Freshman Admissions Criteria

The University at Buffalo welcomes international first-year students (freshmen) who are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities offered by a top-quality public research university.

What is required for freshman admission?

Admission to the freshman class at the University at Buffalo is based on more than just your grades. We perform a holistic review of your application that considers your academic marks, test scores, essay and recommendations.

We are looking for students who excel academically, engage in extracurricular activities, and maintain a good school-life balance.

What do admissions counselors consider?

Academics English Language Standardized Tests Other Requirements

You must demonstrate English proficiency in one of the following ways:

Are you unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL?

If you are not able to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL tests because they are cancelled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home.



TOEFL (IBT) (including MyBest scores)

TOEFL Home Edition

TOEFL Essentials 8.5

IELTS and IELTS Indicator


PTE Academic

PTE Academic Online


ACT (English AND reading sections)

CanTEST 4.5
Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)



Cambridge English Advanced (CAE)
IB Higher Level English A Literature 4
IB Higher Level English A Language and Literature 4
AS Level or A Level English
or English Language Subject
Duolingo English Test (DET) 
105 **
  • The minimum scores indicated above do not guarantee admission; these are minimum scores for admission consideration
  • UB accepts the TOEFL MyBest score. Official MyBest scores must be sent directly from ETS to UB (UB's institutional TOEFL code is 2925). Self-reported MyBest scores cannot be used. 
  • Scores must be less than two years old at the time of admission; older scores will not be accepted.
  • Official scores must be sent directly to UB from the testing agency.
  • Photocopies and scanned documents may be submitted for initial review.

     **  Scores below 105 on the Duolingo English Test (DET) may be considered on a case-by-case basis as part of our holistic review process    

Undergraduate English Language Proficiency Test Exemption

English proficiency can be demonstrated without a test in one of the following ways:

1. Native Speaker

Applicants who meet all three criteria listed below may be exempted from the requirement of submitting an English proficiency test score.
The applicant is:
  • A citizen from: Australia, The Bahamas, Canada, Guam, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore or the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland); and    
  • A native speaker of English; and
  • Was educated entirely in English.

2. U.S. Post-Secondary Education

Transfer applicants currently enrolled in a U.S. college who have:

  • Completed at least one term (quarter or semester) of a U.S. college English composition class with an earned grade of "B" or better, and an overall college GPA of at lease 3.0 (out of 4.0) and strong grades in classes that typically require significant reading and writing. 


  • Completed at least two terms (quarters or semesters) of a U.S. college English composition classes with an earned grade of "C" or better in each class, and good grades in classes that typically require significant reading and writing. 

NOTE: ESL classes, remedial English classes, and foundation English classes (for example, non-credit intensive English classes/programs) are not recognized for this waiver.