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IELTS Score for USA 2023: Minimum IELTS Scores for best USA Universities

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The International English Language Testing System ( IELTS) exam is one of the most popular English language proficiency tests for international students seeking to study at top universities in the United States of America (USA). Because many students have taken the IELTS test for various programs, different scores are typically accepted at different universities for various programs and courses.

Do you know? IELTS exam scores are accepted by over 3,400 educational institutions in the USA. Yes, a good IELTS score increases your chances of getting admitted to the top US Universities.

The IELTS test scores are critical in your academic career and to study in USA. A high score will get you into some of the best universities in the United States that exclusively recognize IELTS. A good IELTS score for USA may shed insight into your ability to use and comprehend English.

What is a Good IELTS Score for USA universities?

Most institutions and colleges demand an IELTS score for USA admissions. A good IELTS score for USA admissions to undergrad and graduate programs is likely determined by what a student deems a good school.

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IELTS Score for USA 2023: Minimum IELTS Scores for best USA Universities

Several Ivy League schools require an overall score of at least 7.0, whereas most other universities require a 6.5. Most of the top 200 undergraduate and graduate programs require minimum scores ranging from 6.0 to 7.0, with some highly selective universities requiring scores in the 7.5 range.

The minimum IELTS score for USA elite universities ranges from 6 to 7.5. Although, several good US universities require an IELTS score of 5.5 overall. The minimum IELTS score for USA student visa is 6.5 bands.

Note: The validity period for IELTS score in USA is two years. 

IELTS Score for USA: Top 10 Universities

Let’s take a closer look at the minimum IELTS score for the top USA universities and their 2023 QS World Rankings:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is an independent, coeducational, privately owned university with over 1,000 academic members, over 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and 5 schools- Architecture and Planning; Management; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Engineering; Science. 

MIT researchers are presently working on developments in the fields of artificial intelligence, climate adaptation, HIV, cancer, and poverty alleviation.

QS World Ranking 2023QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2023Minimum IELTS Score for USA Undergraduate coursesMinimum IELTS Score for USA Postgraduate courses
#1#17.07.0

Stanford University

Stanford University is located in Northern California’s infamous Silicon Valley, home to Yahoo, Google, Hewlett-Packard, and many more cutting-edge computer companies created and headed by Stanford alums and professors.

Stanford has 700 major university buildings that house 40 departments across three academic and four professional schools and 18 independent laboratories, centres, and institutes. Stanford has 19 Nobel laureates among its ranks and is consistently regarded among the top three colleges in the world.

QS World Ranking 2023QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2023Minimum IELTS Score for USA Undergraduate coursesMinimum IELTS Score for USA Postgraduate courses
#3#27.07.0

Harvard University

Harvard University consists of Harvard College, the Radcliffe Institute and 12 graduate and professional schools. Harvard has eight US presidents, several foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars among its graduates.

In terms of financial help, the University provides merit-based and need-based scholarships and course-specific aid for both UG and PG students.

QS World Ranking 2023QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2023Minimum IELTS Score for USA Undergraduate coursesMinimum IELTS Score for USA Postgraduate courses
#5#56.57.5

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a world-renowned science and engineering teaching and research university in Pasadena, California. The university boasts of having NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Caltech Seismological Laboratory, and the International Observatory Network.

Caltech’s academic divisions include the following:

  • Biology and biological engineering.
  • Chemistry and chemical engineering.
  • Engineering and applied science.
  • Geology and planetary sciences.
  • Humanities and social sciences
  • Physics, mathematics, and astronomy.
QS World Ranking 2023QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2023Minimum IELTS Score for USA Undergraduate coursesMinimum IELTS Score for USA Postgraduate courses
#6#6377

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago, a private research institution in Chicago, has approximately 16,000 students and is one of America’s best institutions, consistently ranking in the top 10 in national and international rankings.

The institution consists of an undergraduate college, several graduate divisions, and professional schools. Several graduate institutions at the University of Chicago are highly regarded, including the Booth School of Business, the Law School, and the Pritzker School of Medicine. The highly acclaimed University of Chicago Medical Center is a practical teaching hospital for medical students.

QS World Ranking 2023QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2023Minimum IELTS Score for USA Undergraduate coursesMinimum IELTS Score for USA Postgraduate courses
#10#1377

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, centered on imparting knowledge of the arts and humanities and the practical skills required to make a living and perform public good, rather than only clergy education. 

The University of Pennsylvania has a dozen schools specializing in the arts and sciences, business, communication, dentistry, design, education, engineering, applied science, law, medicine, nursing, social policy and practice, and veterinary medicine. 

Four of the schools provide undergraduate degrees and all twelve offer graduate degrees. The medical school is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian Hospitals, which are highly ranked in several specialties.

QS World Ranking 2023QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2023Minimum IELTS Score for USA Undergraduate coursesMinimum IELTS Score for USA Postgraduate courses
#13#197.07.5

Princeton University

Princeton University, one of the country’s oldest and most distinguished institutions, offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering, as well as a variety of professional degrees.

The university comprises an undergraduate college, a graduate school, the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Undergraduates at Princeton can pick from more than 30 academic concentrations. Princeton conducts research in four primary areas: engineering and applied sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

QS World Ranking 2023QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2023Minimum IELTS Score for USA Undergraduate coursesMinimum IELTS Score for USA Postgraduate courses
#16#158.08.0

Yale University

Yale University, the third-oldest higher education institution in the United States and a private Ivy League research university, consists of 14 schools. Students follow a liberal arts curriculum that includes humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences before deciding on a departmental major.

The institution consists of the undergraduate college, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, along with other professional schools. Undergraduate majors in economics, political science, and history are among the most popular. Yale’s highly-ranked graduate institutions are the School of Management and the Law School. 

QS World Ranking 2023QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2023Minimum IELTS Score for USA Undergraduate coursesMinimum IELTS Score for USA Postgraduate courses
#18#147.08.0

Cornell University

Cornell University comprises 14 colleges and schools, seven undergraduate and graduate and professional divisions in Ithaca, New York City, and Doha, Qatar. 

Agriculture and life sciences, architecture, art and planning, arts and sciences, business, engineering, human ecology, and industrial and labor relations are all available at the undergraduate level.

QS World Ranking 2023QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2023Minimum IELTS Score for USA Undergraduate coursesMinimum IELTS Score for USA Postgraduate courses
#20#97.58.0

Columbia University

Columbia University, founded in 1754, is a private Ivy League research university, which is currently the third most selective college in the US and the second most demanding in the Ivy League behind Harvard, with an undergraduate admittance rate of 5.8 percent. 

The university has three undergraduate colleges- the Columbia Engineering or SEAS, Columbia College, and the School of General Studies, and numerous graduate and professional schools. The Business School, Law School, and College of Physicians and Surgeons are among Columbia University’s top-ranked graduate schools. Columbia also has affiliations with Barnard College for Women, Union Theological Seminary, and the Jewish Theological Seminary.

QS World Ranking 2023QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2023Minimum IELTS Score for USA Undergraduate coursesMinimum IELTS Score for USA Postgraduate courses
#22#337.57.5
IELTS Score for USA

List of Universities Accepting 6-7 IELTS Score in USA

Applicants with 6-7 IELTS score in USA will have no issue getting into these universities and colleges:

UniversityQS World Ranking 2023Minimum IELTS Score for Undergraduate coursesMinimum IELTS Score for Postgraduate courses
Johns Hopkins University247.07.0
University of California, Berkeley (UCB)#277.07.0
Duke University507.07.0
Brown University638.07.0
University of Texas at Austin726.56.5
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign856.5-7.0 or higher (Depending on the intakes)6.5-7.0 or higher (Depending on the intakes)
Texas A&M University1646.06.0
American University Washington D.C#701-7506.06.0
Dakota State UniversityNA6.0 (with no sub-score less than 5.5)6.0 (with no sub-score less than 5.5)
University of Southern California#636.56.5

Also Read: IELTS 7 Band 2023: Latest Tips & Tricks For 7+ Band In IELTS Exam

List of Universities Accepting 5.5 IELTS Score in USA

An IELTS score of 5.5 will not put you on the admissions radar.
However, while many US universities accept 5.5 IELTS, it does not guarantee admission.
Let’s look at a list of universities in the United States that recognize IELTS 5.5:

UniversityLocation
State University of New York (SUNY)Albany, New York
Southern Arkansas UniversityMagnolia, Arkansas
University of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsville, AL
Ohio UniversityAthens, Ohio
Stockton UniversityGalloway Township, New Jersey
University of MississippiOxford, Mississippi
University of MissouriColumbia, Missouri
Central Michigan UniversityMount Pleasant, Michigan
Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester and Hooksett
Wayne State UniversityDetroit, Michigan

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How to send your IELTS score to USA universities?

IELTS authorities allow international students to submit their IELTS scores to at least five colleges of their choice, which are to be selected during the IELTS registration process.

Here are the processes to register for IELTS and to send your IELTS result to USA universities following the test:

  • Step 1: Visit the British Council’s website.
  • Step 2: Select the ‘Take an exam’ and ‘IELTS’ options and click on ‘IELTS registration.’
  • Step 3: Next, click the ‘Register for IELTS now’ button.
  • Step 4: Fill in all the essential information to get the exam dates. The test date availability will then be displayed on the next page. 
  • Step 5: Select one of the available dates and click ‘Apply.’
  • Step 6: Read the terms carefully, then mark them in the text box next to ‘Continue.’
  • Step 7: You will be requested to fill out your personal information on the following page.
  • Step 8: Finally, you can choose whether or not to send your IELTS results to other universities. To send your result, select ‘Yes.’
  • Step 9: Click on the ‘Continue’ option after filling in all the necessary information.
  • Step 10: On the next page, specify the universities you want to send your IELTS scores.

After you fill out the form, the test center will send free copies of your IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) to the top five universities you’ve chosen.

To send your IELTS score, use the TRF (Test Report Form), which is a duplicate of your IELTS scorecard. You can acquire your TRF within 13 days of taking the IELTS. After the results are released, you can pick up your TRF from your local IDP IELTS office. It is recommended that you bring the identity proof that you used throughout the registration procedure.

Furthermore, sending your IELTS results to colleges online takes approximately five business days, while sending a hard copy scorecard to universities takes five to ten business days.

Cost of sending IELTS Score to USA Universities

There is no additional payment for electronically transmitting the TRF from the IELTS test site to the universities of your choice.

However, if you want to send your IELTS scores to more than five institutions, you will be charged an additional fee, which might be around $3.75, for each additional university. 

Furthermore, this fee applies if you want to mail your results to your desired universities physically.

Furthermore, suppose you wish to ask institutions for additional TRFs after your test has been over a month old. In that case, you must submit a document called an application for the provision of Additional TRFs. 

You must pay a charge for each ATRF that you apply for. International students may be charged up to $19 for physically mailing an ATRF to each university.

IELTS Score for USA

Conclusion

Your IELTS scores may be lower than the required level. If you did not get the required IELTS band scores, consider retaking the exam. You can also contact the admissions office of your preferred university and chat with the appropriate employees for more information.

Also, there is no such thing as an IELTS passing score in the United States, but each university has its own eligibility score for the English proficiency test. To summarise, most universities in the United States accept an IELTS score of 6 to 6.5. However, to gain admission to a top-tier university in the United States, the student must score at least 7.

Now that you know about the IELTS scores in USA universities’ requirements in all ranges, shortlisting the ideal colleges should be the next step in fulfilling your study abroad dream. Do you want to kick-start your studies in the USA with seamless assistance? More than 2L students have trusted LeapScholar with their study abroad journey. Here’s your chance. Book a free call with our experts today and get all your queries answered. 

Additionally, we can ease your financial stress by funding your desire to study abroad! Leap Finance provides collateral-free loans for US education at interest rates as low as 8.5%. Get funding for your tuition fees, transportation, and personal expenditures up to 100% within 10 minutes. Click here to begin the loan application process now. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the significance of IELTS scores in admission?

    Because academic instruction in US institutions is English, universities require non-native students to take the IELTS test to keep up with the curriculum.

  • Is 6.5 IELTS sufficient for admission to US universities?

    Most US universities accept IELTS exam scores ranging from 6 to 6.5. 
    However, to gain admission to a top-ranked university in the United States, the student must score at least 7.0.

  • What is the needed IELTS score for US immigration?

    The IELTS scale runs from 1 to 9. To pass the IELTS test and be eligible for a US visa, you must have an overall score of 6.5 and a 7.0 in the speaking component.

  • How is the IELTS exam administered?

    The IELTS exam can be taken on paper or a computer. 
    The exam is divided into four sections: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. 
    The speaking exam is conducted face-to-face with a professional IELTS examiner, a Viva exam.

  • What IELTS score is required for a student visa in the USA?

    The US government allows all international students to study in the country, providing they first get a student visa. 
    To obtain a student visa in the United States, you must demonstrate English proficiency by completing an English language competency test. 
    More than 10,000 organizations in 140 countries accept the IELTS score. 
    The IELTS score required for a student visa and by most universities in the United States is 6.5.

  • What Is The Payment Method For Sending Your IELTS Score To Universities?

    Candidates can pay their IELTS fee in the following ways:

    – Online with a credit card, eWallet, or net banking
    – Fill out an ICICI payment slip and bring it to any ICICI bank branch with cash.
    – A demand draught payment can be sent to either the “British Council, payable at Delhi” or the “IDP Education India Private Limited, payable at New Delhi.”

    Candidates should be advised that neither cash nor credit cards are accepted at the IELTS offices.

rajgeeta balamurali counsellor
Rajgeetha Balamurali

Rajgeetha is an expert in SAT, GRE, GMAT and IELTS prep content. She is an academic strategist with experience in study abroad test prep and ed-tech industry spanning pedagogy design, customised training design, team building, training & development.

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