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:

• Possession of a degree or its academic equivalent from an institution recognized by the University of Alberta and where the language of instruction is English. Proof that the instruction for the degree was in English will be required (see Recognized English Language Countries/Institutions);


• A satisfactory score on one of the following approved English language examinations (see below for a special note on the Duolingo English Test as an ELP alternative):

Exams 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
Academic International English Language Testing System
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
Pearson Test of English Academic
(PTE Academic)
61 with a minimum band score of 60
Note: These are minimum scores required by the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies. 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.


• 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 & Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) 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, the Duolingo English Test will be made available to all applicants to undergraduate and graduate programs as an additional option to demonstrate English Language Proficiency. This option has been approved for all applicants to graduate programs through to the 2028-29 admission cycle.

Minimum Duolingo English Test scores required by University of Alberta are as follows:
• 120 for English Language Proficiency, with no subscore below 100

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:
• 140 for Spoken English Proficiency, with no subscore below 120

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.