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Study at UAlberta

English Proficiency

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:

  • English Language Proficiency (ELP) -  required for all programs
  • Spoken English Proficiency (SEP) - required for some programs

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.

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.

How can you meet the ELP Requirement?

UAlberta will accept one of the following:

Detail and conditions

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.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) When requesting TOEFL scores, use:
Institution Code: 0963
Department Code: 00
iBT: At least 86 with a minimum score of 21 points in each section; or Paper based: 580
IELTS (Academic) (International English Language Testing System) At least 6.5 with no band less than 5.0
CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language assessment exam) At least 70
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 B
CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English, also known as Cambridge English: Proficiency) At least C
MELAB (Michigan English Assessment Battery) At least 85
PTE (Academic) (Pearson Test of English Academic) At least 59
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.

English Language Arts 30-1 course (Alberta High School) or English 12 course (British Columbia High School) Final blended grade of 75% or better.
International Baccalaureate English A1, A2 A grade of 5 or better.
School must offer IB Diploma Program and appear on the IB School list.
International Baccalaureate English B1, B2 A grade of 6 or better.
School must offer IB Diploma Program and appear on the IB 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 140/145 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

Enrolment in English as a second language (ESL) courses or programs will not be included in the calculation of three years of full-time study. Enrolment 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 enrolment and hours of instruction.

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

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

For a list of countries and institutions that are recognized as having met the SEP requirement, see Countries and Universities that satisfy English Proficiency.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) iBT: minimum score of 26 points in the Speaking section
IELTS (Academic) (International English Language Testing System) Minimum score of 7.5 in the Speaking section
SPEAK Test
For speak test information and registration, email elsinfo@ualberta.ca or visit the English Language Program website
Minimum score of 50 overall
Test scores that are more than 2 years old will not be accepted.
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 postsecondary education is used, education must include the Alberta Grade 12 (or equivalent).



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