Language requirements

We’re proud to welcome students from all over the world to La Trobe. To help all our students succeed academically, we have English language requirements for entry into our courses.

We have minimum language requirements for undergraduate, postgraduate and graduate research study at La Trobe. However, some La Trobe courses need a higher level of English language proficiency than these minimum scores.

Our course pages list the required English levels and accepted test methods needed for entry. If you know the course you want to study, you can search for your course and check its specific entry requirements.

Once you know your course’s language requirements, look through this section to see the ways you can prove your English language proficiency.

Any scenario that isn’t outlined in the pages in this section will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Updates to admissions policies responding to COVID-19

We’ve updated some of our English language policies and processes to respond to COVID-19.

Please note that these changes only apply to La Trobe University’s English language admission criteria for our courses, and do not affect student visa requirements. As part of applying for a student visa, you’ll also need to meet the Australian Government’s English language requirements. Refer to the Department of Home Affairs website for further information.

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition

We’ll accept results from this test and treat it as equivalent to the TOEFL iBT test.

TOEFL – ITP

We’ll accept results from this test and treat it as equivalent to the TOEFL paper-based test.

Note: This only applies to Chinese citizens.

IELTS

As paper-based tests have been cancelled in many overseas locations, we’ll accept results from the IELTS Indicator and treat it as equivalent to the IELTS test.

Other English tests

Some new types of English tests have emerged due to the impacts of COVID-19. We will accept formal tests that are now being delivered in a different way, as these are deemed the same as what is currently accepted. Please note that no additional English tests have been approved.

ELICOS courses

ELICOS courses will be delivered online by La Trobe College Australia. You can view their English program dates on their website. If you complete a packaged offer, you’ll have more intake options for our full degree courses, provided you successfully complete your ELICOS course.

La Trobe College Australia is also making its Versant English Placement Test available with virtual supervision. This placement test determines the number of ELICOS weeks you’ll need to complete to meet a course’s English language requirement.

Accepted alternatives to IELTS test scores

While IELTS scores are our primary measure of English proficiency, we may accept tests other than IELTS if your overall score is the equivalent of the required IELTS score.

Once you know your course’s minimum accepted IELTS score, check that score against the information below to see its equivalent score in other English proficiency tests.

Overall IELTS score of 6.0 with no band less than 6.0

  • TOEFL Internet based (iBT): overall score of 64 with 13 in Reading, 12 in Listening, 18 in Speaking and 21 in Writing.
  • La Trobe College Australia ELICOS (LTCA): completion of EFS level 5B with minimum 60% overall and 60% in final exam.
  • La Trobe College Australia Foundation Studies (LTCA): completion of Foundation studies with 60% in English (Academic Communication).
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE) **
    • All test taken priories to and on 30 November 2020: overall score of 50 with no communicative skill score less than 50.
    • All test taken from 1 December 2020 onwards: overall score of 46 with no communicative skill score less than 46.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): 169 with no less than 169 in any component.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): 169 with no less than 169 in any component.

Note: This is the minimum proficiency required for our undergraduate programs.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0

  • TOEFL Internet based (iBT): overall score of 79 with 13 in Reading, 12 in Listening, 18 in Speaking and 21 in Writing.
  • La Trobe College Australia ELICOS (LTCA): completion of EFS level 6B with minimum 60% overall and 60% in final exam.
  • La Trobe College Australia Foundation Studies (LTCA): completion of Foundation studies with 70% in English (Academic Communication).
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE)**
    • All test taken priories to and on 30 November 2020: overall score of 58 with no communicative skill score less than 50.
    • All test taken from 1 December 2020 onwards: overall score of 56 with no communicative skill score less than 46.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): 176 with no less than 169 in any component.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): 169 with no less than 169 in any component.

Note: This is the minimum proficiency required for our postgraduate and graduate research programs.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.5

  • TOEFL Internet based (iBT): overall score of 79 with 19 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 20 in Speaking and 24 in Writing
  • La Trobe College Australia ELICOS (LTCA): N/A
  • La Trobe College Australia Foundation Studies (LTCA): completion of Foundation studies with 75% in English (Academic Communication).
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE)**
    • All test taken priories to and on 30 November 2020: overall score of 58 with no communicative skill score less than 58.
    • All test taken from 1 December 2020 onwards: overall score of 56 with no communicative skill score less than 56.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): 176 with no less than 176 in any component.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): 176 with no less than 176 in any component.

Overall IELTS score of 7.0 with no band less than 6.5

  • TOEFL Internet based (iBT): overall score of 94 with 19 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 20 in Speaking and 24 in Writing.
  • La Trobe College Australia ELICOS (LTCA): N/A
  • La Trobe College Australia Foundation Studies (LTCA): completion of Foundation studies with 80% in English (Academic Communication).
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE)**
    • All test taken priories to and on 30 November 2020: overall score of 65 with no communicative skill score less than 58.
    • All test taken from 1 December 2020 onwards: overall score of 66 with no communicative skill score less than 56.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): 185 with no less than 176 in any component.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): 185 with no less than 176 in any component.

Additional notes

Please note:

  • La Trobe only uses IELTS academic test for entry into our courses.
  • Where you have results from more than one of these English language tests, only your most recent single achievement will be considered in our admission decision.
  • If you qualify from a La Trobe program and intend to gain professional registration to become a practitioner in Australia, you may need to meet the relevant professional accrediting agency’s English language registration standard.
  • Your evidence demonstrating English language proficiency must be no older than two years, unless stated otherwise.
  • We reserve the right to require that any applicant undergo an English language test.
  • You’ll still need to meet the academic entry requirements of your course. Specific requirements may differ between degree programs, so check the course webpage for details.
  • **Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE) updated their IELTS equivalency as of 1 December 2020 for more information visit their website.

ELICOS programs

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) are designed for students who require English language training before they commence tertiary study in Australia.

Find out more about the La Trobe approved ELICOS programs that are available.

Other proof of English proficiency

We may also consider other factors when assessing if you meet the language requirements for your course, such as whether you’ve studied or worked in an English-speaking country.

Learn more about other ways to meet our English language standards.

Do you have questions about the application process?