Top Universities in the USA without IELTS in 2024-25 | Admissify

Students, did you know that studying in top universities in the USA without IELTS is now possible? This is because several universities allow students to get admission to the top universities in the USA without appearing for the IELTS exam. IELTS evaluates a person’s reading, speaking, writing, and listening comprehension. This gives the university a view of how good you are in English and whether you can study in the chosen language. Since a student will be studying in English, it is almost always desired to see some sort of demonstration of English proficiency. Therefore, the most well-known alternative exam scores accepted by US universities and colleges instead of IELTS are those from the TOEFL, Duolingo, or PTE.

Although many Indian students must take the IELTS exam to be admitted, many of the best American universities do not require it due to similarities in the educational systems of the two countries. In this article, we will discuss how to successfully get admitted to the top universities in the USA without IELTS.

How to Study Without Taking the IELTS in US Colleges?

An IELTS score is only sometimes required for international students to be enrolled in US universities, even though many require English proficiency. Therefore, if you intend to study in the US without taking the IELTS, you must meet the following prerequisites:

  • If English was the official language in the nation where you completed your previous education, you might not need to take the IELTS exam.
  • Colleges in the United States that do not require the IELTS may still require introductory courses such as the Intensive English Language Program (IELP).
  • When applying for master’s programs, you will need a letter from your previous university verifying that the graduate course you took was in English.
  • International students can also enrol in certain summer programs in the USA to improve their English language proficiency and study without taking the TOEFL or IELTS.

Getting into your ideal US college without taking the IELTS is possible in many ways.

List Of Top 6 Universities in the USA Without IELTS or TOEFL

We have provided a list of US colleges and universities where you can gain admission without taking the IELTS exam, but if you would prefer not to take the TOEFL or IELTS, here are a few particular colleges that we think are the best:

  1. University of Drexel

Being a private university with 26,000 students enrolled in more than 150 programs, Drexel offers a higher acceptance rate. There are two ways that international students can attend Drexel without taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam: 

  • Summer Program for University Preparation
  • The FCBP initiative 

International students must have completed one year of undergraduate studies to enrol in Drexel University’s master’s program.

  1. University of Colorado Boulder

Among the top universities in the United States for higher education is the University of Colorado Boulder. To be admitted to UC Berkeley without taking the TOEFL or IELTS, a student must prove at least one of the following: 

  • They are native speakers of the English language.
  • have spent a school year studying in the United States of America 
  • completed two academic years in a nation where English is the primary language

As you were previously informed, Duolingo offers an alternative English proficiency test for admission to the University of Colorado.

  1. California State University, Los Angeles

California State University, Los Angeles, enjoys great recognition for its contributions to society and academic accomplishments. For international students applying to the university, submission of their TOEFL or IELTS results is optional if they have attended secondary and graduate schools where English is the primary language of instruction.

  1. University of Dayton

An extensive range of graduate, undergraduate, and doctorate-level programs are offered by the University of Dayton, another top-ranked university. Additionally, it provides an integrated course that lets you earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree at once. 

Students can enrol in the intensive English language program (ELP) at the University of Dayton to gain admission without taking the TOEFL or IELTS. In addition, you can take the PTE or Duolingo exam in place of the IELTS.

  1. University of Iowa

The University of Iowa, one of the top universities in the United States, accepts deserving students without IELTS or TOEFL scores and offers more than 200 majors. International students proficient in English as a teaching language are eligible for admission.

  1. Rice University

One of the best universities in the United States is Rice University, which follows a semester-based academic calendar. Suppose you have completed your degree from a university or college where English is the official language of instruction. In that case, you can enrol at Rice University without submitting your IELTS or TOEFL results. By applying to the admissions office, international students may be eligible to have these exams waived.

List of Other Colleges & Universities in the USA Without IELTS Exam

We will take you precisely where you want to go because we understand why you are here! The US universities on this list allow admission without needing an IELTS score.

US Universities without IELTS Alternate exams to give in 2024
University of Dayton PTE / Duolingo
Northwood University EIKEN / IB/ Cambridge English Test / ELS / PTE Academic
University of Delaware English Language for Internationals (ELI)
State University of New York PTE / Duolingo / Cambridge English Scale
University of New Orleans (UNO) English Language for Internationals (ELI)
University of Colorado Duolingo
California University PTE
Rice University Duolingo
Drexel University Joining the University Preparation Summer Program or FCBP Program
National Louis University PTE
University of Iowa TOEFL / On-campus English Proficiency Evaluation (EPE)
University of North Alabama TOEIC

Scholarship for Universities in the USA without IELTS

When students do not have enough funds to fund their education, there are many alternatives. Students can apply for many scholarships that can help them.

Here are some scholarships that students can opt for and get a chance to fund their education through scholarships:

  • Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship: Students from developing nations are welcome to apply for this scholarship. However, students need to be aware that young professionals under 30 years old are preferred for this scholarship.
  • Fulbright Scholarship: This scholarship is available to both professionals and recent graduates. Moreover, the Fullbright scholarship is entirely funded by the US government. Every year, about 4,000 students are awarded Fulbright scholarships to study in America without taking the IELTS exam.

You can apply for more scholarships, but these are the ones you can get without taking the IELTS test in the USA.

USA Study Visa Without IELTS for International Students

It can be challenging to pass your interview in the US Without taking the IELTS if you are an international student from a non-English-speaking country. It becomes significant since passing these exams indicates a high proficiency in English, which is one of the primary prerequisites for applying for a USA visa.

Furthermore, you must bring an admission letter and documentation of your English language proficiency to the visa interview. At the same time, if you are accepted into a US university without taking the IELTS. You will be required to showcase these documents:

  • A copy of a valid passport
  • DS-160 confirmation page
  • I-20 Form
  • Accommodation Proof
  • Resume or CV
  • Healthcare Coverage
  • Academics Transcripts
  • SEVIS application payment receipt
  • Passport size photograph

Even though we have discussed many ways of getting admission to top US universities without the IELTS exam, it is crucial to remember that the prerequisites for admission vary based on the courses you select and even the universities you wish to attend.


Universities in the USA can admit students without the IELTS exam, which measures English proficiency. Alternative exam scores accepted by US universities include TOEFL, Duolingo, and PTE. To study without the IELTS, students must meet prerequisites, such as completing their previous education in English, enrolling in introductory courses, and obtaining a letter from their last university verifying the graduate course was in English. Some top US universities without IELTS include the University of Dayton, PTE/Duolingo, Northwood University, EIKEN/IB/Cambridge English Test, State University of New York, University of New Orleans, University of Colorado, California University, Rice University, Drexel University and University Preparation Summer Program.


Is there any university in the USA without IELTS?

Many colleges in the USA waive the IELTS exam for candidates from English-speaking nations or those who have finished their prior coursework in the language. Some examples are California State University, Rice University, and the University of Iowa.

Can I go to the USA with only IELTS?

Yes, many American higher education institutions accept IELTS results for admission. However, further paperwork, including personal statements, recommendation letters, and academic transcripts, are usually needed.

Can I get admission without IELTS?

You may be admitted without taking the IELTS if you can offer alternative documentation of your English proficiency—such as prior coursework, scores from other exams like the TOEFL, or participation in university-specific language programs.

Can I go to the USA without IELTS for work?

Work permits do not require the IELTS exam. Employers may require proof of English proficiency; however, it is typically ascertained through qualifications and interviews rather than strict testing.

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