Language Requirements for International Students

The information on this page is for undergraduate applicants. See English Language Proficiency for graduate students.

English is the primary language of instruction for all programs, except those at Campus Saint-Jean (UAlberta’s French-language campus).

English Proficiency at UAlberta includes two categories:

All undergraduate applicants to English-speaking and bilingual programs need an adequate level of English Language Proficiency prior to admission, regardless of their citizenship status or country of origin.

In order to verify your IELTS test results, we require an electronic copy of your Test Report Form which can be uploaded through UAlberta Launchpad after you apply. Please make sure that the electronic copy is legible and it contains your Test Report Form number.


Written Proficiency

Complete an ELP exam with the minimum required score.

Standardized test results must be issued directly from the testing office. Photocopies will not be accepted.

Test scores must be valid and verifiable. Scores more than two years old will not be accepted.

Test scores must include four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking.

UAlberta will accept one of the following:

Detail and conditions

TOEFL(Test of English as a Foreign Language) When requesting TOEFL scores, use:
Institution Code: 0963
Department Code: 00

iBT: At least 90 with a minimum score of 21 points in each section

Note: the PBT is no longer accepted

IELTS(Academic) (International English Language Testing System)

At least 6.5 with no band less than 5.5

CAEL(Canadian Academic English Language assessment) Either CAEL (paper) or CAEL CE (computer) At least 70, with no band less than 60
CanTEST(Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees) At least 4.5, with no part lower than 4
CAE(Certificate in Advanced English, also known as Cambridge English: Advanced) At least 180, with no less than 165 in each skill
CPE(Certificate of Proficiency in English, also known as Cambridge English: Proficiency) At least 180, with no less than 165 in each skill
MELAB(Michigan English Assessment Battery) At least 85, with no band less than 80 and a score of at least 3 in the Speaking Test
PTE(Academic) (Pearson Test of English Academic) At least 61, with no less than 60 in each communicative skill

Complete certain UAlberta-approved courses with a minimum required grade

In countries where alpha-grades are further defined by numerical grades, a minimum grade of 3 is required to meet ELP. For example: a grade of B3.

Standardized test results must be issued directly from the testing office. Photocopies will not be accepted and test scores must be valid and verifiable.

UAlberta will accept one of the following:

Detail and conditions

English Language Arts 30-1 course (Alberta or NWT High School) or English 12 course (British Columbia or Yukon High School) Final blended grade of 75% or better.
International Baccalaureate English A: Literature or English A: Language and Literature A grade of 5 or better.
School must offer IB Diploma Program and appear on theIB School list.
International Baccalaureate English B1, B2 A grade of 6 or better.
School must offer IB Diploma Program and appear on theIB School list.
Advanced Placement English A grade of 4 or better on the AP English College Board examination
O-level, AS-Level, A-Level, GCSE, IGCSE English Language or Literature course A final grade of B or better
6 credits of transferable university-level English Language and Literature completed at a postsecondary institution where English is the language of instruction A grade of B+ or better
University of Alberta’s ESL 140 and 145 Successful completion
All India Senior Secondary School Certificate (ISSC) Core English, issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education Score of 75% or better
All India Senior Secondary School Certificate (ISSC) Functional English, issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education Score of 80% or better
Indian School Certificate (ISC) English,
issued by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE)
Score of 75% or better

Previous Education in English

Enrollment in English as a second language (ESL) courses or programs will not be included in the calculation of three years of full-time study. Enrollment must be in a regular high school or postsecondary for-credit program. Where students are registered in both ESL and regular programs, the ESL hours will be deducted from the total educational hours.

Proof of three years of education must be submitted in the form of official transcripts, including details on course enrollment and hours of instruction.

Failing grades/courses will not be counted when calculating full-time attendance. Only courses with passing grades will be considered.

UAlberta will accept one of the following:

Detail and conditions

Three or more years of full-time education in English (excluding ESL) in a country where English is the principal language. Education must be equivalent to Alberta Grade 12 and can be a combination of secondary and postsecondary training.
Three years of full-time instruction in a school/institution in Canada in which the major language of instruction is English. The level of English proficiency required for graduation must be equivalent to that in English language schools/institutions in Canada.
Successful completion of three years of full-time education in English at a recognized school/institutionthat uses English as the primary language of instruction. The level of English proficiency required for graduation must be equivalent to that in English language schools/institutions in Canada.
Graduation from a degree program offered by an accredited university at which English is the primary language of instruction. The institution must be located in a country where English is the primary language.
Successful completion of three years of full-time education at a school that is an accredited member of the Council of International Schools. You must have completed the senior or grade 12 level English Language or Literature Course (non-ESL) with a passing grade.
Successful completion of three years of full-time study at a school with appropriate US regional accreditation. You must complete the senior or Grade 12 level English Language or Literature course (non ESL) with a passing grade.

For a list of countries and institutions that are recognized as having met the ELP requirement, see Countries and Universities that satisfy English Proficiency.

Complete UAlberta’s Bridging Program

If you meet the academic subject requirements for your program of interest, but do not quite meet the English Language requirement, you should explore UAlberta’s Bridging Program. The program allows excellent students to start some degree programs while taking ESL classes to improve English language skills. See Bridging Program


Spoken English Proficiency (SEP)

You can meet Spoken English Proficiency through the following:

UAlberta will accept one of the following:

Detail and conditions

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Minimum score of 26 in the Speaking section
IELTS (Academic) (International English Language Testing System) Minimum score of 7.5 in the Speaking section
Six full-time years of education in English in Canada or the equivalent in another country where English is the principal language (excluding ESL). If secondary education is the highest level completed or if combination of secondary and post-secondary education is used, education must include the Alberta Grade 12 (or equivalent).

For a list of countries and institutions that are recognized as having met the SEP requirement, see Countries and Universities that satisfy English Proficiency.


The University of Alberta is an official test center for TOEFL.

Disclaimer

The University of Alberta reserves the right to use discretion in determining language proficiency. In some cases, additional English language testing, conducted by the Faculty of Extension, may be required. Fulfillment of one of the listed requirements does not guarantee admission.