Are you interested in studying in New Zealand? Here are a few things you should keep in mind before booking your flight to this scenic country. First, be advised of the extremely chilly weather that you will experience once you are there. In fact, you can literally live through all four seasons within 24 hours. Once you have your warm-wears packed, confirm whether you have any visible tattoos. Yes, as petty as it may sound, the Maori culture of New Zealand considers tattoos as sacred. Therefore, if you happen to have one printed on your chest, be wary of those around you so that you don’t end up annoying them.

Finally, and most importantly to you as a student, New Zealand has only eight recognized universities. This might come as a surprise, but that explains why the country has not been extensively explored by international students. Nonetheless, you should expect stiff competition while applying to the university. In this article, we are going to explore IELTS band requirements for the eight universities in New Zealand.

IELTS Band Requirements for New Zealand Universities

1. University of Auckland

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 6.5

First on the list is the University of Auckland that was founded in 1883 and has since developed into one of the best universities in the world. It has a total of over 33,000 students enrolled in both undergrad and postgrad programs available at the university. These courses are distributed across eight faculties equipped with respective academic resources. International students need to achieve a qualification equivalent to NZQA to have a chance of being selected. Also, proof of one’s knowledge of the English language is required. You can do this by completing your IELTS and TOEFL tests and scoring 6.5 (minimum of 6 per section) and 90 (minimum of 21 per section), respectively.

2. Victoria University of Wellington

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 6.5

Victoria University of Wellington started as part of the University of New Zealand in 1897 but went on to become an independent university. Some of the most popular courses at the institution are in the fields of humanities, law, and science. Within the last ten years, Victoria University has shown its quality in research programs hence becoming one of the best in that department. It is also ranked among the top 500 universities as per the QS World University Rankings. Since it offers most of its programs in English, all applicants must be able to communicate in English. As such, if you are not a native English speaker you will be required to take the IELTS and TOEFL tests. This university in New Zealand requires you to have at least an IELTS Band of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 90.

3. University of Otago

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 6.5

Ranked among the top 1% of international universities across the globe, the University of Otago has been around for almost one and a half centuries. As proof of its intensive research programs, it was ranked second – after the University of Auckland – based on the quality of research employed. About 4,500 students have enrolled in postgraduate programs while over 15,500 are in undergrad courses, hence bringing the total number to over 20,000 students. The school hosts nearly 3,000 international students, and part of the requirements is a score of 6.5 in IELTS and at least 90 in TOEFL.

4. Canterbury Christ Church University

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 6.5

Canterbury Christ Church University is another institution in New Zealand that accepts international students. After its establishment as Canterbury College in 1873, it became a fully-fledged university in 1961. It currently has a total of about 18,000 students enrolled in various undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Are you an international student and want to join this university? Apart from your academic results, you will also have to show that you can understand English by completing the IELTS (minimum band of 6.5) and TOEFL (minimum score of 91) tests.

5. University of Waikato

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 6.5

Priding itself as a university that allows its students to achieve more than their thoughts, the quality of education offered matches the institution’s reputation. It has ten faculties and seven research institutes. Out of 26,000 universities in the world, the University of Waikato was ranked 274th in the QS 2019 university rankings. While applying to the university, you will need to hand in your transcripts, a recommendation later from your previous teacher, and test results. The test results, in this case, refer to language tests and others unique to the university. Most successful applicants score at least 6.5 in their IELTS tests and 90 in the TOEFL internet-based tests.

6. Lincoln University

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 6.0

Lincoln University was established in 1878 as a constituent college to the University of Canterbury. In 1990, it became an independent university and has since taught thousands of undergraduates and graduates. It has a total enrollment of about 3,000 students according to the current statistics. Despite its small size, the university has gained a lot of reputation within and outside New Zealand. If you are planning to apply to the institution, be ready to face a lot of competition from your fellow applicants. The minimum IELTS band requirement at this university in New Zealand is 6.0, and the minimum TOEFL score is 80.

7. Massey University

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 6.0

Based in Palmerston North, Massey University is one of the eight New Zealand universities accepting international students. It currently has a total of about 30,000 students, and the high population does not come as a surprise considering the ratio of demand and supply of higher education institutions in the country. The most popular course offered at the university in the field of agriculture and the program has been ranked 19th in the world – the highest-ranked program in New Zealand. Apart from an IELTS overall requirement of 6.0 (at least 5.5 per band), you will also need to submit internet-based and paper scores of the TOEFL test (80 and 550, respectively).

8. Auckland University of Technology

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 5.5

Last but not least, we have the Auckland University of Technology, which is the youngest university on this list founded in 2000. It has a student population of over 29,000 students; among them are 4,100 international students. With a minimum IELTS band of 5.5 and a TOEFL score of about 75 (internet-based), you will have a chance of studying at the university provided the rest of your documents are convincing.


I hope that this article on IELTS band requirements for New Zealand universities was helpful. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!