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Graduate applicants who are non-native speakers of English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Graduate programs at JMU invite high levels of student engagement through class discussions, collaborative projects, and interpersonal contact with professors and peers. The ability to communicate proficiently in the English language is vital to a student’s participation and success in the graduate program.

Candidates demonstrate English language proficiency using one of these options:
Option One

Provide a transcript of an earned Bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or an accredited college or university outside the U.S. at which English is recognized as the official language of instruction.  Please visit the World Higher Education Database for a full list of countries where English is the offical language of instruction exempting applicants from the English Proficiency requirement. Some of the countries where English is the official language of instruction include:

Antigua & Barbuda
New Zealand
Trinidad & Tobago
United Kingdom
Virgin Islands
Option Two

Submit satisfactory English language proficiency test scores from one of the following. These scores are typically acceptable*:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT total score of 80 or above
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of 6.5 or above
  • Duolingo total score of 105 or above.
*Some programs may require higher scores, please check with your program of interest to verify required minimum score. The scores on each of the subtests (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) must be satisfactory.

How to submit scores

All official scores must be submitted directly to JMU from the testing service.


Educational Testing Services (ETS) should send directly to JMU institution code 5392 or to:

The Graduate School
James Madison University
MSC 6702, 100 E. Grace St.
Harrisonburg, VA 22807


James Madison University is registered to receive IELTS scores using IELTS Results E-Delivery. Our identifying information is:

The Graduate School
James Madison University
MSC 6702, 100 E. Grace St.
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

There is no institution code for IELTS.


Duolingo should email scores directly to

Option Three

Successfully complete English language preparation programs for graduate school. Learn more about JMU's intensive English program.

Candidates with extraordinary circumstances

If you believe that you have an extraordinary way to demonstrate your English-language proficiency, after you submit your application, please send an e-mail to and include your evidence. Note that alternative ways of demonstrating English-language proficiency can take extra time because we must verify the information that you submit. JMU programs consider requests for exceptions on a case by case basis.

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