English Proficiency & Test Requirements

It is a stated requirement of the Stanford sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) that students studying in the U.S. must be fluent in spoken and written English. All courses are taught in English, and students should feel comfortable enough in the language to communicate with their roommate and classmates while studying at Stanford.

English Proficiency

Students studying in the U.S. must be fluent in spoken and written English. Students will verify language proficiency in one of two ways:

  • Students who attend U.S. schools or international schools where English is the primary language of instruction or are native English speakers: There will be an opportunity to explain language proficiency during the application process. The High School Summer College office reserves the right to request additional information for proof of fluency.
  • Students who attend international schools where English is not the primary language of instruction: Stanford High School Summer College requires the submission of TOEFL Exam scores as part of the application process. Exam scores are valid for 2 years, and the High School Summer College office requires that test scores be valid as of the application deadline for each program. The following score requirements are provided for students who have taken these tests. The minimum scores listed should help students assess their readiness to spend a summer at Stanford. In some cases, the Program Director may arrange to interview students via Skype.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • Minimum score of 95 for the Internet-based TOEFL test (IBT)


International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

  • Minimum overall band score of 7.0


Cambridge English Exams

  • Minimum score of 180 or C1 on the Cambridge Advanced English Test
  • Certificate in Advanced English
  • Certificate of Proficiency in English

Standardized Test Requirements

Standardized test results are an important component of the High School Summer College application, and students are encouraged to submit their test results if they have taken a PSAT, SAT or ACT exam. Although most U.S.-based students will have taken at least one of these standardized tests by the time they apply to High School Summer College, it’s not uncommon that international student will not have had the opportunity to do so. For our international applicants who have scores from one or more of these standardized tests, please submit the testing information when requested online. For international applicants who do not have test scores, don’t worry as test scores are not required.

The High School Summer College office does not accept scores for other standardized exams, nor does it require SAT Subject Area test results.