English Language Proficiency: TOEFL, IELTS & PTE

Since all courses at Stanford GSB are taught in English, you must demonstrate proficiency in English.

We accept the following English-language proficiency tests:

Do You Need to Take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE?


If your college or university taught some classes in a language other than English, you must take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. This applies even if your specific program was taught in English.

Your citizenship and/or work experience do not exempt you from taking the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.


If you are uncertain whether an English-language test is required, you may wish to take it as it might strengthen your candidacy.


If you have an undergraduate or graduate degree from a college or university that provided instruction entirely in English, then you are exempt from taking the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are accepting test scores for the official online TOEFL and IELTS exams. Tests must be taken before the deadline date of the application round in which you plan to apply. Scores from English proficiency tests taken after the deadline date will not be considered. You must self-report your scores on your application in addition to having the official scores sent via the score reporting center. Official scores may arrive after the deadline date.

If you have taken the test but do not have your unofficial scores, you will need to enter temporary scores in the required fields in the “Test Scores” section. If you are required to take an English proficiency exam, please select the option, “I have just taken an exam…”. You should also explain your testing circumstances in the “Additional Information” section of your MBA application. After the deadline, once you have received your unofficial scores, please log in to your application and click on the “Provide New Information” link to submit them to us.

Score Requirement

Test Minimum Score
TOEFL* 100 for the internet-based test (iBT**)
IELTS (Academic) 7.0 overall band score
PTE (Academic) 68 overall score
*We ask that you take the iBT, which includes the “speaking” section. Stanford will temporarily accept the TOEFL ITP Plus paper-based test with the Vericant interview for applicants from Mainland China who are unable to sit for the TOEFL iBT due to COVID-19. This exception is only for the 2020–2021 application cycle. Applicants from China who take this version should select TOEFL “PBT” type in the MBA application.
**If it is necessary for you to take the revised paper-delivered test, which is scored from 0–30 on each of three sections, we generally require a minimum total score of 75. We will accept paper-based tests with a minimum score of 600 only on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for more information before applying.

Score Validity

TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE scores are valid for two years and must be taken before submitting your application. The scores must be valid on the deadline date of the round in which you apply.

If you are applying in … You must have taken the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE on or after …
Round 1 (15 Sep 2020) 15 Sep 2018
Round 2 (06 Jan 2021) 06 Jan 2019
Round 3 (06 Apr 2021) 06 Apr 2019

Score Reporting

Self-report your scores on your Stanford MBA application form and instruct the testing agency to send your official scores to us. Report your unofficial scores if you have not yet received your official scores.

Test How to Self Report
TOEFL Instruct the Educational Testing Service to send your official scores directly to “Stanford University” (school code 4704). Specifying a department will delay the processing of your test scores.
IELTS (Academic) Report your scores directly to Stanford University and specify Stanford Graduate School of Business - MBA Program.
PTE (Academic) Report your scores directly to Stanford University and specify Graduate School of Business.

You must take the exam before the application deadline for the round in which you apply. If you do not take the exam prior to submitting your application, we will review it without the required scores. If you take the exam prior to the application deadline but your unofficial scores are not yet available, you may submit the scores when you receive them.

The MBA admissions office will notify you if we have not received your official test scores. You do not need to contact us to confirm we have received them.

Multiple Test Scores

We do not average test scores. If you have taken the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE more than once, report only the scores from one examination that you wish us to consider while reviewing your application. The scores you report must be from the same testing session. We do not accept TOEFL iBT MyBest Scores.