International Admissions Requirements

Undergraduate Academic Requirements

International first time freshman


An International applicant is a student who wishes to study at our university on an F-1 (student) visa or J-1 (exchange) visa.

For more resources and information please check our International Students page.

All Sonoma State University applicants must submit official documents required with their application. All transcripts (academic records) must be submitted through a third party evaluation service and official transcripts transmitted directly to Sonoma State University. Please refer to the How to Submit Transcripts to Sonoma State page and the Foreign Coursework Evaluations section for third party evaluation service. Be sure to visit the admissions webpage for instructions on how to submit official and unofficial documents.

Official document deadlines for International Students:

  • Fall Semester: May 15
  • Spring Semester: October 15

English Language Proficiency Requirement

In addition to minimum admissions requirements, international student applicants must demonstrate that they meet the minimum English proficiency required to attend Sonoma State University. International applicants may meet English proficiency by:

  • Having attended 3 years full-time at an institution (secondary or postsecondary) where English is the primary language used OR
  • Having been educated in one of the countries that qualify for an English waiver (listed below) OR
  • Completion of GE Area A2 (Written Communication) at a US institution with a grade of C- or better OR
  • Submit official verification of English proficiency via an exam


English Proficiency Exams Accepted:
Test Undergraduate Minimum Score Graduate Minimum Score
iTEP 3.7 4.5
TOEFL iBT Total Score** 61 80
TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition Total Score 61 80
TOEFL Paper-Based Exam 500 550
IELTS Overall Total Band Score (Academic) 6.0 6.5
IELTS Indicator Overall Score 6.0 6.5
Pearson PTE 47 56
Cambridge English Exams 170 182
Duolingo 95 105
Sonoma State American Language Institute (Conditional Admission available) Successful completion of Advanced Level Successful completion of Advanced Level
English Language School (ELS) Level 112 Certificate Level 112 Certificate
UCLA Extension American Language Center Level 6 Level 6
USC International Academy Level 5 Level 5


**There are several English Proficiency exam options available to prospective students. At least one alternative, the TOEFL iBT Test is known to be accessible and has disability accommodations available.

**While we are currently accepting Duolingo to meet English Language Proficiency requirements, Duolingo is not affiliated with Sonoma State University and does not allow SSU to review or validate their Information Security practices. SSU does not endorse or recommend Duolingo in any way and if you choose to use them, you do so entirely at your own risk.

Countries eligible for English proficiency waiver:

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, Canada (except Quebec), Cayman Islands, Commonwealth Caribbean, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Micronesia, Montserrat, Namibia, New Zealand, Kenya, Nigeria, Saint Helena, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), Virgin Islands, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


SSALI Intensive English Program and Conditional Admission:

An Intensive English Program (IEP), the Sonoma State American Language Institute (SSALI) is offered through Sonoma State University’s School of Extended and International Education (SEIE). SSU Admissions works closely with SEIE and SSALI to offer "conditional admission" to academically eligible students enrolled in SSALI. We guarantee eligible students admission to the university once they have completed the English language requirement (see above). Read more at Intensive English and University Pathways.