The rapid breakdown of national barriers over the last decade has resulted in English language skills acquiring a great deal of importance in business circles.

IE Business School wishes to impress upon its students that an ability to communicate in English is vital, particularly in the present economic climate. The vast majority of companies list English amongst the essential qualities required for posts at management level. A lack of English skills is a serious handicap to any young aspiring professional, and in recognition of this fact IE Business School demands a minimum level of English from its students.

The minimum level should by no means be considered high enough to resolve language requirements in what is at the moment a highly competitive work market. It is designed to make sure that the student has at least a reasonable base on which they can build a level that will help them to face fierce competition when they begin to search for work. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing someone far less qualified or capable obtain the post that you wanted for the sole reason that they have a superior level of English.

Nobody can afford to underestimate the importance of the English language in the business world today. In view of this fact IE Business School stipulates that students must provide proof of an acceptable level of fluency in order to qualify for the titles of IMBA, EMBA, and MIM.

The qualifications listed overleaf will be accepted as such (please note that they must be the exact versions of these titles, not equivalents), or the student may sit the English exam organised by IE Business School, the details of which are available in this dossier. Any student that fails to fulfil these requirements before the end of their programme will have eighteen months (twelve months plus six months’ grace), as from the closing date of the course, in which to obtain any of the alternative qualifications.


The list of official exams accepted as proof of a minimum level of English is definitive.

The selection criteria for these exams is:

a) solid reputation
b) controlled exam conditions
c) widespread use
d) easily understood marking systems

The list is based on many years of experience. Other well-known exams are not included as in our experience pass grades of said exams do not always reflect the minimum level required by IE. Students holding qualifications not included on this official list will be required to present one of the qualifications on the list or to sit the courtesy exam.

The following qualifications will be accepted as proof of an acceptable level of English and may be presented either at the beginning of or during the course.


TOEFL scores are only considered valid if obtained less than two years before presentation. Please note that Institutional TOEFL exams are NOT valid. Minimum scores:

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-based) 72
  • Computer-based TOEFL 200
  • Paper-based TOEFL 533

The reporting code for sending your TOEFL score to IE is 0707.

  • FIRST CERTIFICATE. Valid only if obtained less than two years before starting the Master’s Program.
  • ADVANCED CERTIFICATE. Valid only if obtained less than three years before starting the Master’s Program.
  • PROFICIENCY CERTIFICATE. Valid only if obtained less than four years before starting the Master’s Program.
  • BUSINESS ENGLISH CERTIFICATE. Valid only if obtained less than two years before starting the Master’s Program.

Completion of a University degree in English (3 years minimum). Students will be required to submit academic transcripts demonstrating that courses were taught in English.


A pass certificate for level five English from La Escuela Oficial de Idiomas (Spain). This qualification must have been obtained less than 4 years before starting the Master’s program.


IELTS with 6.5 points or over. This qualification is only considered valid if obtained less than two years before starting the Master’s program.


GMAT of minimum 550 points. The reporting code for sending your GMAT score to IE is 6XT-ZH-98


The presentation of documentation demonstrating the nationality of a country where English is an official language (students must do a personal interview for this point to be valid).


Evidence of work experience for a minimum of 2 continuous years in an English speaking country.

Also accepted as proof of language competency are:

  • “A” levels or GCSEs issued by the British education authorities
  • High School Graduation Certificate complete with the official seal of the North American school in question
  • Other certifications: Pearson, Europro and Bulats. Please consult accepted levels.

For more information on these qualifications please visit:


Should the student choose to present any of the above documents, the original must be supplied -for inspection only- together with a photocopy thereof. 

If there is any doubt on the part of the English exam coordinator regarding the qualification you present (e.g. IE-established validity period has expired, it is not the correct version) you will be required to sit the IE English exam or present the correct version of the official qualification. 

Presentation of non-valid certificates happens frequently and it is one of the main reasons for the organization of the courtesy exam. Neither an impromptu conversation in English, no matter how brilliant, nor a dazzling reference will exempt a student from having to go through the official channels like all other IE students. Unfortunately, the sheer scale of the operation does not permit a personalized process here, and we expect students to be team players in this aspect.


Students have 18 months after the completion of the program to present any of the above mentioned documents. If after the 18 months this requirement has not been fulfilled, the student can present at any later point of time only the following documents:

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-based) 100


IE Business Shool

Calle María de Molina 11

28006 Madrid, Spain


If you are a student, please contact your Program management team.

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