English Language Testing

English Language Testing

English Language Proficiency Test Scores

If your first language is not English, you must submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the academic modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). In response to the temporary closings of testing centers in countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will also accept Duolingo English Test examination results for the 2022-2023 application cycle as an alternative to TOEFL and IELTS examinations. Only Duolingo English Test scores with subscores will be accepted. While average test scores are above the levels listed below, we generally seek scores no less than:

  • 577 for paper-based TOEFL
  • 90 for an Internet-based TOEFL
  • 7.0 for the IELTS
  • 115 for the Duolingo English Test

Reporting Your Score

Enter institution code B624-Duke Kunshan University

Duke University Graduate School
Graduate Office of Admission
2127 Campus Drive
Durham, NC 27708

There is no institutional code for Duolingo, but applicants will need to select “Duke University Graduate Programs: Graduate School; Divinity; Engineering; Environment; Public Policy; Duke Kunshan” as the institution to send scores to. 

Please Note: Make sure to include subscores when you select your institution. Score reports without subscores will not be accepted. If you are not sure how to include subscores in your score report, please contact Duolingo English Test support on the Duolingo English Test website.

You will also need to upload an electronic copy of TOEFL or IELTS or Duolingo score report in the application system to the ‘IELTS score report’ folder.


Valid Dates

TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Policy

We offer TOEFL/IELTS waivers to those who meet one of the following conditions.

Antigua and Barbuda



Saint Vincent and the Grenadines









New Zealand

Trinidad and Tobago




Saint Kitts and Nevis

the United Kingdom


English Requirement and Courses

The instruction language of Duke Kunshan University is English. Therefore, all graduates whose first language is not English are required to take oral and written English placement exams administrated by the Language and Culture Center (LCC) upon matriculation.

The English placement exams generally take place during the Orientation Week every August. All matriculated students whose first language is not English are required to take the exam unless you meet all of the following criteria:

  1. You received a TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo waiver from your degree program. To be eligible for a TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo English Test waiver, you must have studied fulltime for two years or more at a college or university where the sole language of instruction is English and in a country where English is the primary spoken language. The two years of study must be completed prior to the start of the program.
  2. Completed a four-year undergraduate degree in an English-speaking institution in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States.
  3. Scored above the 50th percentile on the GRE verbal (currently 151 or higher) and GRE writing (currently 4.0 or higher). Note: GRE scores are required for exemption purposes even if your degree program did not require them for admission because they provide important information about your language abilities.  

Academic Writing (GS 720K) and Oral Communication (GS 721K) are offered to graduate students who wish to improve their English skills. They carry three credits and are graded on a credit/no credit basis. If you are placed into GS 720K and/or GS 721K, you must complete these courses during the first year of graduate study.

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