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English Proficiency (For Non-Native English Speakers)

Required English Level at UoPeople

UoPeople’s online degree programs are American accredited and are taught in English. Therefore, non-native English speakers must demonstrate that they have a strong level of proficiency in English before beginning their studies toward a degree program at UoPeople. This will enable students to successfully complete their studies in the English language.


Note: Proof of English Proficiency is not a requirement for those wishing to study in Arabic. For more information about UoPeople degrees in Arabic, click here.


Native English speakers automatically meet this requirement and do not need to prove their English level. Additionally, students who graduated from an accredited English-speaking institution will automatically fulfill this requirement and do not need to demonstrate their English proficiency level.


Native English speakers and students who earned a diploma from an accredited English institution automatically fulfill this requirement and do not need to demonstrate English proficiency.

English learning level

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

The English as a Second Language (ESL) program aims to help non-native English speakers improve their English language abilities and to equip them with English proficiency at an academic level, allowing them to be successful in their studies.


The English as a Second Language program is comprised of 8 different levels of proficiency. Applicants who wish to study their degree programs in English must provide an approved English test score or take the English level placement test. Then, we will determine their English proficiency level and place each student at the relevant level according to their test score. This allows each student to receive a personalized recommendation and set them up for success based on their specific English level. As such, students may not need to go through all levels of the program.

english dictionary definition

Demonstrating English Proficiency

If English is not your native language or your previous education was not in English, we will need to understand your English level. During the application process, you will have three options:

  1. Upload documents, like previous test scores or a diploma, to determine your English level.
  2. Take the English level test to set your English level.
  3. Begin on the highest level of our English as a Second Language (ESL) program without setting a level.
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Timeline and Procedure

How it works during the application process:

  1. After you have submitted your short online application, confirm your email and log in to the UoPeople Portal. There you will confirm your personal details, including your native language.
  2. If your native language is not English, you’ll have the option to determine your English level.
  3. If you have studied at an institution where English was the language of instruction or your test scores are high enough, you will be exempt from the English requirement.
  4. At this point in the application process, you can choose to upload a document (previous test results or a diploma/transcript from an institution where English was the language of instruction) or register for the English level test. If you choose not to set your level , you will fulfill your English requirement by taking the highest level of the ESL program, “English Foundations”.

Instructions if you choose to upload a document:

  1. If you choose to upload test results from a valid exam you will be directed to the English Level Simulator. By entering your existing test score, you will be able to see your estimated English level before you upload the test results. Complete all form fields and then click “Check My Level”
  2. Please note, Approved English tests are limited to:4
    – Accuplacer
    – CEFR
    – Duolingo
    – Skill Michigan English test (MET)
    Michigan Examination for the Certificate of Competency in English (ECCE)
    – EIKEN
    – IELTS
    – PTE
  3. After the estimated English level is displayed, click “Continue” to move on and upload your official test results.
  4. For documents that are not test results, please select “other,” and then choose the type of document. Please note: the simulator will not provide an estimated level for these types of documents.
  5. Choose the file you wish to upload, and then click “Confirm.” If the upload is successful, you will be taken to a screen that shows your request status is “Processing.” Remember, final placement will be provided only once we have received and reviewed the official document.

Instructions if you choose to take the English level test:

  1. Go to the Duolingo website
  2. Pay the $59 fee to take the Duolingo test
  3. You will need to login there with the same email address you have registered with UoPeople
  4. Duolingo will automatically send us the results of your test, and your score and English level will be available on the UoPeople Portal

Once you have submitted your documents or taken the exam, the admissions team will review and evaluate your request, usually within 48 business hours. You will be notified of your English Level placement via the UoPeople Portal and email.

  • If you have additional questions regarding our English proficiency requirements or the qualifications we accept, please contact your personal Admissions Advisor.
  • Go to our FAQ page or chat with our bot, Michelle.
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