TOEFL Scores

As an international student, much of your success in graduate study in the United States depends on your ability to understand, read, write, and speak English. We require that international applicants submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), unless you meet one of the criteria below. For all other students,

  • Your score must not be more than two years old, and an official copy must be sent to our office directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
  • Use the institution code 5156 with departmental code 99 for "any department not listed". If you have chosen a different department code, your scores should still be available within the database of scores at Duke. You should not need to resend your scores.
  • Personal copies are not acceptable, nor are "attested" or notarized copies.
  • ETS can take several weeks to send electronic scores to schools, so you should plan to take the test or order prior scores at least one month prior to the deadline you seek.
  • We do not require a minimum score.
  • For more information on the TOEFL, please visit the TOEFL website at
  • We do not accept IELTS.

Name Discrepancies

We receive TOEFL scores electronically from the Educational Testing Service. Because we match scores by an applicant's name, it is important your name on the application and your name on your test scores be the same. If it is not, you must contact us.


We offer TOEFL waivers to those who

  • are citizens of any of the following countries;
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Canada
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Singapore
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • the United Kingdom
  • completed or will complete prior to joining the program a bachelor's degree or master's degree in Australia, Canada, the United States, or the United Kingdom, where all courses were taken in that country and taught in English (i.e. you did not transfer from a non-English institution), or
  • have worked full-time for a minimum of two years in the Australia, Canada, the United States, or the United Kingdom after receipt of undergraduate degree.

Waivers based on citizenship are automatic. 

If you believe you qualify for a TOEFL waiver based on the education or work criteria, indicate this and then answer the questions in the TOEFL Waiver section of your online application that require you to state where you completed the study or work requirement. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we will not examine, confirm the status of, or grant any waiver requests prior to extending an offer of admission.  If your request is not granted, we will try to notify you as soon as possible to give you time to take the test.  Therefore, it is in your best interest to apply in the earliest round for each admission cycle. 

English Placement Exams

NOTE: All international students are required to take oral and written English placement exams administered at Duke during orientation. These exams are independent of the TOEFL score submission requirement. Depending on placement results, students are either exempt from, or placed into, one English course. Students with English course requirements must make satisfactory progress toward completing these requirements while in the program. 


We do not accept IELTS scores, and the IELTS cannot be used in place of the TOEFL.