Undergraduate English language requirements

If you are an international applicant and your first language is not English, you will need to provide satisfactory evidence of your English proficiency.

English is considered the first language of citizens of Canada, Ireland, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. 

If you are a domestic applicant under 20 years old and your first language is not English you may be asked to provide evidence of your competence in written and spoken English.

If you have received an offer of place conditional on meeting English language requirements, you may wish to consider applying for entry to a pathway English language course at the University’s English Language Academy (see below).

Students studying NCEA, Cambridge International (formerly known as CIE) or IB in New Zealand

If you are entering the University on the basis of National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), Cambridge Assessment International Education (Cambridge International), or International Baccalaureate (IB) taken in New Zealand, you must meet the standard literacy requirements for admission.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and other English language tests listed below are not replacements for these literacy requirements. See, New Zealand secondary school applicants.

International applicants entering the University on the basis of qualifications other than NCEA, Cambridge International or IB taken in New Zealand must meet the English language proficiency requirement through an IELTS test or an approved alternative as outlined below.

Minimum undergraduate English-language requirements

Every programme page on our website specifies an IELTS score as the minimum English-language requirement for that programme. See Find a study option.

You must satisfy the requirements in one sitting. The results are valid for two years from the date on the test certificate to commencement of study at the University of Auckland.

If you have taken a different English-language test or qualification, the table below lists what the University accepts as the equivalent to an IELTS overall score of 6.0 with no bands below 5.5. 

Please note that some Education and Social Work programmes require additional evidence of English competency due to professional registration requirements. For initial teacher education programmes, you can view the range of accepted evidence at Language competency requirements. Some programmes only accept an IELTS test due to professional registration requirements. 

IELTS Academic equivalencies

IELTS (Academic) Overall score of 6.0 and no bands below 5.5
Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) Overall score of 80 and a writing score of 21
Paper-based TOEFL
Overall score of 60 and a writing score of 21
C1 Advanced (previously - Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE))
Overall score of 169 and no bands below 162
C2 Proficiency (previously - Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE))
Overall score of 169 and no bands below 162
University of Auckland Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP)
Grade of C-
University of Auckland English Pathway for Undergraduate Studies (EPUS) Grade of C-
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic* Overall score of 50 and no PTE Communicative score below 42
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) 80
Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE) ISE II with distinction in all 4 components
LanguageCert - International ESOL C1 Expert (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
AEMG English for Academic Purposes Direct Entry Program (AEAP DEP) Final Exam Overall score of 65% with no section below 60%
English New Zealand Accredited Pathway Assessment Assessment Level 2 overall and no skill below Level 1

*You must authorise the University to view and verify your PTE scores. See How can I submit verified PTE Academic results to the University of Auckland?

English Language Academy (ELA) pathway programmes

You can meet undergraduate English-language requirements by successfully completing:

The ELA grades shown below are deemed to be equivalent to the following IELTS bands for admissions purposes.

  • IELTS 7.0: A- in FCertEAP or EPUS
  • IELTS 6.5: B- in FCertEAP or EPUS
  • IELTS 6.0: C- in FCertEAP or EPUS

Equivalent qualifications

If you have successfully completed study in the English medium, you may not have to take a language test. Please see Section 3.4 in the document below. This document also includes all approved alternatives to our IELTS requirements.

Academic English Language Requirement (AELR)

You must meet the AELR if you are admitted to a University of Auckland bachelor’s degree programme and you are:

  • a domestic student
  • an international student applying on the basis of a New Zealand secondary school qualification
  • an international student applying on the basis of results at another New Zealand tertiary institution

The AELR may be met through your entry qualification or through satisfactory completion of an approved course in your first 12 months of study.

See Academic English Language Requirement (AELR).


Phone: 09 923 5025 (within Auckland)
Phone:  0800 61 62 63 (outside Auckland)
Phone: +64 9 373 7513 (from overseas)
Email: admission@auckland.ac.nz (domestic applicants)
int-questions@auckland.ac.nz (international applicants)