Studying in a foreign institute comes with a long list of pre-requisites that needs to be fulfilled prior to your admission. One of the most common and important requirements is language proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL scores. There are certain universities around the world that allow students to study abroad without IELTS.

This article lists various universities abroad where you can study without having to take the IELTS or TOEFL or any other language proficiency examination. 

These are standard tests that measure the student’s ability to read, write & speak English. Attaining a desirable score in one of these tests can be difficult for non-native English speakers. Even though IELTS/TOEFL marks are major criteria for admission, there are many universities in different parts of the world that grant admissions and let students study abroad without IELTS or TOEFL.

Many universities in various countries, such as Germany, the USA, Australia provide pathway programs for students who wish to pursue a course in their desired university. Pathway programs help students, who do not meet the course requirements to prepare for various subjects from English to academic subjects. These courses, usually have a duration of 9 - 15 months. Pathway programs will help you to get admission to a university where your high school qualifications are not accepted for direct admission in an undergraduate/ graduate degree program.

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Moving on, here’s a list that mentions where you can study abroad without IELTS or TOEFL.


There are many universities in Australia that accept students without an IELTS/TOEFL score.

  1. The University of Queensland
  2. The University of Adelaide
  3. The University of New South Wales
  4. Macquarie University
  5. Bond University
  6. The University of South Australia
  7. The University of Southern Queensland
  8. Swinburne University of Technology

The University of Queensland gives you admission if you have completed a full-time course where English was the medium of your instruction, or if you have worked in an English-speaking work environment for at least five years. 

The University of Adelaide and Macquarie University allow students only if they accept an English program before the commencement of the course.

Bond University and The University of South Australia offer alternative tests, such as CAE, PTE. The University of Southern Queensland, Bond University, and the Swinburne University of Technology also accept students whose secondary education’s medium of instruction was English.

The University of Southern Queensland also suggests undertaking USQ pathway programs for admission to the university (Know more).


If you want to study abroad without IELTS or TOEFL, then Canada could be the right place for you! A number of universities in Canada do not require TOEFL/IELTS for admission. 

Essentially, if you have lived and attended school, for at least four years, where English was the primary language then you are not required to submit proof of language proficiency. Following are some of the universities that accept students without an IELTS or TOEFL score.

  1. Brock University
  2. Carleton University
  3. University of Winnipeg
  4. University of Regina
  5. Memorial University
  6. Concordia University

See More: How to apply for a Canada Student Visa 

United Kingdom (UK)

Some of the universities in the UK that do not require an IELTS score are:

  1. University of Bristol
  2. The University of Bolton
  3. London Southbank University
  4. Robert Gordon University

Countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa enjoy attention from the above-listed universities and many other universities as well. However, different courses require different levels of language expertise.

EU Countries 

You can study abroad without IELTS or TOEFL in European countries, if you can prove proficiency in the English language by proving:

  1. You have been educated in the English language during five recent years of study and English was the first language at the IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) or O level (Ordinary Level).
  2. You have been able to prove that you have good communication skills and your prior education was entirely conducted in English.
  3. If you apply to study in the same institution where your first degree had been awarded.
  4. If you have a degree that has been taught only in English.


Usually, you won’t need a TOEFL or IELTS score if you hold a bachelor’s degree in English as the language of instruction or if your native language is English. Some universities just require a letter from the student’s previous educational institution to ascertain English Language Proficiency. 

However, some courses do not require English language proficiency while others do. The requirements for courses in English Philology, for instance, need you to qualify the English language test.


Following are some of the universities in the US that you can get into without IELTS or TOEFL scores.

  • University of Colorado: If the following conditions are met then you need not submit the English language proficiency proof 
    1. The student’s native language is English
    2. The applying student has completed at least one year of full-time academic study at a U.S. institution. Although, countries like Botswana, Ghana, South Africa, and Nigeria are not subjected to this arrangement.
  • Drexel University: You need to complete two programs- University Preparation Summer Program (UPREP) and Bridge Program for international students if you don’t meet the language requirement.

The following universities grant admission to international students provided that they undertake the Intensive English Language Program (IELP).

You are exempted from showing language proficiency proof if you attended secondary school or/and graduate school where you were taught in English. California State University waives the minimum English requirement for a few countries. Know more.

Other universities where you can pursue your studies without bothering about IELTS/TOEFL score are:

  1. University of Delaware
  2. University of Iowa


If you want to study abroad without IELTS then you could go to Malaysia. Malaysia is one of the top-most countries in Asia after Singapore for studies. There is no compulsory need for English test proof for studying Bachelor’s, Master's, or Ph.D. courses here. The medium of instruction in more than 80 percent of Malaysian Universities is English.

Disclaimer: Most universities don’t explicitly state that they don’t require a language examination result(IELTS/TOEFL/PTE/CAE etc.). You are advised to personally contact the university, via email or phone and ask them whether you are eligible to be exempted from the language proficiency test requirement.