Language Requirements

English Language Proficiency

English is the primary language of instruction at the University of Alberta in all Faculties except Campus Saint-Jean (see French Language Proficiency below). All undergraduate applicants to English instruction faculties need an adequate level of English Language Proficiency before admission, regardless of their citizenship status or country of origin. The English language proficiency policy exists to ensure students have the requisite skills to succeed in the university learning environment.

Besides demonstrating overall English Language Proficiency, applicants to the teaching and health sciences disciplines need a further level of Spoken English Proficiency.

The tables below provide information about the most common methods of meeting English Language Proficiency and Spoken English Proficiency for international students studying in Canada. Please note that even if one (or more) of the listed English standards is met, the University of Alberta reserves the right to use discretion in determining language proficiency. Fulfillment of one of the listed requirements does not guarantee admission.

For a complete list of all methods for meeting English Language Proficiency, please refer to Section 13.3 of the University Calendar.


Table 1: English Language Proficiency Requirements

Written Exams Required Grades
TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT)
(Test of English as a Foreign Language)
Total score of at least 86 with no section less than 21
IELTS (Academic)
(International English Language Testing System)
Total score of at least 6.5 with no section less than 5.0
Course Work - High School
English Language Arts 30-1 (Alberta) or English 12 (British Columbia) 75% or higher (final blended grade includes the diploma or provincial exam mark)
IB English A1, A2, A Literature, or A Language & Literature 5 or better
IB English B 6 or better
AP English 4 or better
Previous Education in English
Three or more years of full-time education in English (excluding ESL) in Canada or another country or institution where English is recognized as the official/primary language of instruction Successful completion - must include Alberta Grade 12 (or equivalent) if secondary education is the highest level completed, or if a combination of secondary and post-secondary is used
Post-Secondary Course Work
6 credits of university-level English studies completed at a recognized English-language institution (must be transferable as 6 credits at the University of Alberta) B+ or better
University of Alberta EAP 140/145 Successful completion

Table 2: Spoken English Proficiency Requirements

Spoken Exams
TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT) Minimum score of 26 in the Speaking section
IELTS (Academic) Minimum score of 7.5 in the Speaking section
University of Alberta Speak Test
Minimum score of 50
Previous Education in English
Six years of full-time education in English in Canada or another country or institution where English is recognized as the official/primary language of instruction. Successful completion - must include Alberta Grade 12 (or equivalent) if secondary education is the highest level completed, or if a combination of secondary and post-secondary is used


French Language Proficiency

French is the primary language of instruction at Campus Saint-Jean. All applicants to Campus Saint-Jean must demonstrate proficiency in both written and spoken French.

French language proficiency requirements (Compétence dans la langue française)

Bridging Program

The Bridging Program is designed for applicants who meet all other admission requirements for their program of choice, except for English Language Proficiency (ELP). The Bridging Program allows eligible students to complete the ELP requirement by taking English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses during their first year of study, while also being eligible to enroll in academic courses and earn credit toward their degree.

Visit the Bridging Program website for more detailed information.