English Language

If English is not your first language or if English is not the official language of your home country, you must demonstrate English language proficiency. Most students will need to submit official English proficiency test scores (details below) that are LESS than 2 years old.

To demonstrate English proficiency, students can take: the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Duolingo English Test, the Pearson Test of English (Academic) or Cambridge CPE or CAE. Official test results must be sent directly to the University of New Mexico. (The ETS code for the University of New Mexico is 4845.)

ExamMinimum Score Required

TOEFL  (internet-based)


TOEFL (paper-based)




Pearson Test of English


Duolingo English Test


Cambridge C1 Advanced/C2 Proficiency

  • Completion of four years of US high school with a 2.5 GPA or better.
  • ACT English score of 19 or better (test not REQUIRED for admission).
  • SAT Evidence-Based Reading/Writing (post-March 2016) score of 500 or SAT Verbal score (pre-March 2016) of 480 or better (test not REQUIRED for admission).
  • 1 year of full-time study (minimum 24 credit hours) at a regionally-accredited US college or university with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Completion of two semesters of freshman English composition (English 110 and 120 equivalent) with a grade of C or higher at a regionally- accredited U.S. college or university.  (These courses must be completed on an A-F grade scale.)
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited US college or university or a recognized institution in English-Speaking Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand.
  • Attendance in the Center for English Language and American Culture (CELAC) program at UNM with successful completion of full-time studies in the Academic Bridge level of English instruction (2.5 GPA or better) and good standing.
  • If you are from one of the following English Speaking Countries (Click here to check the Countries).

UNM can issue a conditional admission letter to international students who meet the academic requirements for admission but who do not yet meet the minimum English proficiency requirement. Students who receive conditional admission must successfully complete the CELAC program at UNM and receive a passing score on the institutional TOEFL with the CELAC Academic Manager’s recommendation to transfer to academic study.

To apply for conditional admission students must:

  • Complete the on-line UNM application,and pay the $50 application fee on line
  • Complete paper CELAC application and financial guarantee (with “Conditional Admission” box checked) and pay the $50 non-refundable CELAC application fee on-line
  • Send required documents to:
    Center for English Language & American Culture
    Global Education Office
    1 University of New Mexico
    Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Download UNM Financial Guarantee

Once we have received all documents and the student is determined to be eligible, he/she will be sent the conditional admission letter along with a one-year UNM CELAC program I-20. Once the English proficiency level is achieved through CELAC and the student is admitted to UNM, a new I-20 for academic studies will be issued.