Language Requirements

English Language Proficiency

English is the primary language of instruction at the University of Alberta in all Faculties except Campus Saint-Jean. 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 see:

Table 1: English Language Proficiency Requirements

Common 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 (on final blended grade) which includes the diploma or provincial exam mark
IB English A1, A2 5 or better
IB English B1, B2 6 or better
AP English 4 or better
Successful completion of three or more years of full-time education in English (excluding ESL) Successful completion
Course Work - Post-Secondary (Transfer)
6 credits of transferable university-level English language & literature at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction B+ or better
University of Alberta ESL 140/145 Successful completion

Table 2: Spoken English Proficiency Requirements

Spoken Exams
TOEFL iBT Minimum score of 26 in the Speaking section
IELTS Minimum score of 7.5 in the Speaking section
Previous Education in English
Successful completion of six years of full-time education in English in Canada or equivalent (excluding ESL) Education must include the Alberta Grade 12 or equivalent level, and can be a combination of secondary and post-secondary education

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.

Bridging Program

The University of Alberta offers a Bridging Program to applicants who need to improve their English Language Proficiency in order to enter a degree program. The Bridging Program provides students the opportunity to combine university degree courses with English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classes.

For detailed information about the Bridging Program, please visit ualberta.ca/BP.