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The basics
Study abroad : Applying to University

What IELTS scores do you need for top universities?

If you aspire to study at a top-rated university, then you’ll need a good IELTS score. We take you through just what scores you’ll need for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

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So, you have your heart set on applying to one of the top-ranked universities in the world. We say, go for it, as ambition is never to be discouraged. As an international student, you’ll have to show a high level of academic achievement and the required English language level. This is where your IELTS score becomes critical. We guide you through what IELTS scores you need for acceptance at some of the most prestigious institutions. 

 

Is there a difference between undergraduate and postgraduate IELTS score requirements?

 

The difference between IELTS score admission requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees differs between top institutions. In some cases, they will be identical. However, where the scores do diverge, a higher IELTS score is usually needed for postgraduate qualifications. 

 

Remember that if you have studied at an English medium university at the undergraduate level, you may not be required to submit an IELTS score. Again, this isn’t consistent between all top institutions and can depend on the country where you studied for your undergraduate degree. It is always best to contact a university to get the exact details and requirements. 

 

Get a better understanding of how the IELTS test is scored and marked

 

Does the IELTS score I need differ depending on the subject I study?

 

This can be the case and you should always check with the university admissions office. Popular subjects with significant language components, such as humanitiessocial sciences, business, education, and some medical specialisations often require a higher IELTS entry score. 

 

If you intend to study for a master’s degree by research only, you will independently research and write a full dissertation in English. Therefore your IELTS score will usually need to be higher than a master’s degree that combines coursework, assignments, and examinations.

 

Find out how you can register for and book your IELTS test

 

What IELTS scores will I need for top universities in the USA? 

 

The USA is home to several of the top 100 universities in the world. In the QS World University Rankings 2022, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was rated as the number one university globally. Further, 27 of the top 100 universities are based in the USA as per QS. A similar trend can be seen on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022, with eight of the top 10 spots going to U.S. universities. 

 

If you have your eye on an Ivy League institution or another of the top-ranked university in the USA, then your IELTS scores need to match. You’ll need the following scores to gain entry at some of the top universities:

 

Institution

UG IELTS score

PG IELTS score

QS Ranking

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

7.0

7.0

1

Stanford University

7.0

7.0

3

Harvard University

7.0

7.0

5

California Institute of Technology

7.0

7.0

6

University of Chicago

7.0

7.0

10

 

 

Discover more about the top universities in the USA.

 

What IELTS scores will I need for top universities in the UK? 

 

The UK remains a top destination for international students. It’s little wonder considering that four of the top 10 institutions on the QS World University Rankings 2022 are in the UK. On the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022, 28 of the top 200 universities are from the UK, including six in the top 30. Question is, what IELTS scores will you need for acceptance at a Russell Group university? Let’s look:

 

Institution

UG IELTS score

PG IELTS score

QS Ranking

University of Oxford

7.0

7.5

2

University of Cambridge

7.0

7.0

3

Imperial College London

7.0

7.0

7

University College London

6.5

6.5

6

University of Edinburgh

6.5

6.5

10

 

 

Are you interested in doing more research on the top universities in the UK? The Complete University Guide League Tables 2022 is a good place to start.

 

What IELTS scores will I need for top universities in Canada? 

 

Canada is known for its epic landscapes, multicultural society, and great student lifestyle. Additionally, there are also numerous top-class universities in the country. Eight universities are ranked in the top 200 on the QS World University Rankings 2022, while five universities are rated in the top 100 globally by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022.

 

To qualify for entry into some of Canada’s more prestigious universities the following IELTS scores are what you need to aim for:

 

Institution

UG IELTS score

PG IELTS score

QS Ranking

University of Toronto

6.5

7.0

26

McGill University

6.5

6.5

27

University of British Columbia

6.5

6.5

46

University of Montreal

6.5

7.0

111

University of Alberta

6.5

6.5

126

 

If Canada features in your study plans, then you may want to find out what makes it so unique

 

There you have it. Now that you know what IELTS scores you’ll need for top universities, you can start preparing for the IELTS test. Remember, there are four sections that you need to master including, speakingreadingwriting, and listening. If you’re aiming for a top IELTS score, it’s also good to know how the test is graded

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