If English is not the language of instruction at your school, we require test results that demonstrate English language proficiency.
English Language Requirements
You may be exempt from taking an English language proficiency test if:
your native or first language is English
your high school's primary language of instruction is English, and you have attended the school for more than three years (these will be assessed on a case-by-case basis)
If you wish to request a TOEFL/IELTS/DET exemption, please fill out this form. Our office will respond to you via email with further information regarding waiving your English language proficiency exam waiver.
Occidental is a writing intensive institution and our small discussion-based classes require students to have a very strong command of English. Because we do not offer remedial English or ESOL courses, you must demonstrate English language ability by scoring at least:
100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT*)
600 on the paper-based TOEFL
7 on the IELTS exam
120 on the DET
*Occidental does not accept the TOEFL iTP. We only accept the TOEFL iBT if you'd like to submit a TOEFL exam as proof of English proficiency.
Please note that the above scores are minimums, and students who are most competitive in our admission process typically have scores well above these minimums. If your scores are borderline, some international applicants may be invited to have a Skype interview to confirm English language proficiency. We may contact you in February or March to schedule an interview.
When you're ready, visit the Application Requirements page for details on how to apply.
In addition to submitting English language proficiency test scores, Occidental strongly encourages international students to submit English language supplements in the form of third-party interviews. InitialView and Vericant are organizations that will conduct unscripted video interviews and assist with short writing samples for our applicants. Both organizations provide a recording of the interview and a copy of the writing sample to us for our review.
This is an opportunity for the Occidental College admission team to see your English language skills beyond a test score, and more importantly, it will give you an excellent opportunity to showcase your personality, skills and professionalism to our admission team.
The Vericant and InitialView interview submission deadlines are:
- Early Decision 1: November 15
- Early Decision 2: February 1
- Regular Decision: January 10
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.