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English Proficiency Requirement for Registration

English is the language of instruction at Harvard Extension School. If your native language is not English, you must provide designated proof of English proficiency to be enrolled in any Extension School course, unless you are an admitted degree candidate at Harvard College, Harvard Extension School, or at a Harvard graduate or professional school.

Meeting the Requirement

To meet the English proficiency requirement for registration, you must provide one of the following satisfactory transcripts or satisfactory test scores by the English proficiency deadline.

Satisfactory Transcripts

Submit an official transcript, or a copy of an official transcript, showing completion of a high school diploma, an undergraduate degree (bachelor’s), or a graduate degree (master’s or PhD) at a school, college, or university in the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, at which English is the sole language of instruction.

Transcript requirements:

  • Transcripts must indicate completion of high school, a three- or four-year bachelor’s degree, or a graduate degree (master’s or PhD). Degrees in progress will not be considered.
  • Transcripts must show at least one year of study and graduation from a campus physically located in one of these six countries mentioned above
  • Transcripts from schools whose language of instruction is English but are not physically located in one of the six approved countries are ineligible.

Students who do not have a satisfactory transcript must meet the English proficiency requirement with a satisfactory test score instead.

Satisfactory Test Scores

Provide the minimum approved score on one of the following English proficiency tests.

Take the test well before registration begins to ensure that your score is received by the English proficiency deadline. 

Scores must be no more than two years old and verifiable.

TestMinimum Approved Score
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)*100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)
International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic7.0
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTEA)70

*Please note we do not accept the Institutional TOEFL (also known as the TOEFL ITP) nor the MyBest TOEFL scores as proof of English proficiency. 

Additionally, due to English proficiency test center closings and backlogs resulting from the global pandemic, we have added the following tests. These will be accepted for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 registration periods, and will fully meet the English proficiency requirement. Scores must be no more than 2 years old and be verifiable, except for the Duolingo English Test, which must be no more than 1 year old.

TestMinimum Approved Score
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Special Home Edition100
Duolingo English Test125
Cambridge English language assessment:Cambridge English: AdvancedCambridge English: ProficiencyCambridge English: Business Higher191

*Please note we do not accept TOEFL ITP Plus or IELTS Indicator scores as proof of English proficiency.

Students who do not currently have a satisfactory transcript or a valid, qualifying test score must take one of the aforementioned tests and submit a qualifying test score in order to register for Harvard Extension School courses or to take the CRWS test.

Submission of Scores and Transcripts


Please note, we are not able to review paper transcripts delivered to us via mail or courier at the moment. Transcripts should be submitted electronically.


  • Have your official score sent electronically to the Harvard Extension School Registrar’s Office. For the TOEFL, use institution code: 3458. IELTS and PTEA do not require a specific code. You simply choose Harvard Extension School as the designated recipient.
  • You may also upload a copy of your score report in MyDCE using the “Document Management” page.

To see if we have received your electronic scores, log in to MyDCE and select “Placement Tests,” then “View Placement Test Scores.”

If your score has been received and posted by the Office of Enrollment Management, you will see an option for “English Proficiency Tests” after selecting “View Placement Test Scores.”

Registration and Deadlines

You must meet the English proficiency requirement prior to registering for course(s). 

You must also meet the English proficiency requirement before attempting the Test of Critical Reading and Writing Skills (CRWS) if you plan to register for a course with this prerequisite.

All transcripts and scores must be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • Fall term: August 20
  • January session: December 17
  • Spring term: January 14

We encourage you to submit documents prior to the start of registration.

Accurate Representation

Honesty in all communications, including self-representation of native language, is a requirement of student enrollment. Submission of fraudulent information is subject to review by the Administrative Board and may be grounds for disciplinary action. See Student Conduct for more information.

Considering an Extension School Degree Program?

Meeting the English proficiency requirement does not guarantee admission eligibility. Refer to Degree Program Admissions for more information.


Please contact Enrollment Services at (617) 495-4024 or email