The Philippines is a beautiful archipelago in Asia known for its breathtaking terrain, front-seat view of the Pacific Ocean, and the country’s very hospitable and welcoming population. International students gravitate towards the country in numbers due to the excellence of Filipino universities, affordability, access to professional support and research facilities, and the convenience of pursuing education in the English language.

One of the top Asian countries offering English-taught programs, Philippine universities may require students to submit proof of English language proficiency at the time of application. There are several standardized English language tests like TOEFL and the Cambridge Language Test that help the university assess a student’s level of linguistic skill. In this article, we will be looking at a list of seven universities in the country that accept TOEFL scores, and their respective requirements.

TOEFL Scores Accepted at Universities in the Philippines

With many renditions of the same exam, it can be quite confusing to which test and what score is required to apply for a program at a particular university. In the following section, we discuss some universities in the Philippines that accept TOEFL certifications and their respective required scores.

1. Ateneo De Manila University

Ateneo De Manila is a Catholic university in the Philippines that was founded in 1859, making it one of the long-standing and prestigious education providers in the country. Ateneo De Manila has a significantly competitive acceptance rate between 10 and 20%, ensuring only the best of the domestic and international students gain entrance into the university.

With English being the university’s primary medium of instruction, most programs in the university require students to produce proof of English language proficiency at the time of application. If an applicant’s previous education is not in the medium of English, a TOEFL score of 550 on the paper-based test, or 79-80 on the internet-based test is required for undergraduate and graduate programs at the university.

2. University of the Philippines – Diliman

As the national university of the Philippines, the University of the Philippines is a system of universities with campuses across the country. Having been ranked as one of the best, this public university is a part of the Asia Pacific Rim Universities, a group of universities from 19 economies worldwide known for their excellence in academia and research.

Being a university that is well integrated into an international network of institutions, most of the education offered here is in the English language, requiring students a TOEFL score of at least 61 on the iBT test.

3. De La Salle University

Offering programs across disciplines like business, sciences, Information Technology, and psychology, De La Salle University is one of the top-ranking universities in the Philippines. The university is often placed among the top five institutions in the country, with special recognition for its programs in nursing and criminal justice.

As a general rule, international applicants for undergraduate studies, including freshman year and transfer students, are expected to have scored at least 80 on the TOEFL iBT test. The English language requirement for master’s or doctoral students is a TOEFL score of 88 or greater.

4. Mapúa University

Mapúa University is yet another internationally recognized university with special recognition for its programs in computing and engineering. These programs are accredited by the US-based ABET- a good indication that the institution’s education standards meet the requirements of today’s world.

English-taught programs in the university require graduate applicants to provide certifications in support of their English language proficiency. In general, a score of 500 on the TOEFL PBT is required for graduate admission to the university.

5. Polytechnic University of the Philippines

Located in Manila, Philippines, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines is a state university that produces graduates who are highly sought after, especially in the Filipino market. It has a high employability rate, revealing the high standards of education it delivers.

For programs taught in English, international applicants are required to provide proof of English language proficiency. The university accepts a score between 480 and 500 on the TOEFL paper-based examination from both undergraduate and graduate applicants.

6. Batangas State University

Recognized by the Commission on Higher Education, Batangas State University has garnered global attention for its excellence in fields like engineering and education. Starting as a training school, the institution now is acclaimed for its facilities and support for deserving students.

International applicants whose native language is English or who have studied previously in English-taught institutions need not meet the English proficiency requirement of the university. The rest of the applicants are required to have scored a minimum score of 46-59 on their TOEFL iBT test.

7. University of San Carlos

Offering education from kindergarten to graduate school, the University of San Carlos is an established body of education in the Philippines. The university has numerous internationally commended research papers and patents to its name and is perfectly integrated into a global network.

Generally, all transfer students and international freshman students applying for undergraduate and graduate programs are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language through a TOEFL score of at least 60. This may vary depending on the program of choice. Exceptions are made for students who previously graduated from schools that used English as their primary medium of instruction.

FAQs about Studying in the Philippines

What Type of TOEFL Exam is Accepted in the Philippines?

Language requirements across universities in the country may vary from program to program. While some universities in the country accept only TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) others could do with scores from any of the three types of tests, TOEFL iBT, TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test), and TOEFL CBT (Computer-based Test). Other TOEFL exams like the TOEFL Essentials, TOEFL Junior, and TOEFL Primary are not sought out by Philippine universities.

The TOEFL iBT is the widely accepted type, so most material you would find about the test online revolves around the iBT version of the exam. The TOEFL iBT test is the online version of the test that can be taken in the comfort of your home or a TOEFL center worldwide. Facing the exam at home might require professional equipment. In the Philippines, universities like Ateneo De Manila University only accept this version of the test for some of their programs. Alternatively, students could face the Paper Edition of the test, which is available in the United States, Mexico, Colombia, and India. The University of the Philippines is an example of an institution that accepts all three iterations of the popular English test.


With several language tests and varying requirements from universities, it might be challenging to figure out what exactly is needed. We hope the information we provided in this article will help you better understand the required language requirements at some of these top universities in the Philippines.


We hope that this article on the top universities accepting TOEFL scores helped you understand the language requirements better. You can find more information about various English language requirements on the English Language Proficiency Exam Page. Also, check out the Philippines Page and the Available Programs for International Students to learn more about studying abroad.

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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