English Proficiency Test

Students who earned a bachelor's degree outside of the U.S. must present proof of English proficiency to be considered for admission. DePaul CDM accepts the TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English as proof of English proficiency. Most scores are valid for two years only. Expired test scores will not be accepted. Applicant files will not be reviewed until all documents have been received.

The primary exception to the English proficiency requirement is for students who earn a bachelor's degree in a country where the official native language is recognized as English. The only additional exception is for students with transferable degree credit equivalent to DePaul's WRD 103 and WRD 104. If a student does not have an acceptable English proficiency score, they can apply to DePaul's English Language Academy (ELA) directly.

Score Requirements

The minimum scores considered for full graduate admission to CDM are:

  • 80 on the iBT of the TOEFL with a minimum score of 17 on each section
  • 550 on the paper-based TOEFL test
  • 6.5 on the IELTS test
  • 53 on the Pearson Test of English

Please note that the PhD Program requires higher English proficiency scores.

Test Codes

The DePaul institutional code for the TOEFL is 5968

Conditional Admission

Students applying for master's level CDM programs who receive an English proficiency score below the minimum requirement and who meet all other requirements for admission to an academic program may be granted conditional admission to the combined CDM/ELA program.

Requirements for Conditional Admission:

To be considered for the combined CDM/ELA program, a student must present one of the following scores:

  • 55-79 on the iBT TOEFL test
  • 480-549 on the paper-based TOEFL test
  • 5.5-6.0 on the IELTS test
  • 44-52 on the Pearson Test of English

Students with the demonstrated ability to fund up to one year of language only study and placement at High-Intermediate Level or higher based on essay submission may also qualify for the combined program under the following conditions:

To apply for admission using the Preliminary ELA Placement test, a student must:

  • Complete an online application for CDM admission
  • Provide CDM with required proof of funding including permission for up to one-year (four academic quarters) of English-only study at DePaul University's ELA, if scholarship funded.
  • Submit ELA preliminary placement essay. Download the essay form [PDF].
  • Your essay must be submitted directly to the CDM Graduate Admission Office. You may fax it to 312-362-5179 or email a scanned copy to Your essay must be accompanied by the Submission Form.
  • Read the warning below carefully before you submit your essay:

    WARNING: Students must write their essay with NO OUTSIDE HELP. This includes dictionaries, electronic translators, or other aids. NO OTHER PERSON MAY ASSIST THE STUDENT IN WRITING THE APPLICATION ESSAY. New students at the ELA are required to produce a similar essay as part of the assessment process once they arrive in Chicago. Those whose on-site essay indicates that the student had help preparing the initial application essay will be deemed to have committed academic fraud and their combined CDM/ELA admission will be withdrawn.

Students who are admitted into this combined program will be required to enroll full time in DePaul's English Language Academy (ELA). Admission to the CDM/ELA program requires that ;students take classes in the DePaul ELA unit until they have completed the University Bridge Certificate confirming English language proficiency.

Students admitted to the CDM/ELA combined program may not submit a new English proficiency exam score for admission to CDM. By accepting admission into the combined CDM/ELA program, students agree to remain in the ELA program until they have earned English proficiency as demonstrated by passing all four advanced levels of the ELA program and earning the University Bridge Certificate.

CDM Admission
  • CDM Graduate Admission Office
    243 S. Wabash Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60604
  • Monday - Friday
    9:00am - 5:00pm
  • (312) 362-8714