English Language Proficiency (ELP)

English is the primary language of instruction and communication at UAlberta. All applicants must be proficient in English prior to admission.

International applicants must be able to demonstrate English Language Proficiency at the time of application (see below for a special note on the Duolingo English Test as an ELP alternative during the COVID pandemic).

Proficiency is demonstrated by:

Exams Effective for
Fall 2020 Admission
Effective for
Fall 2021 Admission
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT, in-person or special at-home edition) * Total score of 90 with a score of at least 21 on each of the individual skill areas (internet-based) or equivalent Total score of 90 with a score of at least 21 on each of the individual skill areas (internet-based) or equivalent
Academic International English Language Testing System
(IELTS)

6.5, with at least 5.5 on each test band

Revised to:
6.5, with at least 6.0 on each test band
Canadian Academic English Language Assessment
(either CAEL [paper] or CAEL CE [computer])
Overall 70 with at least 60 on each subtest Overall 70 with at least 60 on each subtest
Pearson Test of English Academic
(PTE Academic)
61 with a minimum band score of 60 61 with a minimum band score of 60
Note: These are minimum scores required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Some departments require higher scores.

If you need to complete one of these English language examinations, you should do so as soon as possible and arrange for the results to be sent to the department to which you are applying.

*For admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR), our TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test) total score requirement is stated above. When a student presents a score report that meets or exceeds FGSR's total score requirements, but where the Speaking or Listening scores are 18 or 19, departments can contact the student by phone or Skype to determine the student's level of speaking and listening comprehension. If the student is able to carry on a conversation, and if the listening skills meet your expectations, please send a supporting letter addressing the low TOEFL score along with the application for admission and other admission documents.


  • Applicants may demonstrate English Language Proficiency through confirmation of sufficient English language coursework at the secondary school level from select countries (ie. Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden & Switzerland). See English Language Proficiency: Secondary School Coursework.

    Note: Departments and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) reserve the right to require further demonstration of English Language proficiency.

Special Note: Duolingo English Test as an ELP alternative

If you are in a region impacted by Pearson, IELTS, or TOEFL test centre closures due to COVID-19, the university will temporarily accept the Duolingo English Test (taken after February 1, 2020) as one of the ways to meet our English Language Proficiency requirements. Minimum Duolingo English Test scores required by University of Alberta are as follows:
• 115 for English Language Proficiency, with no subscore below 95

Graduate programs in which proficiency in spoken English is especially important may have a higher than minimum English language proficiency requirement. For these programs, the following minimum Duolingo English Test scores are required:
• 125 for Spoken English Proficiency, with no subscore below 105

Notwithstanding the above, graduate programs reserve the right to require a further demonstration of English language proficiency.


For more information about English Language Proficiency, see English Language Requirement in the University Calendar.