student visa for usa without ielts

If you are trying to find out more about the best ways to study in the USA without IELTS and how to apply for a student visa for USA without IELTS, then this is the right blog post for you. The first question that comes to mind is what are your options for studying in the USA without IELTS? Are there any ways at all?

There are different types of US student visa, including F1, B1, H1 and J1 visas. The one that you get depends on your country of citizenship. With a student visa in the USA, you can designate any institution as your home college, whether or not it’s really where you attend classes. This visa category may also be called an F-1 Visa or an M-1 visa depending on your country of citizenship.

IELTS is the most widely recognized Non-Academic International English Language Testing System globally. It is applicable for all international English language tests and is mutually acceptable by nearly all higher education institutions. IELTS plays an integral role particularly in academic immigration as it is required by majority of US universities.

If you are applying for a student visa to the USA, you may be wondering how to get one without IELTS.

You will need to make sure that you have enough money to support yourself while in the country and that you have enough English language skills to be able to learn at a university level. You can also take classes with us before you go.

The U.S. Department of State requires that all F-1 students have a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 100 on the internet-based test, or a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based exam, or a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL.

This is the only way to get a student visa for the U.S. If you don’t have these scores, you are required to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.

How to study in USA without IELTS:

Step 1: Application Process to Study in USA without IELTS

  • Research and shortlist Universities and courses you want to study in USA you want to apply to. 
  • You can check University rankings and Eligibility Requirements on the websites of the universities.
  • Go through all the shortlisted Universities and choose which is best for you academically and career-wise. 
  • You need to apply online for the University of colleges in USA you have selected. 

Step 2: Skype / Video Interviews

Once you are shortlisted by the University, you will be asked for a personal Interview. This helps them to evaluate your proficiency in the  English language and also check your eagerness to get accepted at the Universities. To get admission to the USA without IELTS, you have to complete this interview in the best possible manner.

Step 3: Tuition Fees and Other Study in USA Costs:

If you pass your Video Interview, you will get a letter of acceptance from the college you have applied to. It is to confirm that you have been accepted for the study program you were interested in. The next step is to pay your tuition fees for the program. For more information click: Cost of studying in USA

Step 4: Apply for Student Visa in USA

In the next step, you need to apply for your student visa. Can I get USA study visa without IELTS? is one of the questions for the international students who want to pursue their education in USA without giving IELTS. The USA visa rules are surely getting stringent day by day, however, if one has enough grades and academic excellence to show for,  without IELTS study in USA then it is possible.

So, is IELTS required for a student visa in USA? If you have an international baccalaureate or have done previous studies in the English language, or from an English-speaking country, the USA student visa without the IELTS process is can be done. However, if you are not one of the above, there might be a series of questions you will have to answer at the visa interview unless you have been selected for a highly ranked university. so if you want without an IELTS USA study visa, it is possible but a bit complicated. You will need the following documents

  • A Valid Passport
  • Recent passport size photograph
  • Confirmation page of DS-160
  • Form I -20
  • Payment of application fees for SEVIS
  • Letter of admission/confirmation from the University
  • Proof of Monetary Funds
  • Proof of Accommodation
  • CV
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Healthcare Cover
  • Your University will make you inform you about the additional requirements if any.

Eligibility criteria to study without IELTS in USA

There are some criteria you will have to fulfill in order to get admission at a University in USA without IELTS:

  1. First of all, if you are a native of an English Speaking Country, and English is your First Language, there is no need to take IELTS or TOEFL or any English Language Proficiency Test for that matter.
  2. If you have attended and completed any kind of academic studies for at least one year in the USA, you can be accepted at a university to study in USA without IELTS.
  3. There are some Intensive English Learning Programs that some Universities offer. Abbreviated as IELP, they work as substitutes for IELTS and TOEFL tests.
  4. Just like IELP, there are some Summer Programs in USA that you can attend to make up for the lack of English Language Proficiency Proof and study in America without IELTS.
  5. Some Universities in USA offer Bridge courses for students who do not meet the minimum English Language Requirements for direct admission in a course.
  6. Some of the institutes will not ask for any English Language Proficiency proof if you have completed your secondary school education and/or bachelor’s degree in the English Language.

10 Top Universities to Study in USA without IELTS

S No.UniversityAlternate for IELTS
1American University, Washington DCTOEFL, PTE, Duolingo English Test
2State University of New YorkConditional (IELP), ACT, SAT
3University of Illinois at ChicagoTOEFL, PTE
4University of Central FloridaTOEFL
5University of New OrleansConditional (IELP), TOEFL, Duolingo English Test
6University of ColoradoTOEFL, Duolingo English Test
7UMASS, BostonTOEFL, SAT, ACT, Duolingo English Test
8The University of UtahTOEFL, Duolingo English Test, ACT, SAT
9University of Dayton, OhioConditional (IELP), TOEFL, iTEP, PTE, SAT, ACT, Duolingo English Test
10Auburn University, AlabamaTOEFL, Conditional (IELP)

For students all over the world, the United States of America is a dream destination for higher education. It is estimated that there is 30 percent of international students studying in the USA. Higher education from the USA has global recognition and students studying here get to experience great campus life. Universities help international students in settling down in the new environment and there is an international students’ office that makes their life easy. IELTS is considered important for those applying for higher studies, but it is not a necessary test you need to take while applying for an American university because it is possible to study in the USA without IELTS. Read this blog further to find out about the American universities that take students without the compulsion of IELTS.


Is it possible to study in the USA without IELTS?

Yes, it is possible to study in the USA without IELTS given that you have completed your senior secondary education or graduated with English as the medium of instruction in the program or they have pursued studies in an English-speaking country for a certain duration. Further, some universities may also avail admission to those who don’t have IELTS or TOEFL if they take the university’s preparatory program known as Intensive English Language Program (IELP) which equips international students with better proficiency in English.

Is IELTS necessary in the USA?

Though IELTS is quite a mandatory requirement to study in the USA, there is a multitude of universities that provide selected programs that you can apply to without IELTS scores. These universities include California State University, University of Dayton, University of North Texas, Northwood University, amongst others. 

Which country is best for studying without IELTS?

There are many prominent countries to study abroad without IELTS or TOEFL. These include Germany, the USA, Canada, the UK, Malaysia, Australia, amongst others.

Is IELTS required for a USA student visa?

IELTS is not a mandatory requirement for a USA student visa for those who have completed an international baccalaureate or previous studies from an English-speaking country.

Which exam is required for studying in the USA?

From language proficiency exams to program-specific tests, the exam requirements to study in the USA varies as per the course you have chosen. Generally, IELTS/TOEFL is required apart from some universities while GMAT and GRE are needed to select postgraduate programs.


It’s more than possible to study abroad in the USA without an IELTS certificate, it just depends on the university’s own requirements. Almost 100% of the time, some demonstration of English proficiency is needed, which makes sense, since you’ll be studying in English! 

So now that you know more about your options for studying in the USA, maybe it’s time to start preparing for life there in the future? We’ve written a handy article on the 10 highest paying part-time jobs for international students in the USA, in case you need to work while you study!

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