Minimum Duolingo Score Accepted in Top US Universities


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Aug 29, 2022 03:47 PM IST

Various top US universities have started accepting the Duolingo test scores following the Covid-19 outbreak, which forced the closing of test centres worldwide. Duolingo is becoming increasingly popular among international students as an alternative to IELTS and TOEFL. More US universities are accepting DET scores as proof of English proficiency for admission purposes.

Minimum Duolingo Score Accepted in Top US Universities

Are you aspiring to apply to one of the top-tier universities in the US? If your answer is yes, then as a non-native speaker of English, you will have to take an English proficiency test like TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE to prove your proficiency in the English language. However, there is another English language proficiency test that is relatively easy to prepare and reasonably priced.

The Duolingo English Test (DET) is an inexpensive, simple, and quick English proficiency test. Duolingo is increasingly getting popular among students as the exam can be taken from anywhere via a personal computer and active internet connection. The exam duration is only 60 minutes and the results are declared within 48 hours. The test is also reasonably priced, costing only USD 50. This can be seen as an added bonus when compared to the exam fees of traditional English proficiency tests like the IELTS and TOEFL.

About 1,415 universities in the US accept DET scores, however, the minimum Duolingo score requirement for top US universities varies based on standards set by the university. Duolingo score requirements may also be primarily based on the students academic performance and desired course of study. This article will cover some major US universities and their minimum DET score requirements. But first, let us start by understanding what is the Duolingo English Test (DET).

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Essential Features of the Duolingo English Test (DET)

Duolingo is an adaptive test that evaluates your writing, reading, speaking, and listening competencies in the English language. With each correct response, the test is supposed to get tougher, and students have an hour to finish it. Comparatively swiftly to other English proficiency tests, DET is computer-graded.

Essentially, there are three stages involved in the Duolingo English test. A simple setup test comes first. When you sign up to take the test on the Duolingo website, you will be taken through a set of test instructions and a practice test.

The main test begins once you complete the first stage and after your consent to the terms and conditions. A 10-minute video interview and a written test on a predetermined topic make up the final round. For your video interview, make sure you are seated in a well-lit area.

You will receive the test results within 48 hours of finishing the exam. Each segment of the test receives a distinct score, with a possible test score ranging from 10 to 160. You will need the following to take the Duolingo English test:

  • A reliable internet connection.

  • A front-facing camera, a microphone, and speakers on your desktop computer or laptop.

  • Aproof of your identity like your licence, passport, or other official identification.

  • Access to a calm, well-lit space to finish the test.

When you receive your Duolingo test scores, you can share them immediately with as many universities as you want.

Interested to know more about the minimum Duolingo score requirement for top programmes at US universities? Or, need expert advice to score high on the Duolingo English Test?

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Duolingo Scores Break Down

There are three primary components to the Duolingo English test: the setup, the adaptive test, and the writing test or video interview. There are basic, intermediate, upper-intermediate, and advanced DET scores, which range from 10 to 160. Duolingo considers several factors to evaluate the student's grasp of the English language. These are known as sub-scores and include the following:

  • Literacy

  • Conversation

  • Comprehension

  • Production

Now, let us understand the Duolingo scores break down here:

Duolingo Score Level

Duolingo Score Range









Want to obtain an advanced score on the Duolingo English Test? Check out the following links to make yourself more acquainted with the exam:

DET Exam Pattern

DET Syllabus

DET Preparation Tips

DET Practise Papers

DET Speaking Test

DET Exam Acceptance

Minimum Duolingo Score Requirement for Top US Universities

A typical Duolingo score requirement for universities in the USA is between 105 and 120. In terms of graduate study programmes like MS in Finance, MBA in USA, Masters in Civil Engineering, etc., a score above 120 is regarded as being fairly good.

Universities in the USA may additionally require international applicants to take an admission exam in English in addition to English competence exams. Stanford University is a US university that accepts the Duolingo English test and also requires applicants to take an English entrance exam. The following are the top 20 Duolingo accepted US universities as per QS World University Rankings 2022:

QS World Ranking 2022

Top 20 US Universities Accepting DET


Duolingo Score Requirement


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

120 to 125


Harvard University



California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

105 to 120


University of Chicago



University of Pennsylvania



Yale University



Columbia University



Cornell University



University of Michigan-Ann Arbor



Johns Hopkins University



Northwestern University

85 to 90


University of California, Berkeley (UCB)



University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)



New York University (NYU)



University of California, San Diego (UCSD)



Duke University



Carnegie Mellon University



Brown University



University of Wisconsin-Madison



University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Is Duolingo Accepted for USA Student Visa?

Yes, Duolingo is accepted to apply for a USA student visa. As discussed, the Duolingo English test has received a lot of prominence since the coronavirus outbreak. Stanford University, Washington University, New York University, Swarthmore College, as well as certain institutions from the IVY league, are among the universities that accept this test.

Launched in 2011, the test is now accepted by 1,415 commercial and public universities for US admissions. This indicates that the US High Commission, which issues student visas, also accepts this test. Numerous institutions also grant visas and admit students depending on their Duolingo scores.

Therefore, you can apply to study in the USA based on Duolingo, and it will also be useful to get a study visa for any reputable public or private university. Therefore, after investigating whether universities accept the test, you may choose Duolingo if you want to study abroad and are passionate about applying to top-tier universities in the USA.

To conclude, numerous universities in the US accept Duolingo scores, however, others accept other English proficiency tests in addition to the Duolingo test or its alternatives. The number of US universities that accept Duolingo is also steadily increasing because of the test's adaptability and quick results. Therefore, Duolingo is your best option if you intend to apply to any of the universities listed above!

Feeling this information is insufficient? Or, got queries about the acceptance of Duolingo at US universities? Reach out to our experts at to resolve everything spinning around your head!

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How many times can I take Duolingo to get admitted to a top US university?

An unlimited number of times you can take Duolingo to get admitted to a top US university. Duolingo has not set any number of fixed restrictions on the number of times a student can take the test. Therefore, you may attempt the exam as many times as you like. However, you are limited to two attempts during a 30-day period. Duolingo offers infinite chances to achieve the score you desire, so if you are dissatisfied with your results, you can try again.

Is 90 considered a good Duolingo score to get admitted to top universities in USA?

No, 90 is not considered a good Duolingo score to get admitted to top universities in USA, rather it is the least Duolingo score accepted only by a few US universities. Approximately 120 or even more is considered a good Duolingo score. Most top-tier universities in USA also accept Duolingo scores of anything between 115 and 120. 

Which universities in USA do not require Duolingo English test scores?

There are certain universities in USA that do not require Duolingo English test scores or candidates are not obligated to send their DET scores to these universities. These include California State University, State University of New York, University of Arkansas, University of Delaware, Rice University, Drexel University, University of Iowa, University of Dayton, University of New Orleans (UNO), etc.

How much Duolingo score is required to pursue MBA at Harvard University?

To pursue MBA at Harvard University, a Duolingo score of 130 or more is required. Harvard's MBA Admissions Board strongly advises against applying if you have a TOEFL iBT score of less than 109, an IELTS score of less than 7.5, a PTE score of less than 75, or a Duolingo score of less than 130. However, candidates must note that Duolingo test scores from prior to January 1, 2021, will not be acceptable.

Is a passport required to take the Duolingo exam?

A valid identity document is required to take the Duolingo exam which includes a passport, license, or other official documents. When taking the test, you must have your authentic, physical ID at hand. You must upload a photo of this ID during the setup portion of your test. The passport or ID card may not be used in copies or photographs. You must be displaying your real ID only.

Does Yale University accept Duolingo English test scores?

Yes, Yale University accepts Duolingo English test scores within the validity period of not more than two years from the date of the actual exam. The most competitive candidates for Yale have IELTS scores of at least 7 bands.  In order to apply, candidates may also submit scores of the Duolingo English Test (DET), which combines an English proficiency exam with a quick video interview.

Does Cambridge University accept Duolingo English test scores?

Yes, Cambridge University accepts Duolingo English test scores. Starting in February 2019, Cambridge University has started accepting Duolingo scores for the admission process of international students to various programmes. All programmes at Cambridge College accept this test as a means of proving adequate English language proficiency for matriculation.

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