All students from countries and areas where English is not the common, spoken language (even if the student already is a resident of the United States) must have a practical understanding of spoken and written English to benefit from instruction, study, and examinations. Course work at The Catholic University of America requires university-level English language proficiency and skills. The Catholic University of America, therefore, requires all applicants whose native language is not English to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language or an International English Language Testing System exam before they can be considered for final admission.

Minimally accepted TOEFL scores, when applying for graduate programs, are 550-paper; 213-computer; and 80 Internet. Students taking the TOEFL should have at least 20 out of 30 in each of the TOEFL subcategories. The minimally accepted graduate IELTS score is 6.5. Individual IELTS test module scores are also reviewed in addition to the overall IELTS score. The minimally accepted graduate Duolingo score is 105. The minimally accepted graduate Pearson PTE score is 58.

Students should have test results sent directly to The Catholic University of America. The test code is 5104 for the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The TOEFL/IELTS requirement can be waived on a case-by-case basis should the applicant have appropriate documentation of successful completion of one of the following:

  1. Catholic University's Intensive English Program
  2. Level 112 in the intensive English program offered by an ELS Language Center
  3. A complete Intensive English program at an accredited institution of higher education
  4. A college-level English Composition class determined to be the equivalent of or more advanced than Catholic University's English Composition 101 course, with a grade of B or above 
  5. A graduate degree, a bachelor's degree (B.A. or B.S.), or an associate's degree (A. A.) from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education or a high school diploma. (Graduates from a U.S. high school are required, however, to submit SAT/ACT scores.)