study there every year.


Q. Is it possible to study in USA without IELTS?

Ans: Yes, it is possible to study in USA without IELTS. Suppose you have completed your high school or undergraduate with English as a medium of instruction. You can also submit scores of alternate English language proficiency exams instead of the IELTS.


Q. What are some scholarships offered to students to study in the USA without IELTS 2023?

Ans: Some such scholarships are

  • Rotary Peace Scholarships

  • Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program

  • Fulbright Foreign Student Program,

  • Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarships,

  • Clark Merit Scholarships


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