It’s not always that you find a university that ticks out all your preferences perfectly. However, universities in the Asian country of the Philippines should give you some hope because they offer world-recognized programs, across various disciplines of education, taught by industry professionals from around the world, for very affordable tuition fees, and better yet, most of these courses are conducted in the English language.

Unlike many other countries that provide outstanding educational facilities in Asia, Filipino universities offer programs entirely in English, making it incumbent on the applicant to apply to the university with a wealth of proficiency in the language. The universities accept standardized English language proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL to help them assess your language skills. In this article, we’ll be looking at some Filipino universities that accept IELTS scores, and their requirements when applying to a university.

Minimum IELTS Band Requirements for Universities in the Philippines

IELTS band requirements can be confusing as they may change from program to program across universities. Below, we list seven universities in the Philippines that accept IELTS scores and their required band score.

1. De La Salle University

From undergraduate minors and majors to master’s and doctoral programs, De La Salle University in Manila is one of the best universities in the Philippines. With a standard of education that it is known for across the world, the university is surprisingly easy to get into as it has a very high acceptance rate.

All international students applying to De La Salle University are expected to meet the English language requirements stipulated by the university. An overall band score of 6.0 is required for undergraduate studies and a score of 6.5 for graduate studies. Exceptions are made for students whose native language is English, who have studied in English for three or more years, and for students who come from countries whose official language is English.

2. Ateneo De Manila University

Established in 1859, Ateneo De Manila University is a prestigious university in the Philippines. The university is known for its scholarship programs and its bachelor’s and master’s degrees in arts, sciences, and management which are accredited globally.3.

With English as the primary language of instruction, undergraduate and graduate students are required to score at least 6.0 and 6.5 respectively on their IELTS. The language proficiency requirement could be waived for students whose primary language in their previous educational institute was English.

3. University of San Carlos

Located in Cebu City, Philippines, the University of San Carlos is a top-ranking private Catholic educational institution in the country. It is also one of the oldest universities in the country, with special recognition for its programs in arts, science, education, and engineering.

Except for students who previously graduated from English-taught programs and can submit a certificate issued by the institution, all international students are required to produce a certificate of English language proficiency. The minimum required IELTS score is generally 6.0 for both bachelor’s and master’s programs.

4. Batangas State University

The only state university in the Philippines that is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology for its programs in engineering and IT is Batangas State University. Strategically located in one of the economic centers of the country, BatStateU is the oldest in that region.

All foreign applicants whose previous medium of instruction is not English and do not speak English natively, are expected to submit a copy of their IELTS with a score above 5.5. Students who fail to do so will be required to undergo their very own English language program conducted by the University’s English Department.

5. Polytechnic University of the Philippines

With a massive student body of over 80,000 students, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines is the largest government-run institution in the country in terms of student population. This university is known for being supportive of economically challenged students ensuring that qualified and talented students have access to quality education.

The IELTS requirement for students to get into the Polytechnic University of the Philippines is an overall bandwidth score of over 4.5.

6. Mapúa University

Being one of the region’s top universities, known for providing premier education in engineering and technology, Mapúa University is a private university in the Philippines that is globally acclaimed. It is ranked among the top 1500 universities in the world and continues to attract both local and international students.

According to the university’s website, the IELTS requirement for graduate students is a minimum score of 5.5, which can change from program to program.

7. University of the East

The University of the East is a leading private university in the Philippines that has consistently produced excellent professionals in the industry for over 75 years. This reputed institution is especially known for producing graduates who are well-equipped with all the necessary skills to take on the industry.

The university accepts the IELTS certification as sufficient proof of English language proficiency and the required bandwidth scores vary across programs. For example, the Graduate Dentistry Program requires international students to score at least 5.0 to be admitted to the program.

FAQs about Studying in the Philippines

Do Universities in the Philippines Consider Students Who Have Not Passed the IELTS Exam?

Yes, universities in the Philippines may consider international students who have not passed or have not sat for the IELTS exam given some strict conditions. Firstly, it is important to know that most universities require proof of English language proficiency since they offer undergraduate and graduate programs predominantly in the English language. Required scores from an English language test may vary across programs and from university to university. Therefore, if you are required to submit proof of English language proficiency, there won’t be any exceptions made.

On the flip side, however, proof of English language proficiency may not be needed in some rare cases. For example, at De La Salle University, students whose native language is English need not submit proof of English language proficiency. Students who hail from a territorial entity where English is the official language are also exempted from the requirement. Exemptions are also made for students who have previously studied in an English-based curriculum for three or more years. At the Batangas State University students whose scores aren’t sufficient would be required to undergo a program called the Intensive English Language Program conducted by the University’s English Department.

The IELTS is a popular English test that universities use to assess a student’s proficiency in the English language to ensure they are competent enough to follow a program that is taught in English. Different universities and different programs vary as to the minimum required score.


We hope that the IELTS band requirements for the Philippines universities highlighted above were informative. Check out the English Language Proficiency Exam Page for specifics of the IELTS exam itself and other English exams that may be required for admission. To prepare for your studies in the Philippines, check out the Philippines Page, and the Available Open Courses to explore your study options.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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