Study in USA without IELTS


Aarushi Jain
Updated on Jul 05, 2022 11:37 AM IST

Although IELTS is an essential requirement for studying abroad, it is not a mandatory test for Indian students applying to American universities simply because it is now feasible to study in USA without IELTS. Let us know how!

Study in USA without IELTS

Study in USA without IELTS: It is true that the IELTS exam is one of the most important eligibility criteria requirements to pursue higher studies abroad in countries like the USA. In order to prove your English language proficiency requirement, you will be asked to submit your IELTS band scores to the universities where you intend to study.

Having said that, IELTS can also be an impediment to many students' plans to study abroad. Many aspirants are not interested in taking IELTS again and again because it can be rather expensive to take this English proficiency exam multiple times. Also, countries have opened doors for international students to consider studying abroad without the IELTS exam.

If you wish to know more about the opportunity to study in USA without IELTS, then this article will help you clear all your doubts.

Check out other countries where you can study abroad with IELTS:

Study in UAE Without IELTS

Study in UK Without IELTS

Study in Ireland Without IELTS

Study in Germany Without IELTS

Study in NZ Without IELTS

Study in France Without IELTS

Study in Australia Without IELTS

Study in Canada Without IELTS

Know About the Eligibility Criteria to Study in the USA!

How to Study in USA without IELTS?

If you are aspiring to study in USA without taking IELTS, bear the following conditions in mind:

  • You must have English as one of your core subjects in high school to be eligible for bachelors courses.

  • You will require a letter from your prior university stating that the graduate programme you pursued was in English when applying for masters courses.

  • IELTS may not be necessary if you graduated from a country where English is the official language.

  • If you are unable to give IELTS scores, the institution may need you to participate in their own English language preparatory program known as the Intensive English Language Program (IELP), in which you will be schooled in the fundamentals of this language.

  • If you have attended and completed any type of academic studies in the USA for at least one year, you could be enrolled in a university to study in USA without IELTS.

  • Like IELP, there are some Summer Programs in the USA that you can attend to compensate for a lack of English Language Proficiency Proof and study in USA without IELTS.

  • Some universities also provide bridge courses for students who do not achieve the minimum English Language Requirements for direct admission.

Steps to Study in USA without IELTS

Now that you have known that it is possible to study in USA without IELTS, here are some important steps that you must follow and keep in mind to opt for a course in a US university without IELTS.

  1. First and foremost, you must narrow down your choices of universities and check their eligibility criteria (whether they allow students without IELTS and/or if they require any other alternative to the IELTS exam).

  2. Apply to all of these universities online.

  3. You may be summoned for a personal interview after submitting your application and all accompanying documentation.

  4. You must pay the initial tuition fee after receiving your acceptance letter from the university.

  5. Following that, you must apply for a USA study visa. If you have good academic grades and complete all other requirements, you can apply for the USA without an IELTS study visa.

IELTS Alternatives to Study in USA

It is important to know what all alternatives are available and are being accepted by the universities if you are aspiring to study in USA without IELTS. These are as follows:

IELTS Alternatives to Study in USA without IELTS

About the Exam

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

TOEFL is one of the most widely used global exams for international students. Depending on your degree, universities often require scores ranging from 71 to 92. However, you will need even higher marks to get admitted to a PhD program in the USA.

PTE (Pearson Test of English)

It is currently recognised in the USA, with hundreds of universities accepting it. Depending on the university, the minimum score should be at least 54.

Duolingo English Test

It is an English proficiency test that is recognised by institutions all over the world. The test is now officially recognised as a language test at many educational institutions, as well as a test for Indian students who want to study in USA without taking IELTS.

Cambridge Test (CAE / CPE)

Cambridge English (part of Cambridge Assessment) is a Cambridge University department. Thousands of employers, colleges, and government departments around the world accept their English exams Proficiency (CPE or Certificate of Proficiency in English), Advanced (CAE or Certificate of Advanced English), First (FCE), Preliminary (PET), and Key (KET) as proof of competence to use English.

iTEP or International Test of English Proficiency

The International Test of English Proficiency, or iTEP, is a language assessment test that assesses non-native English speakers' English skills. More than 700 universities throughout the world support the test. It is a 90-minute internet-based English language test with five sections: Grammar, Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

Top Universities to Study in USA without IELTS

After knowing about the different alternative entrance exams to study in USA without IELTS, here is a list of some of the best and most popular universities that are accepting international students without IELTS, along with their respective alternatives:

US Universities

Alternate Exam to Study in USA without IELTS

University of North Alabama


National Louis University


University of Arkansas

PTE/ iTEP/ Cambridge Assessment English/ Duolingo

University of Colorado


California State University


University of New Orleans

English Language for Internationals (ELI)

State University of New York

PTE/ Duolingo/ Cambridge English Scale

Rice University


Northwood University

Cambridge English Test/ ELS/ PTE Academic

University of Delaware

English Language for Internationals (ELI)

Study at One of the Top US Universities!

Visa Process to Study in USA without IELTS

The student visa process to study in USA without IELTS is not that challenging as it may seem. If you have already studied English or have the International Baccalaureate qualification, you can apply for your US student visa.

If you do not satisfy these requirements or are not from an English-speaking country, you will be asked a series of questions during your visa interview. The following documents must be provided on your behalf:

  • A valid official passport issued by your country

  • Recent passport size photograph

  • Confirmation page of DS-160

  • Form I -20

  • Payment of application fees for SEVIS

  • Letter of acceptance/confirmation from the University

  • Proof of monetary funds

  • Proof of accommodation in the USA

  • CV

  • Past official academic transcripts

  • Healthcare cover

  • additional requirements (if any) by the university

Study in USA without IELTS via ESL Course

English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are similar to IELP in a sense that they are designed for non-native English speakers. English grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and spelling are covered in these classes. These courses assist students in achieving the English language proficiency required for the course and can be used as an alternative to studying in USA without IELTS.

Because there are numerous ways to be accepted conditionally in USA colleges without meeting the English language proficiency requirements, it is important to remember that the eligibility criteria for the universities in the USA vary by the course you choose and the type of university indeed.

Having said that, IELTS scores are always beneficial to your student visa application since they demonstrate that you understand the fundamentals of the English language in the areas of Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking.

Scholarships to Study in USA without IELTS

Now that you have gained adequate confidence and assurance that you can study in USA without IELTS, here are some scholarships that can further motivate you to fulfil your dream of studying in the USA. If eligible, you can get these scholarships to study in USA without IELTS exam. Let us have a look at some of them:

  • Fulbright Foreign Student Program: This award is totally supported by the United States government and is available to graduates, professionals, and artists. Every year, approximately 4,000 individuals obtain the Fulbright fellowship and study in America without taking IELTS.

  • Clark Merit Scholarships: This fellowship is open to international students in their first year of a bachelors degree who have an outstanding academic record. An IELTS score is not required.

  • American University Emerging Leaders Scholarship: This scholarship was created for students who have a good understanding of global trends, world-changing impulses, leadership instincts, and a track record of academic performance.

  • Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarships: International students seeking admission to study in USA without IELTS exam in a US university for a bachelor's program and who enjoy travelling are eligible for this prize.

  • Michigan State University Scholarships with IELTS Exemption: Michigan State University Scholarships are available to students at all academic levels and do not require an IELTS score. The university provides several scholarships based on admission and student needs.

  • The NextGen Scholarships: Given her previous challenges, entrepreneur Andrena Sawyer established this grant for international students. While an IELTS score is not an eligibility criterion for this scholarship, students taking the test must have a 3.0 GPA, and the grant is worth $1,000 (~ INR 77,670).

  • Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program: Students who have exhibited an interest in becoming future leaders and making a difference in the world are eligible for this government-funded initiative.

  • Rotary Peace Scholarships: International students who have demonstrated a dedication to global peace development are especially encouraged to apply for this award, which does not require an IELTS score.

We are confident that the information provided above has convinced you that studying in USA without IELTS is more than possible, depending on the university's own requirements.

So, now that you know more about your alternatives for studying in the USA, it is time to start planning your future life there. Seek guidance from our counsellors and write to them at!

Kickstart Your Application Process toStudy in the USA!


Is it possible to study in the USA without IELTS?

Yes, it is possible to study in the USA without IELTS if you have completed your senior secondary education or graduated with English as the medium of instruction in the program or have studied in an English-speaking country for a specified period of time. Furthermore, certain universities may grant admission to people who do not have IELTS if they participate in the university's preparatory program known as the Intensive English Language Program (IELP), which provides international students with improved English proficiency.

Is IELTS necessary in the USA?

Though IELTS is a mandatory prerequisite for studying in the USA, there are a number of universities that offer selective programs to which you can apply without IELTS scores. Among these universities are California State University, University of Dayton, University of North Texas, and Northwood University.

Is IELTS mandatory for the USA student visa?

No, IELTS is not mandatory for the USA student visa. This is only applicable to students who have completed their International Baccalaureate or have previously studied in an English-speaking country. Entrance exams to study in the US include the GRE, GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, and many more. It differs from one university to the other..

What is an ESL (English as Second Language) Course?

Students who are not native English speakers can enrol in English as a Second Language (ESL) course. ESL courses can help you enhance your writing abilities, have more successful dialogues with people, have a higher translation frequency, and much more, whether you are in high school, college, or enrolled in any other degree program. This will also help you improve your English for the TOEFL and IELTS.

Can I get a scholarship to study in the USA without IELTS?

Yes, you can get a scholarship to study in the USA without IELTS. There are numerous fully-funded government and university scholarships available in the US that do not need applicants to submit their IELTS scores. Fulbright Foreign Student Program, Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program, Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarships, Clark Merit Scholarships, The NextGen Scholarships, Michigan State University Scholarships with IELTS Exemption, and other scholarships are available.

If an aspirant wishes to give IELTS, how many IELTS bands are required for USA Universities?


Full-time Bachelor's and Master's programs in the USA require 6 to 7.5 IELTS bands overall, and the requirements for IELTS band scores in the USA vary by subject and university. The USA has a considerable number of IELTS 6 band universities. Some universities also offer ESL courses in the USA with reduced IELTS requirements.

What is the American Language and Culture Program (ALCP)?

The second type of English as a second language (ESL) program is American Language and Culture Program. This course is typically taken by international students to obtain academic credit as part of a college or university degree program. Prior enrollment, however, requires an intermediate or advanced level of English language skills.

What are Bridging Courses in the US?

A bridging course in the US is a program that can help international students prepare for university studies. These classes typically address English language skills, academic writing, and research skills. Many US universities offer these bridging courses, as do certain schools and organisations abroad. If you wish to opt to take a bridging course, in that scenario, it's critical to conduct research to identify a respected program that provides courses that fit your requirements.

Which country has no IELTS for work?


Most Asian countries, South American countries, Southern European Countries and the Middle East, and African countries are prime examples of countries in the world that require no IELTS for work by international applicants whose first or native language is not English. 

Is IELTS required to work in the USA on a student visa?

As previously said, you can study in USA without IELTS, although the test has numerous perks and advantages for international students. IELTS can allow you to work part-time as an international student, either indirectly or directly. Depending on your institution or university, you may be able to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week throughout the academic year during your first year of study. When there are no classes during the holidays and summer break, you can work up to 40 hours each week.

You can share this post!

Related Articles

Aug 18, 2023 04:28 PM IST

How to Apply for Masters in USA?

Aug 03, 2023 01:18 PM IST

Documents Required for TOEFL

Our Study Abroad Offerings

Related Articles

Related Institutes

Planning to study abroad?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekhoAbroad Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.